Like butter, this New Zealand university fees are getting more expensive
Butter prices in New Zealand are now at a record high. This university's fees following the same trend. Source: Shutterstock

The University of Otago will be hiking its fees starting next year, the Otago Daily Times reported.

The compulsory service fee will go up by eight percent, while course fees will increase by two percent, the university council decided on Tuesday.

According to chief financial officer Sharon van Turnhout’s report, the school’s finances have been hit by low student number growth and increased costs.

”The building programme will provide significant benefits to the university and its students, but also applies pressure to the operating result as the draw-down of cash to complete it reduces investment income.

”It is, therefore, necessary to increase student tuition fees by the fully permitted two percent.”

By comparison, overall food prices in New Zealand are up by around the same figures as well (2.3 percent), according to Stats NZ. New Zealand Herald reported that the price of butter has hit a record high of NZD5.39 per 500g block, up 62 percent since August last year.

While this tuition fee increase is very much lower than that of butter’s inflation rate in the country, the two percent tuition fee hike still means 2018’s fees for arts, languages and mathematics undergraduate degrees will increase by NZD114, bringing it to NZD5,793. For undergraduates, their fees would now be NZD6,462 after factoring in the NZD127 increase.

As for the compulsory service fee, the university said the eight percent hike (NZD59) will go towards measures like in sexual health and mental health.

The university’s Students’ Association president Hugh Baird supports the fees rise.

”Obviously, eight percent is quite a lot, and it’s something that we don’t take lightly, but … two of the biggest issues are mental health services and sexual violence prevention,” Baird said.

”This increase in the compulsory services fee is going to go to try to work on [those issues].”

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