The Manawatu Standard reports that Massey University continues to lobby to increase its students fees above the four percent limit imposed by the Government’s annual maximum fee movement policy.
The vice-chancellor Steve Maharey says the university’s student fee income was $7.2 million short of budget last year and that shortfall was partly due to government-enforced capping of student enrolments and relatively low domestic fees.
Last year Massey and Victoria University sought permission from the commission to increase their fees by up to eight percent. The commission refused the requests.
However Steve Maharey argues that Massey needs to increase fees for its education, humanities and social sciences papers which he says ‘lag behind other universities in cost but not quality’.
“All universities are finding this economy quite tough, because the Government has been freezing and cutting [funding]. We are saying to them that this cannot go on forever,” he told the Manawatu Standard.
Massey University Students’ Association president Steve Christodoulou said any bid to raise domestic fees would face strong opposition from students crippled by ballooning loans. “The more we charge students, the more the Government has in debt,” he said.
The Manawatu Standard reports that Massey ended 2012 with a healthy cash flow, more than a billion in assets, and a surplus of about $9.6m.
Steve Maharey has subsequently written to all Massey staff challenging the Manawatu Standard article saying it is not the case that Massey students will face significant fee increases in 2014.
“Massey is seeking only to pull its fees into line with other universities. Last year we were given indications that common sense would prevail and we would be allowed to make some adjustments – but the wheels of change sometimes move slowly,” Steve Maharey told staff.