by Holly Walker
Very cool to hear yesterday of the ‘Keep Our Talent’ survey – a project being led by a group of Victoria University students to find out about the expected impacts of the Government’s decision to cut student allowances from postgraduate students.
These students have undertaken a survey of more than 200 postgraduate students and are now analysing the detailed responses to get a clear idea of the impact of this change in policy. From their preliminary analysis of the results, it’s been clear that this policy is causing significant distress to many students, with those committed to finishing their study highlighting concerns about being able to provide basic needs for themselves without access to the allowance, such as food and shelter.
Since the Budget announcement in May, many students have been in touch with me concerned about how this bad policy will affect their future. For many the only option is to drop out.
As the Keep Our Talent survey people have said:
“Our concern is that a large number of New Zealand’s prime candidates for postgraduate study will be put off pursuing further study in a climate in which one in six New Zealand students are already facing absolute financial distress…it’s not a future that will serve to bring out the best in New Zealand’s society or economy.”
I’m looking forward to reading their summary report, which is due to be released next month – timely as many students are now making their study and living arrangements for next year.