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Decision to decline fee rise applauded

Media release: 3 December 2012

Decision to decline fee rise applauded

The Tertiary Education Commission’s decision to decline an application for an 8% fee rise by Victoria University of Wellington was the correct one to make, say the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) and NZ Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).

“Students planning to enrol in Social Science, Humanities and Education courses in 2013 are extremely relieved that a doubling of the already high fee rise of 4% has not been approved,” says Bridie Hood, VUWSA President.

“We are satisfied that the arguments that we put up to show that the application for an 8% rise did not meet the required criteria have been shown to be sound and correct”.

Pete Hodkinson, NZUSA President, says the decision is in line with the purpose of the Annual Maximum Fee Movement policy as laid out in law, and was the best and most sensible decision to make.

“In our own submission to the Tertiary Education Commission we emphasised the wider issue that Maximum Fee policy is about promoting affordability of study for learners. Accordingly we have called for a re-appraisal of the factors that impact on affordability.

“Given the high likelihood that a 8% fee rise would have impacted most on students who are least able to afford it we also think it is time that the issue of fair access to tertiary education was the subject of an inquiry. New Zealand could, for instance, look into establishing an equivalent to the United Kingdom’s Office for Fair Access, an independent public body that helps safeguard access on the basis of fairness and capacity, not wealth”.

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