Student action knocks back transnational

October 14, 2008

- Sam Oldham

It is no secret that tertiary students in New Zealand are financially burdened. After the educational reforms of the 90s, the average student is today shackled by a lifetime of debt, only exacerbated by rising food and petrol prices and the rising cost of rent.

However, there is another threat to the welfare of many students that is not often addressed - the corporate ownership and profit from student hostels at many universities.

The hostel, or hall of residence, is the popular choice of most first-year tertiary students around the country when deciding where to live as they venture to new cities to engage in full-time study. These hostels, although coordinated by the universities, are most often under private ownership, usually by large domestic companies or multi-national corporations.

Victoria University of Wellington offers four major halls of residence to its prospective first-year students, and a number of minor hostels. Of these, only two are owned directly by Victoria University, the others by private enterprise. So the profit of only two halls is reinvested in students, the rest going straight to the private sector.

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3 Workers Party members elected to 2009 VUWSA executive

October 3, 2008

- Workers Party Media Release

Workers’ Party member Jasmine Freemantle was elected President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) for 2009 last Wednesday night.

Freemantle was elected by a comfortable majority over her Labour Party rival Sonny Thomas, after a heated campaign that fuelled the highest voter turn out in a VUWSA election since the early 1990s.

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WP candidate contesting UCSA by-election

May 12, 2008


Workers Party leaflet against proposed Arts Cuts at Canterbury University

March 5, 2008

Once again, whole departments and their staff (academic and general) and students are under attack at Canterbury - and other universities. The attempt by Canterbury management to abolish American Studies and Film and Theatre Studies, while also wielding the axe against Classics and Art History is an attack on jobs, knowledge and students.

Universities in New Zealand are being turned increasingly into businesses. Just like a sausage factory produces and sells commodities called sausages, universities are being transformed into businesses which sell commodities called ‘degrees’.

The university as a business means charging students more in fees, crowding more students into classes, dumbing down courses for sale as commodities, increasing and intensifying the working hours of staff, holding down wages and eroding work conditions in general and cutting courses and departments which may be socially useful but don’t generate large amounts of money - all this in order to maximise profits.

The education system in universities is coming to more and more resemble factory-line production.

Why is this happening?

Click here to download leaflet