University fee hike blamed on Govt
Tue, 16 Oct 2012 9:41a.m.
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.
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19/10/2012 12:29:15 p.m.
To put things into perspective this Government as part of its measures to offset its $16 billion pa tax cuts for the rich has cut teriary education funding by $1 billion and increased educational fees right across the board.
Time to do way with the tax cuts for the rich and to reinstate the cut back educational funding. Time to put an end to the tax cut rort to line the pockets of Cabinet Ministers and their rich mates. Students arise you have nothing to lose but your chains and a usurous government.
18/10/2012 1:48:24 p.m.
Having work in the University sector as an allied (general)staff member for close to ten years it is clear to me that pay rises in this sector over that time have reflected cost of living rises only for the vast majority. Universities in NZ are not known for their high salaries - most of us choose to work in this environment for reasons other than taking home a fat pay packet. Of course some of the additional costs Universities are faced with are related to staffing; attracting the quality of staff NZ needs to educate our students and ensure ours are Universities of choice makes this a no brainer. However, these costs are overshadowed by the significant increases in plant costs Universities are facing ie rates, insurance and power. And yes unfortunately some of this must be passed on to the consumer i.e. the students.
17/10/2012 10:37:50 a.m.
Naturally there is a rise in costs across the board that's totally understandable, and the costs have to be recovered in some way - maybe there could be a compromise in the rise of fees. Universities need to be able to keep good staff and resources to enable quality teaching and provide the best education possible.
16/10/2012 4:48:19 p.m.
Willem what country do you live in exactly?.
Cost of living increases have been phenominal in New Zealand over the last year alone.
There is a major housing shortage in many cities so private rental prices have increased astronomically, yes mainly due to greed from landlords as they have seen demand skyrocket and have decided to charge accordingly.
That University course costs are going up is not to big a deal in all honesty, National changed the structure of universities so that they are primarily for the children of New Zealands elite now.
So a little cost increase for those people wont be all that damaging, its those people who dont have rich mummy and daddies who will be hurt the most.
Though it is likely that foreign student numbers may drop substantially with the cost of living increases that are happening in our major cities.
16/10/2012 1:15:21 p.m.
For the last decade universities allied staff have only had payrises keeping up with inflation. Expect a steady flow of highly trained and talented staff across the ditch as Auckland living costs rises out of proportion.
16/10/2012 12:35:59 p.m.
University staff would receive a immeadiate 30%+ rise in income if they moved to Australia. John Key wants foreign students numbers to double from the $1.5B their now worth, so theres the governments answer to NZs higher education funding. Welcome to the innovative and knowledge economy, just not in NZ, its doing okay floating on a sea of milk, in a liferaft.
16/10/2012 11:13:39 a.m.
Has any of the high paid staff considered taking a pay cut, like most of the 'ordinary' New Zealanders had to live with? The general costs of living (apart from Council charges/rates) are going down or are flat. So, the 3.7% increase mentioned is likely to come from salary and wages, which seems unacceptable in this current economic climate.
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