INDEPENDENT NEWS

Biggest fee grab indictment on Otago, TEC and Govt

Published: Wed 10 Dec 2003 12:15 AM
Biggest fee grab indictment on Otago, TEC and Government
Students are disgusted at Otago University’s unjustified fee increase, and are today describing it as indictment on the University, the Tertiary Education Commission and the Government.
“Otago University is in a healthy financial position and does not need to raise student fees,” said Camilla Belich, spokesperson for the New Zealand University Students’ Association. “This fee grab should be seen for what it is – a greedy lunge for revenue to fund surpluses and build huge new buildings.”
NZUSA also blames the Tertiary Education Commission for granting Otago University an exemption to the Annual Fee Movement Limit of five percent.
“The TEC’s grounds for exemptions should have stopped Otago from making this massive fee rise,” said Belich. “We have no faith in their ability to grant exemptions, when they give them to one of the richest tertiary education institutions in the country. Many Otago students will face fee rises of ten percent because of the TEC’s failure in this area.”
Belich says that NZUSA will be demanding answers from Government about this unfair and unnecessary fee rise. “Labour promised to make tertiary education more affordable and to control fee rises to around the rate of inflation. Someone needs to tell Steve Maharey that the rate of inflation is not ten percent!”
“The Otago University decision to raise fees is undemocratic and cowardly, done in private when students have finished for the year. It should never have been allowed under the TEC’s rules for fee increases,” said Belich.
“This outrageous decision has shaken students’ faith in University Councils, in the Tertiary Education Commission, and in the Government which allows them to use students as cash cows to fund huge surpluses.”
ENDS

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