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Teacher Trainees Face 30% Fee Increase

Teacher Trainees Face 30% Fee Increase due to Merger

Students doing a Diploma in Early Childhood Education at the Wellington College of Education face a massive $1000, or 30% fee increase in 2005 as their fees are brought into line with those charged at Victoria University.

The Students’ Association at the Wellington College of Education (SAWCE) and the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) are taking a joint complaint to the Ombudsman over the increase, which will affect around 150 students.

“This proposed increase is clearly in breach of the Annual Fee Movement and Fee Maxima policies set by government” said SAWCE president Greg Henderson today. “It means the Diploma students will pay as much as the Bachelor students, for a lesser qualification” he said.

The Victoria University Finance Committee will consider a proposal for a rebate to the students in 2005 and 2006, of around $500-600, on Wednesday 17 November. VUWSA president Amanda Hill said “while this could be a start, it still leaves these students with a 15% fee increase, which is still not acceptable under any circumstances”.

“Current government policy is supposed to allow students certainty in budgeting for their fees by limiting fee increases to five percent. The Early Childhood students are being punished for the merger of two institutions, something obviously out of their control” said Mr Henderson today.

“Minister Maharey called on institutions to limit fee increases to the cost of living – but Victoria has gone well above this, in breach of the guidelines set by Government and we are confident the Ombudsman will find in favour of the students” Hill said.

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