The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.
“Steven Joyce is shutting a generation of young people from poorer families out of tertiary education. University is once again becoming a place for the rich.
“Universities are increasing fees every year at the maximum allowed amount of 4 per cent – a rate higher than inflation. At the same time the Government has tightened access to student allowances and student loans.
“A recent study of Victoria University students found 45 per cent – up from 36 per cent last year – were depressed or unhappy, with rising student fees cited as one of the reasons.
“Our graduates are leaving university with crippling debt and entering a tight job market where casual work is becoming the norm.
“Universities themselves are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They are struggling financially, unable to fund research and are falling in international rankings.
“New Zealand used to be a place where everyone who wanted a tertiary education could get one. The National government seem to have given up on that ideal,” Chris Hipkins says.