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.