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Student fee increases fund huge advertising binge

28 February 2005

Student fee increases fund huge advertising binge

Tertiary institutions spent record amounts of student and public money on advertising in 2004 at the same time as increasing student fees, according to new AC Neilson figures released today by the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“It is sickening that students were forced to pay nearly $20 million more in fee increases just so public tertiary institutions could go out and spend a whopping $26 million competing with each other,” said Camilla Belich, Co-president of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

According to AC Neilson figures, public tertiary institutions spent a total of $26 million on marketing in 2004, up from 12 million in 1999. Students paid $19 million more in tuition fees in 2004.

“Students are a lot more likely to be influenced by friends and family than advertising when choosing where to study, yet are still bombarded with multimillion dollar advertising campaigns including useless pocket radios, jelly beans, yo-yos, caps and drink bottles in an irresponsible attempt to con prospective students,” said Belich.

“These figures prove that last year’s $19 million increase in fees was completely unjustified. Students would be outraged to know that the real reason they are paying hundreds of dollars extra in fees is for yet more fruitless marketing campaigns,” said Andrew Kirton, Co-president of NZUSA.

“Trevor Mallard and the Tertiary Education Commission must rein in this reckless use of student fees and public money immediately,” said Kirton.

ENDS

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