CQU Student Association president Brendan Kirkman is glad to see student fees made compulsory.
CQU Student Association president Brendan Kirkman is glad to see student fees made compulsory. Chris Ison

Student body welcomes fees

CQUNI Student Association president Brendan Kirkman hopes for a boost to on-campus student life.

Tertiary Education Minister Senator Chris Evans announced this week the Federal Government hoped to reintroduce compulsory fees to fund “student services” by the end of the year.

The fees, a maximum of $250 each year, would be charged by universities, to cover services like student advocacy and representation.

Eligible students will be able to pay through SA-HELP, a HECS style loan.

As the student association president since November 2005, Mr Kirkman said he had noticed a decline in student services and life on CQUniversity campuses.

He said the CQUSA, along with the National Union of Students, “completely supported” the changes.

Mr Kirkman said the legislation was not a return to compulsory student unionism, and that funding would be dispensed by the university.

He said the money would help the union provide “vital student services” such as counselling and equity services, as well as helping to fund activities for the multicultural student body.

The student association president hoped the university would experience a resurgence of clubs and societies, which had dropped down to four or five, from a high of up to 40 several years ago.

Mr Kirkman said they would consult with all students to see what services they would like to see on campus.

He said the student association had been surprised by the announcement, saying they weren’t expecting it to be introduced until next year.

The Birdcage Bar was closed in 2005 but Mr Kirkman said he couldn’t commit to re-introducing a new student bar.

He said the fees were a “small price to pay” for an improved campus life and representation at the university.

A CQUniversity spokesman said any changes would be made in consultation with students.



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