Universal student allowance welcomed
Students throughout the country are delighted to see government interest in the introduction of a universal student allowance and eagerly await its implementation.
“A universal student allowance is an extremely positive and sensible move which benefits all New Zealanders. Tertiary education is an investment in our country, training people for the skills and leadership we require for the future,” said Liz Hawes, Co-President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).
“This is a positive signal that government have listened to students, parents and grandparents who have been saying for a long time that borrowing to live is unsustainable and unfair. We’re very pleased that they are now ready to seriously address this inequity. In light of such strong public support, introducing policy for a universal student allowance would be a responsible government initiative”, said Hawes.
While Labour have been promising for years to improve access to student allowances, in reality under their leadership things have actually got significantly worse. New Zealand students now face higher fees and higher levels of student debt than ever before in the history of the country.
“The introduction of a universal student allowance would demonstrate Labour’s genuine commitment to making tertiary education more affordable and accessible, and would align with the current policy of the Greens, NZ First, United Future and the Maori Party who all advocate for universal allowances. It is now important that the National Party reveal their tertiary policy to give clarity to students and New Zealand” said Hawes.
“The implementation of this policy would form one part of a properly funded tertiary education system. While we certainly acknowledge there are other areas to address within the tertiary sector, improved student support is key”, said Hawes.
Following many years of research, advocacy and campaigning highlighting the enormous need for increased student support, NZUSA now looks forward to the announcement of a universal student allowance as government policy.