Otago Daily Times

Fees hike for do­mes­tic stu­dents

- HAMISH MACLEAN Business · Education · College · Higher Education · University of Otago · Turnhout

DO­MES­TIC Uni­ver­sity of Otago stu­dents will face in­creased tu­ition fees next year as Covid­19 puts a more than $17 mil­lion hole in the uni­ver­sity’s bud­get.

The Uni­ver­sity Coun­cil yes­ter­day ap­proved a 1.1% in­crease in all do­mes­tic tu­ition fees for 2021 com­pared with this year’s fees, the max­i­mum al­lowed.

Uni­ver­sity chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Sharon van Turn­hout’s re­port to the coun­cil shows the uni­ver­sity is ex­pect­ing a $17.3 mil­lion loss in in­come from in­ter­na­tional tu­ition fees next year if Covid­19 border clo­sures remain in place.

Ms van Turn­hout said stu­dent achieve­ment com­po­nent fund­ing would in­crease $4.9 mil­lion.

But even with the max­i­mum al­low­able fee in­crease, as do­mes­tic tu­ition fees brought in an added $2.5 mil­lion, the uni­ver­sity’s bud­gets would con­tinue to be un­der pres­sure next year due to the im­pact of Covid­19, and would fail to meet the Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion’s guide­lines for group sur­pluses.

A ‘‘rea­son­able sur­plus’’ was re­quired to help fund the uni­ver­sity’s cap­i­tal pro­gramme, which ad­dressed com­pli­ance is­sues such as seis­mic strength­en­ing.

Tu­ition fee costs for first­year do­mes­tic stu­dents, in­clud­ing the 1.1% in­crease, would be met by the Gov­ern­ment un­der its fees­free first­year sys­tem, she said.

It was agreed next year’s com­pul­sory stu­dent ser­vices fees would be $879 in­clu­sive of GST, a 6% in­crease on this year.

This in­crease was re­quired to com­pen­sate for the pro­jected drop in equiv­a­lent full time stu­dents and to re­cover costs, Ms van Turn­hout said.

Otago Uni­ver­sity Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Jack Man­ning voted against the in­creases, cit­ing an op­po­si­tion to bar­ri­ers to ac­ces­si­bil­ity of ed­u­ca­tion.

 ?? PHOTO: CHRIS­TINE O’CON­NOR ?? The Uni­ver­sity Coun­cil yes­ter­day ap­proved a 1.1% in­crease in all do­mes­tic tu­ition fees for next year.
PHOTO: CHRIS­TINE O’CON­NOR The Uni­ver­sity Coun­cil yes­ter­day ap­proved a 1.1% in­crease in all do­mes­tic tu­ition fees for next year.

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