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March 21, 2011 | by  | in News |
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“We’re not in 1992 now Mr Joyce!”

The last time the course-related costs entitlement increased was the year Shortland Street first graced our screens and the Green Party believes an increase is overdue.

Green Party Tertiary Education Spokesperson Gareth Hughes released a statement stating students’ course-related costs entitlement should increase to $1500 a year to reflect inflation, directed at Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce.
“The course-related costs component of the student loan scheme hasn’t changed since 1992, but the cost of being a student has risen dramatically,” says Hughes.

He believes it is unfair that students today are facing increasing costs but receiving the same amount as students in 1992. Inflation means $1000 in 1992 has the same purchasing power as $1492 today.

“A more realistic figure for course-related costs in 2011 is $1500, and this should be indexed to inflation in future to ensure it doesn’t get so out of step again,” he says.

Students spoken to by Salient are in favour of the change.
“You could actually buy a decent computer with that amount,” said one.
Hughes believes an increase is even more important at present with the prospect of voluntary student membership (VSM).
Added to our fees is a $143.70 subscription to VUWSA (for full-time students). Should VSM eventuate, students choosing to join VUWSA will have to find other means to cover this cost.

“Having to pay student association fees out of course-related costs will create another strain on the already tight budget of $1000 for many students,” he says.

“Its very concerning that course related costs have not gone up since Shortland Street started airing,” Seamus Brady, President of VUWSA, said. “That statistic is almost as horrible as the show itself.

“Student costs have certainly skyrocketed. Some courses, such as Architecture and Design, Medicine or Nursing have had their course-related expenses go through the roof. The Government needs to recognise that if they want a ‘return’ on the investment they’ve made in tertiary education, they need to ensure that students are properly supported to successfully complete their degrees.”

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