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Students rally against fee rises

Students rally against fee rises

Steve Maharey faced angry students at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT) today during a forum, held to inform staff about reforms in the tertiary education sector. "Students are furious that this Government is allowing tertiary institutions to raise fees, and that they have so clearly broken their pledge card election promise to keep tertiary education affordable," said Elliot Roberts, President of the Auckland Student Movement at AUT.

In scenes reminiscent of student protests during the 1990s, students held placards and banners with messages like: Fee rises = Labour betrayal; Fight the war on fees and Labour pledge card worthless! "This will be the beginning of many such protests in Auckland as students realise the full significance of the high fee maxima that the government has set," said Roberts.

"Labour always say that they want to attract more students into teacher education however higher fees for teacher training courses will make this much harder," said President of the Auckland College of Education Students' Association Rachel Lynch.

"Labour's fee rises will be remembered as the point where the Labour Government turned its back on students and ignored the disastrous effects of the loan scheme on New Zealand society," said Lynch.

"Maharey's claim on budget day that he expects institutions not to raise fees to the maxima is nonsense Already the Vice Chancellor at Auckland is saying that he can't raise fees high enough!" said Scott Kelly, President of the Auckland University Students' Association.

"Students have spoken loud and clear to the Minister. We cannot afford fee increases, more student debt and even longer repayment times. Now he needs to respond," said Roberts.

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