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Unitec students to face near maximum fees rise

20 September 2006

Unitec students to face near maximum fees rise

Unitec has lifted fees to the near maximum of 4.5%. “Whilst the Government Fees maxima policy prevents institutions from lifting above 5% it seems clear that the recent trend in fee rises is that the maximum is clearly the average,” says Unitec Students’ Union President, Robert Freeth.

“With Government contributing even less to the cost of education, Labour is showing that it is firmly ‘leading from the back’ as its annual adjustment falls well below average student fee rises,” says Freeth.

“While Unitec has to be responsible for maintaining a financially viable institution, students will feel disappointed that they are again such an easy target for lifting revenue,” says Freeth.

“The decision to lift fees was still actioned despite the Unitec Students’ Union pleas to keep fee rises, if even necessary at all, tied to the rate of inflation,” says Freeth. “It is clear the Tertiary sector is slowing down in terms of participation, therefore Institutions need to budget with what they have in their hands rather than rely on speculative growth.”

“Unitec needs to understand that if it wants to be a Real World Institution then it needs to appreciate the financial position of its real world students and have real expectations on what they can afford,” says Freeth.

Equally disturbing was the initial lack of consultation with students over proposed fee rises at Unitec. “Council initially tried to set fees with only 2 days warning to the Student’s Representative, and even then only in the confidential part of the meeting,” says Freeth. “Thankfully we achieved a delay and some student consultation, but it was clear that the decision was already made and our opinions were of little importance.”

“Although we need to recognise that we are thankfully part of an interest free student loan policy, Labour cannot give with one hand only to take it back through another,” says Freeth.

ENDS

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