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Fee changes see Auckland students worse off

Student fee changes see Auckland students worse off

University of Auckland students will be disadvantaged by the tertiary education changes highlighted in the Budget today, and will end up paying substantially more for their courses.

The 2010 budget has removed the fee and course cost maxima system, replacing it with an annual fee movement level set at four percent.

“Previously, the numerical cap had protected Auckland students, because we were already charging the highest fee possible, meaning annual rises have been less than five percent. This has kept the cost of tertiary education low, making it accessible for a wide range of people to participate” said Alex Nelder, Auckland University Students’ Association (AUSA) Education Vice President.

“Auckland University students already pay the highest student fees in New Zealand and these changes will further increase the debt burden on our students” said Mr. Nelder. “The four percent threshold appears small, yet the fees for a first year student in a conjoint Law and Arts degree will have increased by 20 percent at completion.”

“Student debt will reach 20 billion dollars by 2022 – these changes will further serve to pass the buck of under funding in the tertiary sector onto students, and will contribute to the already massive debt burden on students and graduates in New Zealand” said Mr. Nelder.

“The Government urgently needs to address the high level of student debt in this country, before student fees become so high that only the few can participate. New Zealand needs to become an innovative, highly educated and high skilled population. These changes undermine this goal and will invariably shut more people out of education,” said AUSA President Elliott Blade.

ENDS

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