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Massey University Accepts Fees Stabilisation Offer

Massey University Accepts Government Fees Stabilisation Offer

The Council of Massey University has accepted the Government’s fee stabilisation offer – capping tuition fees for next year.

The Government offer provides for a 2.6% increase in this year’s funding in return for a cap on fees, repeating the ‘one-off’ deal struck last year for 2001 funding. It represents a 5.1 per cent increase on funding for 2000.

Commenting after today’s Council decision, Vice-Chancellor Professor James McWha (who is also chair of the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors’ Committee) said Massey students would be relieved that fees for next year will not increase. That pleases us immensely. Our priority is to reduce any barriers to students achieving an excellent university education. In fact we look forward to being in a position to reduce fees in the future.”

The Vice-Chancellor says he is pleased that Massey’s fees remain amongst the lowest university fees in New Zealand, on average matched only by Otago University (see attached table). However he said although both universities have acted in the interests of students in keeping their fees down, they were now disadvantaged by the low percentage increase. “We would like the Government to recognise this.”

Professor McWha says the focus now must be on ensuring the Government improves funding to universities, recognising the importance of the quality of the university system to the New Zealand economy. “I think we now have a government that does recognise this contribution. So, with other universities we will continue to press the Government to keep its recent promise of a more responsible funding package for the future.”

In the meantime, he says in accepting the stabilisation offer, the universities are not left in a strong position to protect and improve the quality of services to students. Other factors, including staff salary increases, inflation and a reduction in enrolments at our Palmerston North campus, are also impacting on Massey University’s finances.

“Although access to the Government’s new ‘change’ fund of $32 million gives us more flexibility, it is earmarked for specific purposes.”

In its fee setting session, the University Council also agreed on some changes to non-tuition fees, including a reduction in the enrolment fee at the Wellington campus, to bring it in line with the rest of the University.

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