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Maharey welcomes Otago University decision

11 July 2000 Media Statement

Maharey welcomes Otago University decision to freeze fees

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey this evening welcomed the decision by the University of Otago to freeze their tuition fees next year.

The Government provided $30.5 million in the Budget to fund a 2.3% per student funding increase in 2001 to those institutions which commit to holding their 2001 fees stable at 2000 levels. A formal offer will be made to tertiary institutions shortly and the Government expects to know by September which institutions will hold their fees.

"I commend the University of Otago for agreeing to freeze their student fees next year. The cost of tertiary education was a defining issue in the election campaign and the new Government has been determined to cut the costs to students of getting a tertiary education.

"National cut the per student subsidy every year they were in government and student fees rose dramatically as a result. Fees rose from the standard fee of $1,250 in 1990 to an average of approximately $3,500 this year.

"There is no doubt that cost is a barrier to participation in tertiary education and that access has being increasingly rationed by wealth. Freezing fees in 2001, combined with the steps the Government has already taken to make the student loans scheme fairer, shows that we are serious about improving access to tertiary education," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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