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Fees reduction for students

5 November 2004

Fees reduction for students

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced that he had agreed that NCEA fees are to be halved for secondary students in 2005.

Trevor Mallard said students in 2005 would pay a flat fee of $75 per student and $75 for each scholarship subject over three entered. The reduction was suggested by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) board.

“I’m pleased to see the board has decided that the fees can be reduced. This represents a substantial reduction in fees for more than 70 percent of domestic students. For the remaining students, they either paid this lower level of fee last year so their fee is unchanged, or they received fee remission for hardship so they only paid $20 or $30 per family.

Last year, under a two-tiered structure, students who achieved more than 49 credits including up to 3 scholarship subjects paid $150, and those under 49 credits paid $75.

The fee reduction and move to a flat fee had been made possible because of efficiencies made by NZQA in the past year, and by the fact that entry numbers had exceeded expectations, Trevor Mallard said.

“NZQA made efficiencies earlier than expected around the administration of exams (printing, postage, packing, sorting processes) which means that it isn't costing NZQA as much to run the exams.

"This means we are able to pass on those savings in the form of a reduction in fees. The actual cost of a student sitting an exam is closer to $400, but the government subsidy has kept this down considerably.

“Support for larger and low income families is also still available. The most a large, low-income family will have to pay for all of their kids to enter is $30,” Trevor Mallard said.

To be eligible for this assistance, a parent or caregiver of a student must either be receiving a Work and Income or study link benefit or have an income that falls within the community services card thresholds - which range from $31,225 for a two-person family up to $51,813 for a six-person family.

International students do not receive this level of taxpayer-funded subsidy. For the majority of around 6000 international students, fees will drop from $400 to $375. For about 500 international students, the fees will increase from $200 to $375. These changes have been made in order to introduce the flat fee structure.

ENDS

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