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Thursday, January 18, 2007

USP 2007 fees to rise by three percent

The University of the South Pacific (USP), where majority of Solomon Island tertiary students are studying at, has denied rumours of a 20 percent increase in tuition fees this year for courses provided through its Distance and Flexible Learning (DFL) mode but admitted that there will be a three percent fee rise across the board.

Yesterday, the university's Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Tarr clarified that there were no plans for any increase in the DFL tuition fee apart from a 3 per cent increase that was approved last year. That increase was agreed to at the USP Council's October 2006 meeting.

Last year, USP decided to increase its tuition fees across the board by 3 per cent to cover inflation costs.

USP's public relations manager Bernadette Hussein had said the fee for the DFL print mode rose by a further eight per cent in line with the USP Council's policy. Ms Hussein said the USP Council policy stated that on-campus and DFL fees should converge by the year 2010.

Ms Hussein said when the distinction between DFL formerly known as Extension and on-campus tuition disappeared, all students would be using printed materials, Internet resources and video broadcast as well as the traditional face-to-face teaching mode. She said with the disappearance of the distinction, the Council believed there was no logic to a different level of fees for students studying by different modes.

The University has abolished the separate course materials charge for undergraduate print-mode DFL students, she said. Ms Hussein said the previous charge had been incorporated into the tuition fee. She said this meant that course materials would be provided free-of-charge where applicable and it was consistent with the principle of convergence.

USP classes for Semester 1 this year begins on February 26 with the orientation starting on February 19.

Source: Fiji Times

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