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Fee freeze to save students $1000 next year

2 September 2001
Media Statement

Fee freeze to save students $1000 next year

Students will save $1000 on average next year now that fee stabilisation has been confirmed for the second year in a row.

Speaking to the New Zealand University Students' Association conference at Massey University's Albany campus this afternoon, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said he was pleased that all tertiary institutions had agreed to accept the Government's 2.6 percent funding increase offer in return for holding their fees at current levels in 2002.

He said cutting the cost of tertiary education was a key election pledge and the Government has now delivered on that promise two years running.

"With fee stabilisation secured for another year students and their families can now be sure that the Government is keeping its word.

"Fees increased 12 percent annually on average under National and would have continued to do so. When Labour and the Alliance were elected fees averaged $4,040 and would have risen to over $5,000 by now without the additional investment the Government has provided in both our budgets.

"There are in excess of 225,000 students enrolled at New Zealand's universities, polyetchnics, colleges of education and wananga. Fee stablisation means they aren't forced to get deeper into debt and is also a signal to those considering study that it is an attractive option.

"Acceptance of the fee stablisation offer also signals an important milestone in the Government's relationship with the tertiary sector.

"The protracted debate we had with tertiary institutions was only broken when we were able to sit calmly around the table to discuss where Government policy was heading and what assistance we could offer the tertiary sector to meet those challenges.

"Keeping fees down is an intelligent investment in our future and sends a clear signal that education is the key to unlocking New Zealanders potential," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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