Little benefit from zero-fee policy – Universities

Universities say the government's zero-fee policy for new tertiary students has increased administration costs, but is having little impact on enrolments. Universities said their staff had spent extra time explaining the zero-fee scheme to students and some had also had to change their IT systems, reports John Gerritsen for RNZ News.

Vice-chancellor of Auckland University of Technology Derek McCormack said its enrolments were about the same as last year, but the cost of the enrolment process had gone up, while the director of planning and information at the University of Auckland, Pamela Moss, said its enrolments had not increased, but the zero-fee policy had caused significant costs, especially in IT.

At the University of Waikato, enrolments from school leavers were very slightly up on last year, and the number of older students applying for the first time had also increased. But the senior deputy vice-chancellor, Alister Jones, said it was too early to tell if the zero-fee policy was responsible. He also said the policy had confused some students, and university staff had spent more time providing advice.
Full report on the Radio New Zealand site