Entire class of 2014 given reprieve as Deakin Uni freezes student fees

DEAKIN has become the first university nationwide to declare it will carry the cost of grandfathering all of its 2014 students from budget cuts once 2016 rolls around.

The university has slammed the federal government’s approach, labelling it unfair and has decided to freeze fees at pre-budget levels for all students who started studies this year.

Deakin vice-chancellor Jane den Hollander said the decision was made in response to the federal government’s move to lift caps on tuition fees for students accepting an offer from May 14, the day after Treasurer Joe Hockey handed down the federal budget.

The Deakin chief says the government should acknowledge the added impost placed on universities by the reforms and make up the difference.

“We recognise that in this time of change we need to provide certainty for those seeking to further their education or who are being put off by the turmoil of the budget discussion,” she said in a statement.

“It does not seem fair that those students who enrol at Deakin the day after the budget will have different conditions than those who enrolled the day before the budget.

“All of our students deserve to have a clear understanding of the costs of their degree and studies.”

Professor den Hollander said the university’s trimester system meant debate around the impact of the budget on course fees would not be resolved by Deakin’s early July enrolment date.

“Deakin is therefore offering students who start their studies in the second trimester the identical fee conditions as their classmates who began in the first trimester,” she said.

“We will treat the class of 2014 as one cohort, with the same (pre-budget) fees, for the duration of their undergraduate studies. 

“To do otherwise would be unfair.”

The office of federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne was contacted for comment but did not respond in time for deadline.

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