Otago to increase international student fees

The University of Otago council has voted to increase its international student fees across a range of subjects for 2019.

In papers prepared for a university council meeting this week, deputy vice-chancellor for external engagement Helen Nicholson said the university's Study Abroad fees were already the highest in the country and she recommended they not be changed.

''In a price-sensitive market, which is particularly the case in Europe, it is advisable that we do not outprice ourselves by increasing fees further above the other New Zealand universities,'' Prof Nicholson said.

However, fees will rise across the board for other international programmes.

Health sciences undergraduate and postgraduate courses had some of the biggest rises, rising by 5% and 4% respectively and undergraduate humanities subjects - excluding law - rose by 3%.

The most expensive subject for international students to study will still be dental surgery, coming in at $95,319 a year, $5000 higher than the present fee.

International fees to study law rose by 4%, and the master of peace and conflict studies programme rose by 5%.

In the science department, undergraduate and postgraduate subjects rose by 3%.

Business subjects had only a small rise of 2% for both undergraduate and postgraduate subjects.

Prof Nicholson said Otago was ''particularly well-known for the strength of its health sciences programmes, with international student applications far exceeding the places available for the professional programmes''.

The most popular undergraduate subjects for international students to study last year included science, which drew 248 students, commerce, which had 157, dental surgery, which attracted 83 and health sciences, which had 76.

The decision on tuition fees comes shortly after the university dropped 24 places in annual international QS rankings. Otago is now rated 175th worldwide. The university is still ranked second in New Zealand after Auckland University.

Academic deputy vice-chancellor Vernon Squire was unconcerned about the drop, saying the ranking was a ''satisfying result'' and the university was ''pleased to continue to secure a strong international ranking from QS for 2019''.

''It is important to note that ranking results do fluctuate, both up and down, from year to year,'' Prof Squire said.



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