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Victoria students plea for fairer fees

Victoria students plea for fairer fees

Student representatives from the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) will today present Wellington Central MP and Associate Education Minister Marian Hobbs with signed postcards from the students of Victoria University demanding low fees for students. “Fee maxima must be set at a low level as students cannot afford any fee increases,” said VUWSA President Catherine Belfield-Haines. “The government’s tertiary strategy says we need greater participation of Maori and Pasifika students - if they are serious about this goal, fees need to be set as low as possible to encourage this.”

“High fees have emerged as a significant factor in the decision not to attend tertiary education, when participation in tertiary education is already much more likely for the rich,” says Belfield-Haines. “Students from the richest schools are five times more likely than students from the poorest schools to attend university. The student population at Victoria does not reflect the wider population – access needs to be improved and cost is a barrier.”.

“Labour complained bitterly through the nineties about huge rises in tuition fees,” said Belfield-Haines. “Now is their chance to put their money where their mouth is and bring fees down. This is crucial not only for current tertiary students, but for those who will never gain qualifications while they are so expensive.”

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