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Govt cuts cost of dental study

31 January 2000

Govt cuts cost of dental study

The Government today announced that there would be major increases in subsidies for fees for dental education at Otago University this year.

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Associate Minister of Education Steve Maharey said that the high fees paid by dentistry students under the previous National Government had been a disgrace.

"Many potential students were deterred from studying dentistry because of the exorbitant costs.

"Tuition fees this year under the previous government were to be $20,264 for a Year Two dental student and $21,590 for Year Three to Five students.

"The Cabinet decided today to increase very significantly the subsidy paid to Otago University for the education of dental students.

"The subsidy will increase to a level which enables Otago University to offer dental students fees which are broadly in line with those paid by medical students. The fees are expected to be less than $10,000.

"The government has taken this decision on dental fees because of the injustice to dentistry students of the previous government's decision to increase their fees in 1994 radically.

"The decision today is in line with the determination of Labour and the Alliance to reduce the cost of study to tertiary students. It was a priority of both Labour's commitment card and of the Alliance's education policy.

"The Tertiary Education Commission, soon to be established, will begin the process of reviewing fee levels overall. We believe it is important, however, to address this particular gross injustice in order that students enrolling in dental school this year could do so on a much more reasonable fee level," Helen Clark said.


ENDS



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