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Students paying more in fees in 2004

May 25 2004

Figures show students paying at least $15 million more in fees in 2004

Students are calling on Tertiary Minister Steve Maharey to re-think his fees maxima policy for 2005 in light of information obtained under the Official Information Act that shows students are paying at least $15 million more in tuition fees in 2004.

“The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) estimates that students at public institutions will have to pay at least $15 million more this year in fee increases, most of which will be added to their already huge student debts,” said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of NZUSA. “Yet many of our tertiary institutions were in a very healthy financial position last year, and government funding has continued to increase.”

NZUSA’s analysis of fees setting in 2004 shows that many institutions raised all fees below the maxima by the five percent limit, that the richest institutions raised fees by the biggest amounts, and that governance processes were woefully inadequate.

“The granting of an exemption of the five percent limit to Otago University was the last in a series of bad decisions for students last year,” said Fitzsimons. “If Maharey is going to really keep fees down, the policy needs to be changed now. To really improve the situation, he should cut fees immediately and move progressively to end all user charges.”

NZUSA wrote to Maharey last week and recommended changes to fees setting for 2005 to Steve Maharey, including: The end of exemptions to the annual fee movement limit. Including postgraduate students in the annual fee movement limit Lowering the annual fee movement limit to the rate of inflation Reducing all fees above the maxima to the maxima level or below Introducing guidelines for fees setting processes to ensure greater accountability to staff and students


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