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ChCh protest just the beginning if fees rise

Christchurch protest just the beginning if fees rise

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is warning that today’s student protest in Christchurch will be the first of many if tomorrow’s budget brings fee increases.

“The large group of students from tertiary institutions around Canterbury are expressing a very real fear that fee maxima will lead to fee increases,” said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of NZUSA. “Government have been strangely silent on the level of fee maxima to be announced tomorrow leaving students to expect the worst.”

“We support these students for making their voices heard before fee levels for the next three years are announced. Labour must listen to them, and the growing evidence about the negative effects of high fees and big student loans.”

“When Labour were in opposition, their MPs including Helen Clark promised students they would reduce fees. Now they’re in Government we expect them to put their money where their mouth is and reduce fees for all students.”

“During the 90s, fees rose by an average of 12% a year, “ said Fitzsimons. “Tomorrow we will see if Labour have stood by their commitment to make tertiary education affordable.”

Student debt has grown by $2.5 billion since Labour have been in office. It will rise by substantially more if fee maxima are not used to hold down the level of tuition fees.

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