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Fee reductions: government spin

02 Aug 2004

Fee reductions: government spin that won’t wash with students

“Steve Maharey’s claim that his fee maxima policy is delivering certainty about student fees is government spin that will not wash with students or their families who are paying through the nose for their education,” said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association.

“The only thing certain about tuition fees in New Zealand is that they are among the highest in the world,” said Fitzsimons “This policy announcement is all about rewarding the bad behaviour of institutions that can continue to charge fees well above the so-called maxima.”

Fitzsimons was responding to an announcement from Minister of Education (Tertiary) Steve Maharey that fees currently above the government’s fee maxima can remain above the maxima limit.

“The reality is that students last year faced fee increases of 10 percent and more as tertiary institutions took advantage of the government policy that allowed fees to increase.”

“Government sat by last year and watched many institutions raise fees by 5 percent and even allowed the Tertiary Commission to allow one of the richest universities to increase fees by 10 percent,” said Fitzsimons. “As a result, students are paying nearly $20 million more in fees than last year.”

“If the government are serious about tackling the student debt monster, they should introduce a policy of across the board fee decreases.”

“Students will be fighting hard against fee increases at Council fees setting meetings in the coming months,” said Fitzsimons.

ENDS

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