Student associations fear most tertiary institutions will increase their fees for next year by the maximum allowed by the government.
Radio New Zealand reports three tertiary institutions have raised their fees for 2011 – all by the 4 percent maximum allowed by the government.
NZUSA expects most other tertiary institutions will do the same. They also worry institutions will raise their fees for student services, despite government warnings about such increases.
Co-president Pene Delaney says Government under-funding to the sector is driving the increases, and with the rise in GST will take the overall rise to 6.5%.
But he is also concerned institutions will raise their student service levies. He says some institutions last year raised their levies by as much as 400– 500 percent.
A spokeswoman for tertiary education minister Steven Joyce told the Manawatu Standard that recently several institutions had made significant increases to student service levies.
“These are to cover things like student health, gyms and the like – but the amounts being charged are in some cases growing dramatically,” she said. “We’ve seen examples of institutions charging things like a building maintenance levy or library services or compulsory charges for internet access. Once upon a time these things were core services.”
She said Mr Joyce was determined to ensure students were getting a fair deal.
“As a first step he’s written to chief executives of tertiary institutions to formally raise the issue and lay out his concerns. He’s also asked for information on the fees institutions charge, and what services they provide for those fees,” she said.