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Auckland Uni proposes fee increases for medicine

University of Auckland proposes fee increases for medicine

The University of Auckland reported on its website earlier this week that it will apply for an exemption to the fee maxima policy allowing it to increase existing tuition fees for medicine, health sciences and some high cost science programmes by 10%.

“Average medical student debt is already three times that of other university graduates. Over half of medical students owe more than $70,000 by the time they graduate. This level of debt has significant consequences for individuals as well as wider implications for New Zealand’s Health System” Says Jess Allen, president of the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association.

“The fee maxima policy for 2005 limits medical school tuition fees to $10,250, yet the University of Auckland is seeking an exemption allowing it to increase current fees by 10%. This equates to an additional $1,000 dollars per year and will add more than $5,000 to the total cost of a medical degree.”

“We are reaching new heights in medical student debt and the full consequences of this will take years to unfold. Evidence collected in the 2001 ‘WIDE’ survey of medical students that was published in the New Zealand Medical Journal, showed a correlation between increasing student debt and students’ intentions to both practise medicine overseas and choose specialties other than general practice. Increasing the burden of medical student debt is likely to exacerbate these alarming trends and create more medical workforce shortages.”

“The NZMSA recognises that Medical Schools are operating in a system that fixes the numbers of students and the amount of funding per student. However, financial shortfalls should be met with increased government funding rather than transferring the burden onto the future doctors of New Zealand.”

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