Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Govt Mismanages Student Allowance Changes

30 November 2012

Govt Mismanages Student Allowance Changes

Survey results released today raise serious concerns about the future for postgraduate study in New Zealand, and highlight how poorly the Government has managed its own policy changes, the Green Party said today.

The Keep our Talent student-led survey into the impacts of the Government’s decision to remove access to student allowances for all postgraduate students shows how damaging this change will be to research and innovation in New Zealand, and illustrates the severe financial stress that many individual students now face.

“Removing eligibility for student allowances from postgraduate students was a short-sighted and ill-considered decision that has the potential to drive our talented graduates overseas and worsen skill shortages in key areas,” Green Party students spokesperson Holly Walker said today.

“To make matters worse, Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has seriously mismanaged the release of the changes, so that many students are still unaware that they will be affected.

“Minister Joyce, through misleading statements at the time of the Budget, clearly implied that students who were part-way through their postgraduate study would not be affected.”

In response to a question in Parliament from Ms Walker in May 2012, Minister Joyce said “students who apply for student allowances in 2013 for an enrolment period that started in 2012 will not be affected”.

“I am contacted almost daily by students who carefully read the Budget announcement, understood that they would not be affected, and have budgeted and planned accordingly, but who are now finding as they make plans for next year that the rug has been pulled out from under them.

“These students are now facing the choice between severe financial insecurity as they are forced to borrow to live, or abandoning their study part way through. As the results of the Keep Our Talent survey show, many are seriously considering pulling out of their qualifications prior to completion.

“These students have had the rules change on them mid-stream, as they’ve signed up to study under certain conditions only to have the criteria changed on them.

“The survey results are also worrying for New Zealand’s ‘brain drain’. They show a large number of students are seriously considering moving overseas, either to continue their studies where they are able to receive more financial support, or once they’ve graduated to take up better job opportunities in order pay back their loans faster.

“We already have record numbers of New Zealanders going overseas. We need to keep our talented young people if we want to foster the innovative economy we’re striving for.

“While it’s great that these students have undertaken this valuable research, they’ve been forced to do so because of a lack of information. The Government still hasn’t made any of their advice on this policy decision public, despite giving an assurance four months ago that the advice would be released ‘soon’. No doubt the official advice on the impact of these changes identified many of the issues raised in the Keep Our Talent survey results released today.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



More RSS  RSS News AlertsNews Alerts
Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news