UWS becomes first in NSW to freeze student fees

The University of Western Sydney (UWS) has become the first in New South Wales to freeze fees for its students.

The freeze will apply to all domestic students enrolling and commencing studies anytime in 2014 in a Commonwealth-supported place.

The university said the decision was made to ensure their students were not affected by tertiary fee increases proposed by the Federal Government.

Universities will be able to set their own tuition fees from 2016, which will inevitably allow some course costs to rise.

The Government is also increasing student loan interest rates to reflect the cost of government borrowing, and from July 2016, students will have to pay back their loans sooner. 

"We don't believe we can expect students to effectively sign a blank cheque," UWS vice-chancellor Professor Barney Glover said in a statement today.

"Like most universities, we are not yet in a position to provide our fees in the new environment." 

Professor Glover said the university's students and their families needed support amid the pressures of the current uncertainty around uni fees.

"We understand that the proposed changes to fees are of concern to prospective students and their families in western Sydney," he said.

"This decision will have an impact on the university's revenue.

"It is more important that we ensure students are able to make a clear decision about their study ambitions without the current uncertainty."