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Mythbusters: Universal Student Allowance Edition

Media Release - 14 October 2008 - For Immediate Use

Mythbusters: Universal Student Allowance Edition

Students are sick and tired of their Vice Chancellors attacking moves to ensure that are properly supported while they are studying, and seek to explode some of the myths surrounding the policy.

The Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University today criticised the universal student allowance policy. In July, Auckland University Vice-Chancellor Stuart McCutcheon described it as simply an “unjustified election bribe.”

“It is unfortunate that when many students and families can look forward to being properly supported while studying, New Zealand’s university vice chancellors have failed to show regard for the situation many of their students are facing,” says AUSA President David Do.

“While most vice-chancellors are paid six-figure sums every year, the students they preside over graduate with five-figure debts. It’s no wonder they are out of touch with the situation their students and their families are facing right now,” says Do. “We agree that universities and polytechnics should also get more funding and investment, and they have a justified case too. But let’s also consider, what is the use of world-class facilities and well-paid lecturers if the students being taught are too hungry and tired to learn?”

AUSA wants to ensure that the discussion about allowances is fully informed and not subject to myths perpetuated by opponents of a universal student allowance. “The Vice Chancellor’s Committee and the Education Forum(a wing of the Business Roundtable) have been disturbingly aligned in their opposition to a universal student allowance. One wonders what other Roundtable policies the Vice Chancellors Committee supports – privatisation, reduced public funding, capital charging?,” concludes Do.

. ENDS

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