Give postgrads a chance

Cutting student allowances to all postgraduates is short-sighted policy that pulls the rug out from under thousands of students. Many cannot work part-time due to course requirements to fill the deficit, meaning they will have to walk out of their courses.

It will also add millions to student debt as students who relied on allowances look to take out loans instead – where the maximum is less than a student allowance.

This week we set up an easy way for people to email Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce asking him to reinstate student allowances.

We’re nearly at one thousand submissions already, which is a fantastic response! Please add your voice if you haven’t already. It’s important that the Government hears how these changes will affect people in different ways:

We’re also working on a Member’s bill to reverse this policy change.

If you agree that the Government needs to give postgrads a chance, share this campaign!

7 Comments Posted

  1. Agree totally with you John W – so true about golden spooners – but another factor that Government money is going to is appeaser money going to Corporate Maori & the ETS. NZ no longer pays to kyoto once it ‘went into hiding’ when it was in the open about falsified results and emotive one-liners with little substance to back it up.

    Didn’t our fuel get raised by ten cents a litre to go towards ETS penalties & rain forest countries?

    Where’s that levy going now? Wasn’t just fuel that went up either . . .

  2. Besides cutting student allowances for all post-graduate degree courses, those taking 5 or more years will also be affected beyond the 4th year. This latest antic of the failed National Govt, commencing this semester without notice and a thinly-disguised measure to help pay for huge and irresponsible income tax cut$ for the rich who do not even need them, will ensure that many, probably the great majority, of current postgraduate students will be forced to abandon their courses, despite substantially having made sacrifices and run up student loan debt to get this far in their courses. Hardest hit will be Masterate students, because Doctorate students are usually supported by scholarships (but even these often fall far short of meeting students’ full expenses), and are often employed part-time by their Universities as tutors and laboratory demonstrators. Besides, it is often possible to proceed directly from a 4-year Bachelor’s degree with honors to a PhD. Bachelor degree students required to take 5 or more years to qualify, as for Law, Medicine, Architecture, and Dentistry, will be caught by the cut.
    This will result in postgraduate education, and degrees taking 5 or more years, becoming the exclusive preserve of “$ilver-$pooners”, like Joyce’s and Banks’ own children, along with Key’s and English’s. Even Bachelor degree courses are already largely the preserve of such “$ilver-$pooners”, because of the inadequacy of student loans and allowances, escalating fees, and (due to National’s failed economic and industrial policies) difficulty in getting temporary part-time and vacation work. It will ensure, in future years, a great shortage of Masterate and PhD graduates, causing a great decline in research work done in Godzone by postgraduate students during and after their courses. Areas such as Agriculture-related research in which Godzone is a world leader will especially suffer. There will also be great shortages of Law, Medicine, Architecture, and Dentistry graduates; – except where such courses are filled by full-fee-paying students from the richest families in Asia, who generally go straight home on graduation. Those who complete their degrees will be encumbered with inordinately large student loan debt, forcing nearly all of them to look at going to Oz to get salaries high enough to pay them off.
    In many fields, it is now very difficult to get a really worthwhile job without a Masterate or PhD, due to competition, academic inflation, and entry barriers erected in recent years. For example, one now cannot become a Registered Psychologist, practicing on members of the public, unless one has at least an approved M.Sc. or M.A. in Psychology. In Chemistry, academic inflation now makes it virtually impossible to get a decent job as an analytical chemist, let alone as a research chemist, without a M.Sc. in Chemistry, at least not without “connections in high places” or many years’ prior experience, or without going to remote places in Oz.

  3. I agree it sux the student loan living cost is less than the allowance; was about $40-50 less when I did post grad.

    But unless you eat only noodles, or get family support, the allowance alone doesnt cut it anyway to cover reasonable living costs.

    Students are young adults; not children.

    However the notion students cant work is BS Holly. At a minimum you can work some hours at the weekend. Its also healthy, and will more likley see you chosen for a real job when time comes over a competitor who did not work through uni.

    At least you can earn as much as you like while on loan/living costs without the Govt deducting payments as they do on the allowance.

  4. This is the religion of free market fundamentalism applied where it ought not be. User pays DOES work in a way already. IF the person getting the degree also gets a decent wage they produce more, earn more and pay higher taxes. That is where the money is “recovered” by a healthy society Mr Joyce. You don’t take it out off the students (or their parents) up front.

    The problem Mr Joyce, is that having provided advantage and tools to succeed and then seen some successes you are ideologically idiotic enough to then assert that the successful and wealthy have no greater obligation to the society than anyone else.

    You can’t raise taxes on the wealthy backers of your party.

    Yet they are the users who have to pay. Not the students who haven’t yet been employed.

    Like all your mates Joyce, you are an idiot. Not because you aren’t bright, but because your ideology demands it of you.

  5. Yeah, it’s not right and unequal in a democratic society. The benefits of ‘Positive discrimination’ are debatable
    IE: Are the students being approved for financial support to undertake study simply because of their race (IE: Maori irrespective of %, five hundredth of 1% is acceptable to be considered a Maori as per John Keys), going to students who could afford study and who would have enrolled anyway without this race based grant or is it attracting new students who otherwise wouldn’t have gone to university?

    Whilst I don’t know of statistical eveidence, anecdotal evidence is that the former is happening – race based grants are going to students who would have studied irrespectively.

    Also Maori do not have to pass entry requirements as to their literacy, knowledge, experience etc for some degrees that non-Maori have to pass.

    This is inequitable again and also disadvantages Maori (in my view) who may be setting themselves up to fail commencing study without knowing study or course basics.

    The days of students being regarding as a plus for NZ’s future and being supported financially more than nowadays have gone. Parental income being a factor in Studylink decisions up till a student reaches 25 yrs of age is also wrong….

  6. I know of one person decided not to do a Masters as she wouldnt be able to get a student allowance, and instead would have to borrow money to pay for living costs.
    Is this a good thing? Is this what National wants? Our brightest people not to fulfil their potential?

  7. How is this meeting Te Tiriti? We are ‘one people, one country’ – the Maori (only 6% of the population when the statistics have the padding taken out of them) arrived in NZ only 200-300 years Before Europeans AND there was another race here already as Maori oral history states.

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