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Govt Must Move With Urgency On Fees

News that students are clocking up debts of around $130,000 comes as no surprise and points to a trend that will continue unless urgent attention is given to the under funding of the tertiary sector, according to Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association President Chris Hipkins.

“Over the past decade more and more of the cost of tertiary education has been shifted onto students. It is this increase, coupled with lack of other financial support from the government, that has lead to this massive debt being created,” Mr. Hipkins said.

“The election of the new Labour/Alliance government last year was a very positive sign for the tertiary sector, and the new governments commitment to education has been refreshing to say the least,”

“However, for their talk to be meaningful, Labour and the Alliance will need to back it up with extra money. Our universities simply can’t go on any longer with the resources they have. If the government doesn’t put more money into tertiary education, and quickly, then quality will continue to be compromised, and student fees will continue to increase,”

“In recent weeks we have seen Massey University announce major staffing cuts, and this is only the tip of the iceberg. Other universities will follow their lead shortly, and at the end of the day students and education will be the losers,” Chris Hipkins said.

“The only way to bring student fees down and ensure that the quality of the New Zealand tertiary education sector is maintained is for the government to provide an immediate injection of extra funding,”

“Until that happens, we can look forward to more fee increases, more staff redundancies, and a lower standard of education,” Mr. Hipkins concluded.


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