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September 27, 2010 | by  | in Opinion | [ssba]

President’s column


The VUWSA General Election is currently underway and this week you’ll probably be spammed with various leaflets, posters and fliers from people wanting your vote. But that’s a good thing. VUWSA’s democracy is a wonderful thing.

You will receive an email to your student email address inviting you to vote and you can also choose to vote in person. If you care about your University – the quality of education you receive and what your students’ association does to improve your time at University – its really important you get out to vote.

The Executive play an important role at Victoria. They are responsible for the strategic direction and governance of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association.
They also represent students within Victoria University and attend a wide variety of committees and board meetings to ensure students are fairly represented on all important matters.

A great example of this is the Student Services Levy Committee.  As a result of the strong relationships VUWSA built with the University, the Committee decided to recommend that there would be no increase to the levy for 2011. Last year the Council raised your levy significantly. It is great to see this year that the University has recognised the concerns of students and agreed not to increase the levy at all.

This week, we will also be advocating for a new “rolling reviews” system – whereby all student services are reviewed regularly, to ensure they are responsive to student needs and concerns. This is an important step to ensure that student money is spent responsibly and student services are operating effectively.


Last Monday the University Council decided to raise your fees by 4%. With the addition of the new increases to GST this has resulted in a 6.2% increase to your student fees for next year.

I, along with your other student representative – Conrad Reyners – spoke against this motion. Both of us highlighted the problems with the University constantly relying on students to bail them out.  We think that the University should provide us a quality education, but within its means.

Fees increases, lead to increases in the amount of student debt which is now at over $11 billion dollars. This is a massive amount of money, and it is having a large effect on what students can do after they graduate. Universities can no longer ignore the impact they have on the increased debt levels of the next generation of social leaders.

Kind regards,

Max Hardy


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