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Labour extends failed policy on student fees

Labour extends failed policy on student fees

Students are outraged that the Labour Government are extending the malfunctioning Fee Maxima scheme by another year, and have delivered a double-whammy by also loosening up the rules around fee setting for institutions.

“This is a missed opportunity. Not only has Labour failed to implement a fee regime that would offer genuine fee stability, but they have now removed controls for extremely high fees. This is totally unacceptable”, says Joey Randall, Co-President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).

Previously, institutions with course fees already above the approved Maxima had to drop fees by 5 percent, or to the Maxima. The new proposal would remove this requirement.

“Labour has pretended that Fee Maxima has reduced fees, when in reality the policy has become a Fee Minima for many institutions, and fees have continued to rise. The policy has never worked”, said Randall.

Tertiary tuition fees have been increasing since 1990, with New Zealand students now paying some of the highest fees in the world. Many are left with little choice but to rely on the student loan scheme to support themselves through study, resulting in high levels of debt.

NZUSA calls on the Government to prove its commitment to education and student support by abolishing both the inadequate Fee Maxima scheme and out of control fees – by introducing free, publicly funded tertiary education.

ENDS

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