A big week for students

This week marks graduation at Auckland and Victoria Universities, where thousands of students, along with their families, will get the chance to celebrate all they’ve achieved.

This week is also Budget week, which has historically brought some pretty bad news for students.

Last year’s Budget gifts from the Government included: removing access to student allowances for postgraduate students, increasing the student loan repayment rate from 10% to 12%, restricting all allowances to 200 weeks and freezing the parental income threshold for student allowances until 2016.

These changes have had a big impact on a lot of people.

Some of those graduating in Auckland on Friday are planning a visual protest against the burden of student debt. Students will be placing a sticker on their graduation gown showing how much student debt they have, which they describe as “a visual reminder of the number that the Government reduces them to”.

While it’d be nice to think that this years’ Budget could have some better news for students and graduates, it’s not looking good. The Government have already indicated that they’ll be putting even more pressure on overseas borrowers, and I’m sure there’s more to come.

3 Comments Posted

  1. University students are not only those going for loans for study.
    We have too many Degrees and tertiary qualifications. Many of which, are almost useless and are just “bums on seats” for tertiary institutions. A result of the commercialisation of everything.

    Employers in NZ have it pretty good. They have foisted almost the entire cost of providing their workers onto tax payers.

    And, if the workers decide that the pay is not enough for to compensate for the study costs and leave, employers can go cap in hand weeping to the immigration department to get cheaper ones from offshore.

    The only way to get an apprenticeship now is through the student loan scheme. Employers no longer pay for it. But neither do they pay enough to justify the cost. Training is no longer accepted, as part of the cost of having people work for you.

    Where are our future tradespeople, technicians, nurses and other skilled people, who are actually, useful, going to come from.
    When you can live better as a skilled trades-person in many countries, that used to be third world, than NZ.
    Already I see many skilled people immigrate here for just long enough to get qualifications and residency, so they can head for a country where pay is higher and living costs much lower.

  2. Oh please, don’t get me started on this!

    I have three children who each had very large ($60K plus) student debts when they graduated. One as a lawyer and two as doctors. Five years after the yungest graduated they are all house-owners, all living high on the hog, all paying the amount required by law to avoid interest. (yes, they could all be debt free but why bother when the cost goes down by inflation every year?

    The purpose of tertiary study is to improve or maintain the lifestyle of the student. The expectation is that they will have a higher income as a result of their study. The amount of extra income is directly related to the nature and grade of the degree admitted to. As a simple guide, a bachelor graduate can expect to earn 30% more than a non-graduate. As you go to higher degrees, in science and business subjects especially, that differential can grow to hundreds of percentage points.

    If I want to live in a million dollar home, I have to invest in a million dollar home, I can’t sit and wait for one to be given to me by a society grateful for my existance. By the same token, if I want a $100,000 salary, I need to invest in achieving one, which generally means tertiary education, I should not expect to sit and wait for one to be given to me by a society grateful for my existance.

    Yes, there are those who cannot afford the upfront cost of education, for them we have a loan system that enable them to do so, while I think it should be tied to the nature of the degree and the probability of being admitted to it that’s just one person’s opinion.

    Yes, we need a number of people with advanced degrees in subjects where it is unlikely that there will be a market for the skills acquired, for instance, a Masters in paper-book production is probably unsellable to a current employer. Where the degree will have on-going benefit to society, I have no issue with a loan being made under the current scheme, what I do have is an objection to publicly funding study that will not benefit the student in terms of income, and will not benefit society in terms of contribution.

    Bottom line, do’t go to uni and take out a loan if you don’t think you will earn enough to pay it off, don’t stay in uni for Master and Doctorate degree and take out a loan if you can’t persuade a grant-giving body (be it your employer or any other,) to fund it AND you don’t think you will earn enough to pay it off.

  3. when a govt spent multi-millions on PR/Ads agencies in order to sell their many bad policies (even worse to brainwash the public into believing it’s good for them); Key govt doesn’t like educated or thinking poeple/voters…they are his worst enemies…

    No surprise they push many policies to dumb the country down; to disempower teachers and student… Who care if they choose to leave NZ!?
    Govt will just bring in more new immigrants with money but NO clue about how damaging this govt is to NZ now and its future (mianly economically and environmentally, not mention to its culture/tradition and countless many other areas)

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