Government Underfunding Putting Cost Pressure on Students
Auckland University have increased tuition fees at the maximum allowed under current legislation for the 13th year in a
row. With fees increasing for domestic students by 2%, this forces many students to pay several hundreds of dollars more
than their 2016 fee levels.
A Bachelor of Arts degree, for example, has increased by over $600 since 2014. From 2018, it will now cost students
$6000.00 per year.
“Persistent underfunding of tertiary education by the Government has meant that the burden is transferred to staff and
students through increased fees and redundancies”, says Jessica Palairet, Education Vice President of Auckland
University Students’ Association (AUSA).
“Auckland University is slipping in international rankings, but the University Council claims they are forced to
increase fees as it is only of the only discretionary means the Council has to increase funding.”
“The Government should be using its surpluses to better fund the tertiary sector. It continually stresses the importance
of high-performing Universities to our economy, but its funding models are locking students into life long debt and
preventing many from going to University in the first place. The Government needs to back their statements on the
importance of tertiary education
with appropriate funding.”
“We would also like to challenge the University to champion the rights of students, and find savings elsewhere in their
budget. As an institution that caters to a large group of vulnerable New Zealanders, the University should be looking at
ways to reduce the costs pressures on students”.
“Increases in fees harm the New Zealand’s most vulnerable students the most. High fees have the worse effect on Maori,
Pasifika and female students. Higher fees will also disincentive many from attending University at all, with the
prospect of tens of thousands dollars of debt scaring many away from higher education. Education is a public good, and
is most effective when everyone can participate in the education system.”