COMMENT

Derek Cheng's article "One third of fees-free students fail or withdraw from course" (NZ Herald, September 8) highlights the way early intervention and pastoral support has to be offered alongside educational subsidies to ensure the best results for learners and taxpayers.

Critics of fees-free like to portray it as middle-class welfare for families whose children are going to university anyway.

But it's in South Auckland, MIT's home, where fees-free is making the biggest difference and where its success or otherwise should be judged. Bucking national trends, overall our fees-free students have recorded higher completion rates compared to the rest

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