SCU Council votes not to increase HECS fees

Published 21 May 2004

Southern Cross University (SCU) will not increase HECS fees in 2005, the Chancellor, The Honourable Justice John Dowd, announced today.

The Federal Government’s Higher Education package provides for Australian universities to increase HECS fees for most courses by up to 25 per cent.

Speaking following a decision by the University Council today, Chancellor Dowd said that there was agreement that fees should remain at their current level.

“The decision recognises the fact that SCU provides for many students from lower socio-economic backgrounds and any increase in fees would place a significant burden on many of these students,” he said.

“For many students a fee increase could well be the difference between them undertaking university studies or not or the amount of paid work they would be forced to undertake to support them through their studies.

“Whilst, like all universities, SCU faces significant cost pressures we are confident that we can still offer students the high standard of education that they have come to expect without increasing fees.”

Chancellor Dowd said SCU was one of seven universities out of Australia’s 38 universities that had decided not to increase fees. Four regional universities had decided not to increase fees, while others such as the universities of New England and Southern Queensland had opted for a 20 per cent increase and the University of Newcastle by the maximum 25 per cent.

He said that the University would reassess its fees again next year for 2006, but would not speculate on the possible outcome of those discussions.

“SCU is committed to providing for the needs of students in the region but also needs to be able to attract top academics and continue to expand. There are many factors that need to be considered before a decision on fees is made for 2006 and movements within the university sector are being monitored closely.”

For further information: SCU Media Liaison Sara Crowe Ph: (02) 6620 3144 or M: 0439 858 057 or Nigel Tap M: 0418 431 484.