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July 7, 2008 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Government proposes reduction in maximum fees increase, recieves resounding “meh” from staff and students

A Government proposal to reduce the maximum amount which universities can increase their fees by next year has received mixed reactions, with the New Zealand Union of Student Associations (NZUSA) criticising the entire scheme as “really defeat[ing] the purpose.”

Under the current fee maxima scheme, a cap is placed on the maximum increase that can be made by universities each year without an exemption, with the intention of preventing excessive increases.

This limit has been set at five per cent for the last six years. The new government proposal would decrease the maximum increase allowable in 2009 to 2.6 per cent, with the stated aim of “signall[ing] stability in student fees”.

However, university organisations have reacted unenthusiastically to the proposal. Association of University Staff (AUS) academic vice-president Dr Grant Duncan said that while it was highly desirable for the cost of tertiary education be kept as low as possible, more government funding would consequently be needed to maintain the high quality and good reputation of New Zealand universities.

NZUSA also responded cautiously to the proposed limit. Co-president Paul Falloon was sceptical of the effect that it will have on keeping fees down, noting: “If you’re going to have limits that are really high and continue to increase them every year, it really defeats the purpose.”

The Government is currently accepting submissions on the planned rates until 17 July.


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  1. Brad H says:

    Does anyone else realise that Salient has this wrong?

    Fee Maxima is set at 2.6%. Which is the maximum amount that courses that are already at their maximum costs can rise by.

    Courses that are below this maximum can still rise but by a maximum of 5% – I have forgotten what the actual name for the 5% is but it is different from the fee maxima percentage.

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