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Budget Fails Students

Budget Fails Students

“Most students are very disappointed by today’s budget - it is a total reversal on Labour’s commitment to cut the cost to students of tertiary education.” said OPSA President, Michelle Watt.

While today’s budget takes some small steps to attack the student debt monster with some much needed tinkering with allowances and loans – it has not only failed to stabilise fees, but has opened the doors to fee increases. ‘Fees Maxima’ is a maximum threshold on what institutions can charge, however the maxima is set at the levels of some of the current highest fees.

“Labour would love to seen as continuing its containment on fee increases by the introduction of ‘Fees Maxima’, however without the necessary funding increases to institutions this maximum fee threshold is a mockery.” said OPSA President, Michelle Watt. The funding increase of 3% to institutions is simply not enough for tertiary institutions to cover inflation. As a result most institutions will resort to recovering these costs by increasing student’s fees. The effect on students and the country will be similar to the fee increases caused by National’s similar under-funding of tertiary institutions.

“While the fee freezes were a positive start to making education affordable to the public today’s budget is a step backwards to the days of National’s rampant fee increases.” said Ms Watt.

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