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Victoria disappointed at Govt fee decision

4 September 2006

Victoria disappointed at Govt fee decision

The Tertiary Education Commission’s decision to reject Victoria University’s application to increase some student fees by more than five percent doesn’t address the current industry problem of cross-subsidisation across faculties, and reduces the level of investment Victoria can make in quality education resources.

Student fees are one of the few sources of revenue the University is able to control, says Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Tim Beaglehole.

“We are not convinced by the Commission’s arguments that we have not sufficiently demonstrated exceptional circumstances. Their focus is on approving or declining applications based on percentages, rather than considering the very real inequitable difference in fees across universities. Fees in Victoria University’s Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Faculty of Education are significantly lower than those of other universities and the extra five percent increase would move towards making it a more level playing field.”

“If Victoria University was able to charge students the same fees as those at the top of the range, we would be immediately $20 million per year better off and therefore better able to improve the quality of our infrastructure.”

Emeritus Professor Beaglehole says the University Council is aware of the impact of fee increases on students and made the decision to increase them with great reluctance. “We are concerned at the long-term effects of continued cross-subsidisation of students across Faculties where the true cost of providing a research-led degree is not transparent.

“If the Government is really serious about having highly educated graduates at the forefront of research that is feeding new industries and innovative technologies, we need the funding to be able to invest in our teaching and research programmes.”

At Victoria most undergraduate domestic tuition fees increased by five percent in 2006 and the declined application was for a further five percent increase in tuition fees for domestic students enrolled in humanities, social science or education courses to apply from the third trimester this year.

ENDS

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