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July 10, 2006 | by  | in News |
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TEC Stalls on Vic Exemption: “Shitfuck” probably an exaggeration

COURSE FEES for trimester two will not be bumped up an extra five percent, after the University failed to receive an exemption to the fee maxima rules in time for the start of classes.

The fee maxima system limits the amount universities can raise student fees to a maximum of five percent. However, institutions can apply to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) for an exemption under “exceptional” circumstances.

“Exceptional” circumstances can include where the cost of the course is not covered by the income generated, the course can not be cross-subsidised by an overall surplus or that not raising the fees would impact on the ability of the university to meet the government’s tertiary education strategy.

After a ten percent fee rise for undergraduate students studying humanities, social sciences and education was approved by the University Council too late to gain approval for trimester one, Vic applied to the TEC for an extra five percent increase in trimester two.

Acting Vice-Chancellor David Mackay said last week that the TEC had “yet to decide whether to grant the exemption” in time for second trimester enrolment, and so the University was unable to charge increased fees.

However, Mackay says the TEC has indicated that a recommendation may be made to the TEC Board by the end of July. If an exemption was granted the rise would apply to summer papers.

A similar application by Massey University was recently denied by the Commission.

TEC representative Ruth Anderson says the Commission is still awaiting a response from Vic, but was unable to give any further details. She did, however, say that both the University and students would be advised as soon as a decision had been made.

VUWSA President Nick Kelly, who made a submission against the increase on behalf of Vic students, says the University was not suffering from circumstances exceptional enough to justify a extra fee rise.

Kelly also says an exemption for trimester three would set a precedent for 2007, allowing the University to have a high starting base for increases next year.

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Nicola Kean: feature writer, philanthropist, womanly woman. Nicola is the smallest member of the Salient team, but eats really large pieces of lasagne. Favourites include 80s music, the scent of fresh pine needles and long walks on the beach.

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