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Government’s fee freeze puts squeeze on Otago

Government’s fee freeze puts squeeze on Otago

Simon Power - National Tertiary Education Spokesperson

Otago University Vice-Chancellor Dr Graeme Fogelberg’s scathing comments on Government funding for universities is a wakeup call for the Government, says National’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Simon Power.

“Dr Fogelberg describes the Government’s offer of a 4.5% increase in return for a fee freeze as “pathetic” and “farcical”.

“For a Vice-Chancellor to speak so publicly, and so strongly about inadequate funding shows the depth of feeling within the tertiary sector.

“With staff claiming an 8% wage increase and inflation at nearly 3%, Otago is not the only university struggling. Education briefing papers released last week said that half of all tertiary institutes are struggling to “even maintain long term viability”.

“Steve Maharey is quoted in the same Otago Daily Times article as saying he “did not want to get into a public debate about the levels of public funding”. Well, tough luck. He is the Minister and he has to front up to the problems he is causing the tertiary sector,” said Mr Power.

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