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Law Students Cry Foul Over Govt's raise-fees plan

Law Students Cry Foul Over Government Plans to Raise Fees

"The Labour Government's decision to set maximum tuition fees for law students at a higher level than for other students could see them facing fee increases of over 20%," says New Zealand Law Students' Association (NZLSA) President Tim Lindsay.

"Students will be appalled when they realise the full weight of the decision to set these discriminatory fees. The Labour Party promised to 'develop the system of maximum fees in close consultation with the tertiary education sector, including institutions, students and staff.' There was never any consultation over the separate categorisation for law and the accompanying higher fee maxima with law students, or at any forum where student representatives were present.

"There is absolutely no evidence that it costs more to teach law than English literature, Asian studies, or any other general subject, so the government is clearly treating law students as cash cows. For example, law students at Waikato University face tuition increases more than 50% higher than their colleagues studying arts degrees.

"The fact that the government still funds law at the same level as general degrees clearly shows there is no justification for this discriminatory practice.

"Labour's pre-election credit card pledge to make tertiary education more 'affordable' has been shown to be a sham, and law students are bearing the brunt of their deception. The New Zealand Law Students' Association calls on the government to rethink its rash decision.

"There is still time," said Lindsay "for the government to conduct the close consultation that it promised."

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