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Predictable Fees For International Students

7 September 2004

University Delivers Predictable Fees
For International Students

Responding to the concerns of its international students, the University of Otago will continue to charge tuition fees set in US dollars for all its currently-enrolled international students. These fees will be increased by five per cent for 2005, and any increases in subsequent years for current international students will also be capped at five per cent per annum.

The decision was taken on Monday during a special meeting of the University Council after the University investigated complaints laid by its international students over an earlier Council move to charge 2005 and future fees in NZ dollars.

The investigation, led by Dr Phil Meade, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, agreed with student complainants that due to fluctuating currency exchange rates such a move could lead to unexpected tuition fee increases. His investigation also found that resulting tuition fee uncertainty could be seen as contravening the University’s own pledge to keep fee increases to a minimum. Dr Meade’s investigation therefore recommended the “grandparenting” of fees for those students already enrolled at Otago for the minimum time required for them to complete their current degrees.

“I believe this decision by Council represents a considered and compassionate response to the concerns of our international students,” says University Chancellor Mr Lindsay Brown. “The University of Otago takes seriously its obligations as a signatory to the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students which requires that students be provided with clear and transparent information on likely increases in tuition fees prior to their enrolment.

“This is particularly important for our international students who come to Otago from around the world, and who, with their families, must budget and plan carefully based on the information we provide before they can commit to a course of study at our University.

“The University regrets any stress or concern it may have inadvertently caused our international students,” he continued. “We have communicated Council’s decision directly to all our international students, and hope that with this more certain fee schedule in place, international students can continue their Otago studies with greater confidence.”

The fees set in NZ dollars at the June meeting of Council will still apply for new international students commencing in 2005, and for current international students commencing new courses of study.

ENDS

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