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TEC rejection of fee hikes a win for students

TEC rejection of fee hikes a win for students

The New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA) is pleased that the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has now rejected all three of the institution wide 10% fee increase exemptions that were applied for by institutions for the 2006 academic year, but are disappointed that students at these institutions will still have to fork out for a 5% increase in fees.

Massey University, Dunedin College of Education and Christchurch College of Education all applied to the TEC for across-the-board fee increases of 10%, which is 5% above the fee maxima limit, and had their applications declined. Massey University announced that it had been unsuccessful today.

"For the first time since this policy was introduced, TEC has rejected the institutions attempt to gain extra funding at the expense of students," said Camilla Belich, Co-president of NZUSA.

"Students from all three institutions who applied should be delighted with this win, but paying the significant 5% fee increase, that their institutions have already approved, will no doubt dampen their mood."

This year, students had been successful in lobbying the TEC to change the fee exemption criteria to make it more receptive to students views and take into account the negative effect of fee increases.

"The fact that students were also allowed to submit information to the TEC during this process has obviously worked at opening the Commission's eyes to student concerns and is a credit to the students' associations who fought against these increases," said Belich.

"The final announcement today that Massey University's controversial application was rejected will mean thousands of Massey students studying extramurally all over New Zealand, and in their three major campuses in Auckland, Palmerston North and Wellington, will avoid having to pay 10% extra for their education in 2006."

"Fighting these exemptions has been a significant goal of the student movement so it's good to see the TEC not being afraid to say, 'No, Vice-chancellor,' " Belich concluded.

Students invite institutions to join with them in lobbying the Government for increased funding to tertiary institutions, rather than trying to fix funding shortfalls through student fee rises.

Ends

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