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Auckland students welcome modest Budget crumbs

Media Release – 18 May 2007 - For Immediate Use

Auckland students welcome modest Budget crumbs

Auckland students welcomed yesterday’s Budget announcement to increase access to full student allowances as a step in the right direction, as well as increased funding to ensure universities can retain high-quality teaching and research staff.

“While any movement on allowances is welcome, a ‘full’ student allowance barely covers the necessary rent and living costs in a city like Auckland,” says AUSA President Lesieli Oliver.

“Today’s Budget announcement falls far short of ensuring all students are adequately supported while studying, without having to borrow living costs off their student loan or resorting to long hours of part-time work, just to pay for rent and food.”

Labour promised last election that they would ensure that 50% of full time students would receive allowances; it is currently less than 30%. AUSA calls on the government to honour its manifesto promise.

There is also increased funding to help retain and attract top-quality staff, and allow universities to concentrate on their strengths

“Our students are justly proud of the quality of education they receive at a top university like the University of Auckland. It’s good to see that some government funding has focused on quality,” says AUSA Education Vice President David Do.

“Students were badly affected by staff strikes in 2005, so its pleasing to see positive funding outcomes from collaboration through the Tripartite Forum.”

“Nevertheless, having the best teachers doesn’t mean a thing if you’re too hungry and tired to learn.”

No substantial above-inflation increase in university funding was announced in the Budget - this will most likely lead to continued tuition fee rises for students at the end of this year.


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