SCU fees up 25 per cent
By RENEE REDMOND
A MAJOR hike in HECS fees could see some Southern Cross University students paying up to $7000 extra for their degree.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark yesterday announced a 25 per cent increase in HECS fees beginning next year.
Prof Clark said the $100million organisation would disappear down a hole if the university did not increase its fees.
"I believe this is the worst possible way of doing it, but we were left no other option," he said.
"We were holding out for the Government's review of indexation arrangements, but when they an- nounced we wouldn't be given any extra funding, we were forced to make this decision.
"The 25 per cent is not an upfront fee. Students do not have to pay any of their university fees back until they start earning $38,000 or more a year."
Prof Clark said he would meet with the student group on Monday to discuss ways of using some of the funds to reduce upfront costs.
"We want to find out how we can impact on initial costs like reducing the cost of study notes," he said.
Prof Clark predicted the increase would only keep the uni- versity out of the red until 2010.