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Student Funding Still Lower than a Decade Ago

NZUSA BUDGET COMMENT

Student Funding Still Lower than a Decade Ago Despite Budget Increase

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is welcoming today’s budget announcement of a 4.5% funding increase to freeze tuition fees for 2003 but believes that there is no real commitment to the knowledge society when per student funding is nearly $1000 less than it was a decade ago.

“We’re pleased to see the government continue to hold fee levels, “ said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell. “However per student funding is now only about $7870 compared to $8701 in 1991.“

“This funding increase needs to be put in perspective. All it does is return us to per student funding levels of around 1993. When you take inflation into account the situation is even more grim. Its hardly the level of investment required to transform us into a knowledge nation,” said Campbell.

“We want to see a long term commitment from government to annual increases in funding like they have done for research and science. How can we ever get to the top of the OECD in growth when our investment in tertiary education is so low?” said Campbell

“NZUSA research shows that the average fee is now about $4500. The fee freeze policy has meant that number hasn’t increased but it has done nothing to bring it down. We can’t be anything more than lukewarm about fees being frozen at the highest level they have ever been,” said Campbell.

“If this was a tertiary education budget I feel sorry for the other sectors,” said Campbell.

ENDS

For further information please contact
Andrew Campbell NZUSA Co-President
Cell: 0274 86 86 77 Wk: 04 498 2500


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