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Fee Rise Signals No Relief for Students

Fee Rise Signals No Relief for Students

Otago Polytechnic has tonight announced a 5% fee increase for some students for 2005.

"Students are not immune to the effects of fee increases. The 5% fee increase at Otago Polytechnic has guaranteed our students hundreds of dollars of more debt and longer repayment times." said Rachel Dibble, Otago Polytechnic Students' Association (OPSA) President and Council member.

"The perverse result is directly related to the farcical Fee Maxima scheme which allows a fee rise despite Steve Mahareys' recommendations that tertiary institutions keep fee increases "as low as possible" (23 Sept)" said Ms Dibble.

The vote to raise fees was not unanimous however and Councillor Leah McBey foreshadowed a motion recommending that a zero fee rise be accepted and reiterated her view that education should be fully publicly funded.

"Students ability to pay does not go up the same amount as the fee increase." said Ms Dibble after seconding the foreshadowed motion. "With ever increasing fees and no sign of a living allowance for all we will continue to see the negative impacts student debt - like the brain-drain and low fertility rates - in our society."

While council members supported the case for a zero fee rise put forward by Councillors McBey and Dibble the vote to raise fees was seen as necessary in part due to the decrease from the 5.1 funding category for institutions.

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