International student fees increased

Otago Polytechnic has pushed through modest fee increases for international students amid concern over the rising New Zealand dollar.

The increase comes as international student numbers continue to grow at the polytechnic, with 467 full-time-equivalent international students enrolled as of this week, compared with 256 in the corresponding period last year.

Otago Polytechnic communications director Mike Waddell said this was largely because of increases at its Auckland campus, with small increases at its Dunedin and Cromwell campuses.

To continue this trend, the polytechnic, in the closed section of its latest council meeting, voted to increase international fees for the majority of its courses by only 2.5%.

Because of ''intense competition'' in the Auckland market, it decided not to increase fees at its Auckland campus.

Other exceptions were for courses which were either significantly more expensive than competitors' courses (no increases), or cheaper than them (increased by 4%).

''This is about meeting the market expectation, the rise of the New Zealand dollar and remaining competitive in what is a competitive market place,'' Mr Waddell said.

The rising dollar meant increasing fees by any more could put people off studying at the polytechnic.

''When people are paying $18,000 or $19,000 per year, price is one of the influences [on where they choose to study].''

vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

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