Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Abolishing Student Allowances Would Deepen Inequality

Abolishing Student Allowances would deepen inequality

31 July 2017 - The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is warning that any plan to abolish Student Allowances would deepen inequality, in response to the United Future party’s recent tertiary education policy announcement.

‘We welcome policies which aim to improve access to tertiary education for all, such as the removal of tuition fees, but taking away living allowances from low-income New Zealanders is not the answer,’ says National President Jonathan Gee.

United Future proposes to abolish tuition fees, and in turn abolish Student Allowances to help pay for it. It also proposes to increase the cap on student loan borrowing for living costs with regional variation based on the average rent price in that area.

Gee says ‘while students have told us that their immediate concern is having enough to live on, their long-term concern is graduating with less debt. Linking student loan borrowing to the cost of living, while not addressing the cost of living itself, risks lumping graduates with spiralling and unmanageable debt.’

‘We also know that many low-income families are extremely averse to debt. An indebted future is unlikely to encourage some of our poorest families into tertiary study.’

There is already inequality between student beneficiaries and other beneficiaries. For example, most students are ineligible for the Accommodation Supplement provided for all other low-income New Zealanders, including beneficiaries. Instead, only some students are entitled to the Accommodation Benefit, which is up to $105 per week less than the Accommodation Supplement.



A single person aged under 24, living in Auckland, is eligible for $177.03 per week as a beneficiary or student allowance recipient, plus a maximum of $145 in Accommodation Supplement or $40 in Accommodation Benefit.

‘Where is the incentive to go into tertiary study if it involves forgoing $320 cash from a benefit in exchange for $215 debt from a student loan per week? Tertiary education should be a path out of poverty, not a way into it,’ says Gee.

‘Free tertiary education and a living allowance for low-income New Zealanders who are studying should not be a trade-off.’

NZUSA is the national voice of students in tertiary education. The organisation is owned by students’ associations from universities and polytechnics across the country.


ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Charlie Parker With Strings - Live!

Hear these swinging rhythms with lush strings and a twist of bebop when Dick Oatts performs Charlie Parker with Strings accompanied by the New Zealand String Quartet and Jazz Ensemble, Musical Director Rodger Fox. More>>


Disaster Response: Canterbury Quakes - 'Widespread Adverse Effects' On Mental Health

The researchers noted that while support services such as free counselling exist, New Zealand's public health services are already under strain and even small increases in demand may result in a considerable extra burden for health workers. More>>

Charity Show: NBL And Harlem Globetrotters Support Christchurch Victims

Harlem Globetrotters and the NBL will donate proceeds of the Harlem Globetrotters’ Christchurch show to the Our People, Our City fund to support those affected by the tragedy. More>>

'Te Paerangi Ataata - Sky Song': National Erebus Memorial Design Selected

A design that includes a walkway projecting outward to the horizon has been selected for the new National Erebus Memorial after recommendation by a Design Selection Panel, announced Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. More>>

ALSO:


Sunday 7 April: Gala Variety Show For Mosque Attack Families

Cliff Curtis, Sir Bob Parker, Jason Reeves, Sonia Gray, Suzanne Paul, Colin Mathura Jeffree, Geoff Sewell, Jay Laga’aia, Darryl Lovegrove, Lavina Williams, Deliah Hannah, James Nokise, Jarred Fell, Ali Harper, Tarun Mohanbhai, Becks Wright and Michael Murphy are just some of the stars who will be lining up on stage. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland