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Victoria University freezes student fees

Victoria University freezes student fees

The Victoria University Council today voted to accept the fees stabilisation scheme offer of an additional 4.5 per cent on top of the base tuition subsidy rates in return for holding student fees for 2003.

‘The Council took the only responsible option available to them in accepting the offer, it is recognition that students cannot afford fee increases’, said Victoria University Students’ Association President Fleur Fitzsimons. ‘The government cannot interpret acceptance of the fees freeze offer as approval of the level of funding, it is clear that Victoria University is still not adequately funded, this final fee freeze offer must signal the end of under-finding of tertiary institutions and the start of a major re-investment in tertiary education in New Zealand’, said Fitzsimons. ‘While the decision of Council freezes fees for 2003, the government needs to make sure that fees are decreased annually so that the crippling issue of student debt can begin to be addressed, said Fitzsimons.

There was concern expressed during the Council meeting by Vice Chancellor, Stuart McCutcheon about the government’s proposal for a fee maxima, he claimed that today could be last opportunity for the Victoria University Council to increase fees. However student representatives are welcoming greater involvement from the Government in fees setting.

‘Having the government involved in the setting of tuition fees again is welcomed by students if it can deliver the much needed fee reductions’ said Fitzsimons.

‘There should be involvement from the government in fees setting, it is an important public policy issue and requires a public process and accountability by governments” said Fitzsimons.

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