Biz briefs

■ The University of Western Sydney has become the first in NSW to freeze fees for students.

The freeze will apply to all new domestic students commencing any time in 2014 in a Commonwealth-supported place.

The university said the decision was made to ensure students were not affected by fee increases proposed by the federal government.

"We don't believe we can expect students to effectively sign a blank cheque as, like most universities, we are not yet in a position to provide our fees in the new environment," UWS vice chancellor Professor Barney Glover said.

"The University of Western Sydney is firmly part of the greater western Sydney community and we understand the need to provide our students, and indeed our region, with high-quality, accessible higher education.

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

Professor Glover said the university had a strong track record listening to the concerns of the community and responding promptly.

"Although this decision will have an impact on the university's revenue, we believe it is more important that we ensure students are able to make a clear decision about their study ambitions without the current uncertainty," he said.

■ Parramatta Marist High students Mark Raya and John Isaac were among those who took to the streets to develop confidence and an understanding of the banking sector during a work inspiration program at NAB's Parramatta Business Centre last week.

"On the first day they were focusing on us and our strengths and our interests and hobbies," John said.

"I found it helpful we were able to find ourselves in the program and not just learn about the bank."

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