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Waikato Uni treats students as a cash cow

13 October 2005

Waikato Uni is treating its students like a cash cow

The University of Waikato is treating its students and their loan accounts as a cash cow with its decision to increase fees for the third year in a row, Green Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says.

The University's council voted yesterday for an average three-and-a-half percent increase next year in domestic student fees, with some courses rising by as much as five percent.

"Waikato University's decision to increase its fees again shows that it has no concern for the increasing costs and debt burden borne by its students," Mrs Turei says.

"This certainly looks like an example of a University using the fee maxima system and student fees to suck money out of the student loan scheme for monument building. This is a shell game between the Universities and the Government, with students ultimately picking up the tab.

"The University recently sacked staff and decided to invest in $30 million for a 'super campus' that will be paid for by increasing students' fees. Clearly flash new offices are the priority and the actual human beings seeking and providing an education in its lecture theatres are the lowest priority for the University.

"These actions demonstrate the failure of the fee maxima policy, which was supposed to control the ever-increasing cost of a university education. Without strict limits on fees, as the Greens have continually advocated, students remain vulnerable to Universities' desire to maximise their income.

"This also highlights the urgent need for the Government to both restrict fee increases more effectively and enable wider access to student allowances," Mrs Turei says.


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