SCU joins call for compulsory student fees

Southern Cross University (SCU) has backed legislation aimed at bringing back compulsory student services fees in Australia.

Speaking to, SCU vice-chancellor Peter Lee argued that compulsory fees were needed to support a wide range of services.

"From sporting clubs to cultural activities, the university is funding most now, which means we have less for things like IT and uni books," he said.

The comments come after the House of Representatives last week passed the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) which would allow universities to charge students services fees of up to $250 annually for non-academic services.

Professor Lee is a member of an active group of vice-chancellors that is now calling on the Senate to also approve the legislation.

This would overturn laws which came into effect in 2006 to replace fees with voluntary student unions.

While that move served to reduce the financial burden on students, it has also been criticised for leading to a decline in services.

Professor Lee commented that young Aussies would still have the flexibility to compare student finances and consider their options if fees were brought back in.

"There is no doubt any fee on students is difficult, but this fee can be deferred and added to the HECS debt of students," he said.

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