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September 14, 2009 | by  | in News |
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University looking at “substantial” levy increase

Ka kite, money. Ka kite.

Victoria University is expected to increase its Student Services Levy by a “substantial” amount in 2010, Vice-Chancellor Pat Walsh told a fees forum last Wednesday.

The forum, organised by VUWSA and the university, detailed the university’s challenging financial position, and highlighted that tougher times lay ahead.

The decision whether or not to increase the Student Fee in addition to tuition fees will not be made official until the meeting of the university’s Council on 21 September.

Facing a minimum revenue loss of $1.3 million next year, $3.1 million in 2011 and $3.4 million in 2012, it is expected the university’s Financial Committee will recommend to the University Council that levies be increased.

It is also expected that managed enrolments will be introduced next year, becoming university-wide in 2011.

Needing to maintain a 3% revenue surplus, and an expectation that the National Government will not maintain its tertiary funding at the level of Consumer Price Index (CPI), Walsh anticipated that Victoria’s revenue drop will be double of that forecast ($3 million next year, $6 million in 2011 and approx $7 million in 2012).

A partnership between VUWSA and the university regarding the operation of student services is also being considered, but Walsh stressed this was only in its preliminary stages.

Despite the proposed levy increases, Walsh stressed that it was by no means indicative of a trend towards further increases beyond next year.

“If the student levy is increased in 2010 it would be wrong to assume that students would automatically face increases in 2011 and 2012, however the university would want to ensure the level of services was maintained,” Walsh said.

“The university wants to ensure that services are preserved and there are no barriers to students accessing the services.”

Walsh’s sentiments were echoed by Chancellor Tim Beaglehole, who noted that the university’s finances were stuck in the mud.

“Council, when assessing fees, has little choice but to put them up to some extent,” Beaglehole told the forum.

“There is no other income that we have control of.”

VUWSA President Jasmine Free­mantle felt the forum was productive, and supported the changes proposed by the university.

“VUWSA is strongly supportive of the continuation of high quality and accessible student services,” Freemantle said.

But NZUSA Co-President Jordon King described the proposed levy increase as completely unacceptable.

“What it looks like is something similar to what has been introduced at Canterbury University, where levies were increased by $400-$500 dollars, and this is not acceptable at all,” King said.

“There is no justification for such a large jump and students have every right to be concerned.”

The University Council will meet to discuss possible fee rises for 2010 on 21 September.

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  1. emily dickinson says:

    This is a disaster for part-time students, just finding their way to, or back to, university. For example, who on earth is going to pay $510.00, in addition to fees, for a six-week course in the summer trimester? Why can’t Victoria at the very least fractionalize the student levy?

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