University fee hike blamed on Govt

  • 15/10/2012

The University of Auckland and student council are calling on the Government to stump up more funding after it was announced student fees would rise by the maximum 4 percent next year.

Vice-chancellor Stuart McCutcheon says the increase is regrettable but necessary given Government funding restraints and an increase in running costs.

Costs, including utilities, research and teaching supplies, are expected to increase by 3.7 percent in 2013 while the average increase in tuition subsidies from the Government this year was 1.2 percent.

Costs that can't be recovered through fees or Government funding will be $6.6 million next year.

"We need to address this problem if we want to have a genuinely world class university system", Professor McCutcheon said.

The increase means annual fees for Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts degrees will cost students about $200 more next year.

Fees for international students, which are set a year ahead of domestic student fees, will rise by 3.3 percent in 2014.

Auckland University Students' Association (AUSA) president Arena Williams blamed the Government for the rise saying it needed to fork out more or poor students would be left picking up the tab.

"If New Zealand wants to continue to be a world leader in education, Government has to come to the party," she said.

"While universities are struggling to keep their heads above water in a dynamic global environment, government funding is stalling."

She says student fees have risen each year since 2008.

AUSA is calling on the university to send a message to Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce that yearly fee increases are unsustainable.

Wellington's Victoria University and Dunedin's Otago University will raise fees by four per cent in 2013.

Victoria University has also applied to the Tertiary Education Commission to raise fees for Humanities, Social Sciences and Education courses by a further 4 percent.

NZN

source: newshub archive