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Extra Money for Tertiary Education Welcomed

Tuesday 7 August, 2001

Extra Money for Tertiary Education Welcomed

The Government's announcement that it will invest an additional $35m in tertiary education next year has been welcomed by student representatives at Victoria University, who will now be pushing for their university council to accept the Government's fee freeze offer.

"We have been very concerned about the potential impact of accepting the fee freeze offer, especially at a time when our University will come under increased financial pressure in order to adapt to the changing tertiary environment," Chris Hipkins, President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association said today.

"However, given that the government are now promising a long overdue cash injection, and coupled with the fact that Victoria has had a generous growth in enrolments this year, I am now confident that the University can afford to accept the fee freeze deal," Mr. Hipkins said.

"If we decline the fee freeze offer, fees at Victoria could increase by up to $700 per student in order to compensate for a drop in government funding and a potential drop in enrolments. That would be totally unacceptable," Mr. Hipkins said.

"We're very pleased that the Government has seen the light and pledged to invest extra money next year. I would urge the Government not to see this extra investment as a one-off, but the start of a major re-investment in tertiary education in New Zealand,"

"We have a long way to go before we can claim to have rebuilt our tertiary sector to a world class standard, but every step along the way is progress that should be acknowledged," Mr. Hipkins said.

"The creation of a one-off fund for next year allows the Government to re-consider how that money will be allocated next year, and we would urge the Government to use that as an opportunity to increase the base-funding for tertiary institutions when it implements the new funding model currently being devised by TEAC," Mr. Hipkins concluded.

ENDS

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Chris Hipkins President Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (Inc.) Te Ropu Tauira o te Kura Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui

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