29 Sep 2011

Minister stands by comments on students

6:36 pm on 29 September 2011

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce is standing by his comments that this is not the best time for students to complain about fees and interest-free loans.

Legislation making student union membership voluntary was passed by Parliament on Wednesday.

The bill, in the name of ACT MP Heather Roy, was passed on the last members' day of the parliamentary term.

Mr Joyce had said students should be keeping their heads down in the current political and economic climate.

He later said he stood by those comments, made in relation to some Auckland students concerned about how much they're paying in fees.

"I was just pointing out that probably most people in the country, in the current environment, think they're on a reasonably good wicket."

He said that was free advice to them, that now might not be the best time to say fees should be cheaper or that they should be able to borrow more money without having to pay interest.