Ice sculptures of Steven Joyce at Auckland University, as protest against fee rises

Press Release – Auckland University Students Association
The Auckland University Students’ Association is welcoming students back to campus during Orientation Week with a dramatic stunt to highlight rising fees.

“Fees have risen by 13% since 2007,” says Dan Haines, Vice President of AUSA. “Students are expected to take on incredible debts which have a huge impact on their lives after graduation. As graduate jobs are harder to come by, young people are putting off buying houses and starting families because of the massive debts hanging over their heads.”

AUSA will be displaying ice sculptures in the Quad today from 12pm, embodying “frozen fees” and depicting the Minister of Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce. “The Minister of Tertiary Education has become somewhat of a symbol for fee rises for us as students,” says Haines. “There just isn’t enough investment in the tertiary sector. Some of the blame for fee increases must lie with the institutions, but the real problem lies in a short sighted economic plan with no commitment to educating the future workforce.”

Students will be encouraged to bring details of their fees to the University of Quad at 12pm. The student with the highest fees will be invited to smash the ice sculptures with a mallet.

Arena Williams, President of AUSA, says that stunt will draw students’ attention to the issue. “It’s not just about higher fees for students this year. Under investment in education is something we should all be worried about, because we’re the generation who will be picking up the pieces.”

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