Up-front fees at Curtin University

April 8, 1998

By Chris Latham

The speech and hearing faculty at Curtin University has approached the vice-chancellor for permission to charge up-front fees for domestic undergraduate students.

The threat of up-front fees is not new at Curtin. In 1997, the possibility was discussed, but the decision was postponed until mid-1998. The student guild leaders, however, did not inform students at the time.

At the March 30 guild council meeting, Labor right guild president Alison Karmalich said that before it can argue against the introduction of up-front fees, the guild must suggest an alternative source of funding.

Curtin Resistance Club member Shannon Buckley told Green Left Weekly: "It is important that all students fight against this fee, because the introduction of fees in one faculty will make it easier for Curtin to introduce fees for other courses, and easier for fees to be introduced on other campuses."

"The responsibility for adequate funding for university education lies with the government", Buckley said. "By focusing on finding 'alternative sources', the student guild is accepting the shift from education being a social responsibility towards the user-pays policies of the Labor and Liberal parties."

Buckley said that students are encouraged to attend the cross-campus Student Union Network and that it is hoped that an education action group can be formed to work with SUN to build the campaign against fees. Campaign stalls are on Wednesdays, 11am-2pm, outside the Old Bookshop. To get involved, telephone on 9227 7367.

[Chris Latham is a Curtin student guild councillor and a member of Resistance.]

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