The University of Otago is raising international fees by
a more ''modest'' amount than usual, amid concern about
The university council yesterday voted to increase
international fees by about 2.5% for most courses.
Declining international enrolments have continued to hit the
university in the pocket, with a $2.873 million shortfall in
international tuition fees this year.
International student numbers at the end of May indicated a
4.6% decline on last year, against a forecast for a 2.6%
University of Otago international pro-vice-chancellor Prof
Helen Nicholson said several factors - especially the high
New Zealand dollar - were making it difficult for the
''Anecdotal evidence suggests that the overall perception of
New Zealand's reputation as an affordable study destination
is suffering and this has been exacerbated by the New Zealand
dollar moving closer to parity with the Australian dollar.''
The university had also suffered because of the end of
overseas government sponsored programmes in the health
sciences and a decline in commencing students from New
Zealand secondary schools.
Given this environment, she recommended a more modest
increase than last year, when the university increased
international fees in most courses by 5% for undergraduate
students and 4% for postgraduate students.
It was unclear whether there would be an increase in numbers
''A more positive national picture is beginning to emerge for
2014 but it is not clear at this stage whether this will
significantly contribute to increased international
enrolments at Otago in 2015.''
Vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne was keen to point out that
attracting international students was ''much more'' than just
International students brought ''cultural diversity'' and the
university was focused on giving them the best experience
The fee increase comes as the Dunedin City Council and the
city's education sector are working towards the goal of
doubling the value international education brings to the
Dunedin's economy to $330 million a year by 2023.