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Students at Canterbury breath a sigh of relief

Students at Canterbury are breathing a sigh of relief after the University of Canterbury accepted the Government’s fee stabilisation offer.

But students are still concerned at a serious shortfall in Government tertiary funding.

University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) president Richard Neal said, although the 4.5 percent fee freeze was “great for the back pocket of students”, they were “unimpressed at the drops in quality” that would result from the Government’s levels of funding.

“Students will be relieved at this deal, because it means fees won’t rise. However, the Government still needs to address important issues of tertiary funding.”

“The deal is poor for university teaching standards, and for resourcing,” he said, “as the university is continuing to fall behind in funding. Teaching standards will drop, because the university will not be able to compete in the market.”

The Government’s “Knowledge Economy” rhetoric was not backed up in funding, Mr Neal said. “The Government likes to make a lot of noise about the future of New Zealand, and the importance of graduates for the Knowledge Economy, but it does not seem to be backing it up with serious levels of funding.”

Students would be “grateful” to the University of Canterbury for accepting the deal. “It is significant that the university accepted the fee freeze to prevent a rise in students’ fees.”

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