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Maharey Fee Reduction Promise Welcomed

News that the Government intends to move towards a reduction in tertiary fees will be welcomed by current and prospective students who have until now been forced to face the prospect of massive student loan debts in order to study. Tertiary Education Minister Steve Maharey told a recent national student conference that the Government intended to “bring fee levels down as funding allows”.

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association President Chris Hipkins said this was a welcome change from the policy of the previous National Government, who had been more than willing to place larger and larger financial burdens on students.

“Recently we have seen reports coming out of the Auditor General’s office lamenting the lack of research into the long-term impacts of student loan debt. The key reason students have accumulated such debt is constantly increasing fees,” Chris Hipkins said today.

“Until there is a concentrated effort to bring fees down student debt will continue to spiral out of control. It comes as no surprise to students’ associations that the Auditor General has made these revelations - this is something we have been saying for years,”

“The move by the government to freeze fees this year has been welcome relief to students who had almost given up hope. However, in the longer term the Government will need to go further, and we welcome this signal that they intend to do so,” Chris Hipkins concluded.

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