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New Funding Framework Must Bring Fees Down

NZUSA BUDGET COMMENT

New Funding Framework Must Bring Fees Down

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is welcoming today’s budget announcement that the government will play a greater part in the setting of tertiary education fees, but is adding that they need to ensure the soon to be established fee maximums are set at a low level.

“Students associations have been calling for fee regulations for years – we’re glad that the government will again be involved in fee setting. However any regulation is pointless if the maximum levels are set too high,” said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell.

“Labour should start by setting a flat maximum fee of $1000 as they promised during the 1996 election. They should then aim to decrease fees annually as part of addressing the student debt crisis,” said Campbell.

“We have had three years of fee freezes and students expect to soon see reductions. The governments review of student support would be a good place to signal such a move,” said Campbell.

“Today’s announcement simply brings New Zealand’s fee setting parameters into line with the rest of the world. There are very few countries that allow tertiary providers to set any fee they like. The result of that policy in New Zealand was the average university fee increasing by 211% since 1992,” said Campbell.

“There was basically nothing in this budget in the way of increased student support. NZUSA figures show that student debt has increased by 18% under this government and student debt has grown by $2 billion. The problems are far from fixed,” said Campbell.

ENDS
For further information please contact
Andrew Campbell NZUSA Co-President
Wk: 04 498 2500 Cell: 0274 86 86 77

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