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ACU refuses to raise HECS fees

The Australian Catholic University will not increase HECS levels next year, bucking the pattern of universities raising fees by 25%, the maximum allowed under the Federal Government's higher education changes.

A meeting of the university's national senate in Sydney yesterday decided to maintain HECS rates. It said the decision was a statement of the university's commitment to equity and social justice.

Vice-chancellor Peter Sheehan (pictured) said the university would try to develop other sources of income rather than impose further financial burden on students.

"The mission of the university, which concentrates on equity and social justice, is not just an idle statement. We feel we should sustain that as best we can," he said.

Professor Sheehan said the easy decision would have been to increase fees but the university would look to sponsorships, donations and Federal Government funding for extra revenue.

"Our policy not just protects our mission, but opens our programs to students who really can't afford university," he said.

The Catholic University has six campuses in Australia, with about 4000 students at its Ballarat and Melbourne campuses. The decision to freeze HECS fees will be reviewed for 2006.

Catholic University refuses to raise HECS fees (The Age 26/3/04)

ACU National freezes 2005 fees - cites equity and justice principles (Australian Catholic University 25/3/04)
Students, police injured in Monash University fees protest (The Age 26/3/04)
Angry students storm uni over fee hike (The Australian 26/3/04)
ACU National marks the centenary of Central Hall (Australian Catholic University 25/3/04)
ACU National graduation at Parliament House (Australian Catholic University 25/3/04)
ACU National

26 Mar 2004