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$11.5 Million Cutbacks Or 27% Fee Hike At Massey

$11.5 Million Cutbacks Or 27% Fee Hike At Massey University

Students at Massey University are facing a 27% fee increase or service cutbacks of $11.5 million as a result of the Government's tertiary education funding policy, National's Tertiary Education spokesman Maurice Williamson revealed today.

Information obtained by National under the Official Information Act shows Massey University's Council is considering four scenarios in light of the Government's inadequate funding offer.

"If Massey gives in to the Government's blackmail, students will be saved from the possible 27% fee hike but they'll bear the brunt of up to $11.5 million in cutbacks as the University struggles to balance the books.

"Massey's decision will impact on students in Palmerston North, Wellington and Albany as well as thousands of extramural students throughout New Zealand.

"Massey is the hub of agricultural research and study for New Zealand. The Government has been accused of empty rhetoric by the Vice Chancellors on its commitment to a 'knowledge society'; its actions on tertiary funding prove how empty its commitment is.

"Massey University is based in the Tertiary Education Minister's own electorate. It shows how shortsighted this Government is that universities are being forced into such a predicament," Mr Williamson said.

Papers released by the New Zealand Vice Chancellors Committee yesterday show talks have stalled between the Universities and the Government. The Universities are in a dire position and the Government seems focussed on holding the Universities responsible for breaking one of its election promises.

"Steve Maharey promised to reduce the cost of tertiary education for students. All he has achieved is an attempt to blackmail our institutions to freeze fees despite evidence from universities that services will be cut and the quality of education will suffer.

"The issue is simple. Either Government funding goes up, student fees go up or the standard of education goes down," Mr Williamson said.

Ends


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