Maharey Promises Fee Maxima
2 June 02
Students were pleased to hear Labour's election commitment that tertiary fees will be lowered to an affordable level if Labour is re-elected. Labour's "commitment to a policy to issue a tuition fee maxima" is supported by the Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association (ATSA), which has advocated for such a fee-capping system for a number of years.
In July 2001, the Minister for Tertiary Education Steve Maharey addressed the ATSA National Conference and stated that "around $1250 would be a fair contribution from students".
ATSA wholly supports a maximum fee at the level proposed by Mr Maharey. "Labour's promise appears to be a step in the right direction for tertiary education," said Julie Pettett, ATSA National President. "The speed at which Labour implemented its tertiary policies after the last election indicates that setting all fees at $1,250 is achievable for the 2004 academic year."
ATSA calls on the next government to immediately address the rising level of student debt. "Labour clearly understands that the cost of tertiary education to students is at a ridiculous and unsustainable level," said Pettett. "It is no secret that the cost of tertiary education has risen nearly three hundred percent in the last decade. We have been waiting for Labour to make a serious commitment to addressing this issue. It would appear that they are now ready to take the next step towards a free and open tertiary education system."