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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 1. March 3, 1954

Uses of Fees

Uses of Fees

At this stage we can go back to the central office of the University and see Just what it docs and how it uses the money from fees collected from University Entrance candidates and from yourselves, as well as from those who offer themselves for ad eundem recognition and higher degree examinations. You should understand right at the beginning that though the Government grants about a million pounds a year through Vote Education, as recommended by the Grants Committee to be distributed to the University Colleges, the University of New Zealand receives for its own special purposes from the Government only £6900 per annum. The clerical costs of running the University office arc only about the same as the clerical costs of running the Medical School at Otago. It has always been run on "shoe-string" finances and has been a remarkably efficient and economical examining administrative machine. Then where does all the fee income go?

First and foremost I say flatly that the great majority of examinations in the University arc only just selfsupporting or actually run at a loss. Some smaller subjects are so costly to examine that even to set the papers and have them printed costs more than the fee income. The money returned to the Colleges to supplement the salaries of members of staff; to pay the actual examiners for the work; to pay for supervision, paper, postage and so on, for the examinations is m most cases as great or greater than the sums received. Fortunately, however, there are some large examination groups, the fee income from which shows a favourable balance to the 'University of New Zealand and it is from those particular groups chiefly that the means to pay for certain University of New Zealand activities comes. Those worthy examination subjects which are responsible for the favourable balance are mainly Accountancy, University Entrance and Medicine; and University Entrance shows a credit balance largely because of the accrediting system. By far the largest expenditure by the University of New Zealand from the balance of its fee income goes into Scholarships at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level. Here are the sums paid last year by the University for Scholarships:
University Junior Scholarships (40 yearly) £5,736
University Senior Scholarships (24 yearly) 2,612
University Research Scholarships (16 yearly) 3,200
University Postgraduate Travelling Scholarships (about 10 yearly) 6,020

Bank charges, etc., make this figure up to £17,615.

Now to meet this cost in part the University has an Income from Invested funds and an income from the rent of the University building in Bowen Street, but the bulk of the money has to be found each year from the current favourable balance on fee income from Accountancy, Medical and Entrance examinations. The acutal sources and amounts of money used to pay for Scholarships are as follows:
Interest on Investments £3,312
Rental revenue on building 2,359
Statutory charge from general fee revenue 3,000
Charge to General Account income for Research Scholarships 3,200
Deficit of Scholarship Account made up from General Fee Income Account 5.744

You will see then that of the total amount paid in Scholarships, no less than £11,944 had to be found from current fee income to pay the Scholars during that year, and it is the same every year now. It is true that the whole Scholarship system has been built up on fees without consulting the people who had to pay them, but I doubt if you would criticise the system as unwise or shortsighted. It has been of inestimable benefit both inside the Colleges and for overseas travel to a large number of gifted New Zealanders since the system was established away back in 1872.

If we assume that the cost of travel for Senate, Academic Board, Grants Committee, Entrance Board and other committee meetings are met by the Government grant, then the whole cost of running the office, conducting examinations and giving degrees would be paid for from fee income, but the whole surplus is taken up in paying for Scholarships.

As a further service, the University meets all the costs of travel to interviews and administration of Rhodes Scholarships and for other similar Scholarships and it plays a significant part in the selection of Fulbright. Rockefeller, Carnegie, Commonwealth Fund and Nuffield grantees, Shell and other Scholarships and, of course, engages in a multitude of those minor activities which are most efficiently handled centrally. Examples of such services are War Concessions to veterans, consideration of applicants for ad eundem status, and so on.

Next issue Dr. Currie speaks of the Financial and Academic activities of the University of New Zealand.

On this page is the first of a series in which we introduce the upper strata of the University to the uninitiated. All the various Councils and Boards which exist in or about the College must, in a sense, have some relevance to the students. It is our intention that this series, "Know Your University", be an introduction to these Councils and so forth; we hope that in them the relevance to student life and well-being of such organisations as the N.Z. University and the Profesorial Board will be mode apparent. The first article is taken from the speech which Dr. Currie delivered at Curious Cove Congress. It is, we feel, a very good introduction to the purpose and functioning of the N.Z. University, which is at the top of that heirachy of control extending from the students upwards.