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July 19, 2010 | by  | in News | [ssba]

Students get say on how much they’ll pay

News

While Joyce warns universities that their non-academic fees may soon come under fire, Vic students have the opportunity to have their say on the issue in the Student Services Levy Survey Consultation.

Run by the Student Services and Amenities Levy Advisory Committee (SSALAC) and VUWSA, the consultation gives students the chance to provide feedback on proposed changes to the levy before they are confirmed.

SSALAC was established last year following an agreement between VUWSA and the university to ensure students had a say in the levy and how it is spent.

VUWSA “vigorously opposed” the levy when it was introduced in 2010. Prior to this, services were funded through a combination of external sources, the university and students. The introduction of the levy saw the non-academic fee increase from $275 in 2009 to $510 for full-time students.

According to the committee’s draft proposal for 2011, the same level of services will be maintained, incurring a 1 to 3 per cent increase plus GST. Services covered by the levy include student health and the accommodation service, which are generally provided either for free or at a heavily subsidised rate.

VUWSA President Max Hardy encourages students to take part in the survey in order to have a greater impact on the outcome of 2011’s levy.

“VUWSA is able to give students a very powerful voice on this issue, but we need students to let us know what they think.”

Hardy has contacted the Vic student who told One News this month they were “bullied” into paying the levy.

The student said they were told they would be unable to continue their courses if the fee was not paid.

Hardy told Salient that he is “more than happy” to meet with students with similar concerns.

Students can complete the survey online at the VUWSA website until 23rd July.

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