Keep our talent project launched

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.

3 thoughts on “Keep our talent project launched

  1. Personally I believe that tertiary, and post graduate, education should be free BUT only to those who qualify for the investment. I advocate that if, useing old terms as I’m not eu-fait with the current marking system, a student who received a “A” bursary in 7th form wished to study at undergraduate level, they should receive a free education, free books, and free living allowance (based on where they are accepted to study as local COLAs should be determined). If, (again terms I understand) they get a 1st in their undergraduate degree, we should continue to fund their education through Masters level. Anyone who could demonstrate the aptitude, ability and interest in a two year PhD, and has a Masters in the top decile of all masters in their graduating year should also have their education funded. THese are truly the academic talent that we should be encouraging. Anyone who dropped out, at any level prior to being admitted to their degree, should have the cost of their study, to the end of the year in which they drop, charged to them as a loan at normal banking overdraft rates.

    For the others wanting to do an undergraduate degree, I would offer a loan system, with interest, that allowed write-off of the principal in the event they received a 1 or 2.1 grade degree, thus proving they were worth the investment.

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  2. Personally I believe that tertiary, and post graduate, education should be free BUT only to those who qualify for the investment. I advocate that if, useing old terms as I’m not eu-fait with the current marking system, a student who received a “A” bursary in 7th form wished to study at undergraduate level, they should receive a free education, free books, and free living allowance (based on where they are accepted to study as local COLAs should be determined). If, (again terms I understand) they get a 1st in their undergraduate degree, we should continue to fund their education through Masters level. Anyone who could demonstrate the aptitude, ability and interest in a two year PhD, and has a Masters in the top decile of all masters in their graduating year should also have their education funded. THese are truly the academic talent that we should be encouraging. Anyone who dropped out, at any level prior to being admitted to their degree, should have the cost of their study, to the end of the year in which they drop, charged to them as a loan at normal banking overdraft rates.

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