Students slugged for uni services
Former president of SCU Coffs Harbour Student Association, Kelly Walker, met with Youth Minister Kate Ellis earlier this year to comment on a discussion paper aimed at improving campus services.
At the time, Ms Walker said the re-introduction of compulsory fees would be detrimental to the work student bodies do, and that she voted for a proposal for the government to fund core services such as advocacy, welfare and representation.
But Minister Ellis's announcement this week that compulsory fees would be charged from next year has taken the onus off the government and put it squarely on the university.
“University administrations are better placed to manage services like health, childcare, counselling and club funding,” Ms Ellis said.
The plan will allow universities to raise a possible annual net income of $250 million, money that Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, has labelled as 'tax'. Mr Hartsuyker said the compulsory fee was a 'major blow' to young students.
“The bottom line is that this is a tax on students, it's a compulsory fee for services that students may never utilise,” Mr Hartsuyker said.