Auckland University To Return $100,000 In Fees
University of Auckland to refund students over $100,000 in overcharged fees following Commission investigation
The University of Auckland will refund 18 international Bachelor of Nursing and Bachelor of Health Science students a total of $102,354.48 in overcharged fees, $7,222.36 in interest, and $14,000 in compensation, following a Commerce Commission investigation.
The Commission investigated allegations of overcharging of course fees by the University of Auckland for international students taking the Bachelor of Nursing course. As a result of the Commission’s investigation, the University undertook an audit of international student fees paid in Human Biology courses for Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Health Sciences and Bachelor of Pharmacy from 2001 to 2004.
“The University’s audit found that 13 international students enrolled for the Bachelor of Nursing course during 2001, 2002 and 2003 were overcharged $67,994.94 in course fees,” said Director of Fair Trading Deborah Battell.
“In addition, five international students enrolled in the Bachelor of Health Science course during 2003 were overcharged $34,359.54 in fees.”
Ms Battell said the University had advised the Commission that the overcharging arose unintentionally, as a result of the students being charged for the courses at the same rates as medical students, who attract a higher fee rate.
“While the Commission accepts that the overcharging error in this case was not deliberate, and is satisfied that the situation has been rectified with the students both refunded and compensated for their loss, the Commission views such matters seriously,” said Ms Battell.
“It is very important that all organisations in trade, including educational institutions, have systems in place to minimise the chances of breaching the Fair Trading Act and that they properly investigate matters that are brought to their attention by their customers.”
Ms Battell said it was particularly unfortunate that it took the Commission’s intervention before the mistakes were properly identified and rectified.
“The Commission was, however, satisfied by the University’s response once matters were drawn to the attention of the acting Vice Chancellor, and is reassured that the University is now addressing the systems issues that were raised.”