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Budget 2015: Students left in the doghouse

Media Release: Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA)

Budget 2015: Students left in the doghouse while Joyce tends to his pet projects

Tertiary education in New Zealand needs serious funding not pet projects say students in response to today’s dire budget.

President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association, Rick Zwaan, has described the budget as “a bleak one for students and the tertiary sector”.

“While Joyce’s pets receive the cream of the crop, students are expected to continue living on the scraps thrown under the table with a cut to spending on student allowances, and a measly increase to student loans.”

“Joyce is claiming a $113 million increase in spending but this is a misleading figure. It’s $113 million of money being ‘reprioritised’ to appear as increased spending.”

“The 2015 budget released today has failed to address the $1 billion drop, in real terms, of funding for tertiary education since 2009.”

“Instead of fixing core university funding shortfalls, the minister has continued to focus on pet projects such as the $25million for private regional research institutes”.

“Joyce should leave his pet projects at home on his lifestyle block with Gemma the retradoodle and focus on addressing the serious shortfalls in tertiary funding and student support.”

“Actual spending on student allowances has dropped again - from $539m last year to $520 this year - while students continue to struggle cover basic living expenses”

“It’s time for Joyce to get out of the vegetable-garden-lifestyle-block mentality and address the longstanding shortages in funding in the tertiary education sector that are seriously harming New Zealand’s students, and the education that all New Zealanders are entitled to received.”

Key Facts:

• $113 million ‘reprioritised’ spending targeted at pet projects
• $520 million forecasted for 2015 for student allowances, down from 2014 actual of $539 million
• $25 million over three years for privately-led research institutes with no increase for existing institutes
• $1 billion drop in real terms of overall tertiary sector funding since 2009
• No increase in course related costs and no change in student loan scheme
- Minister Joyce has a lifestyle block north of Auckland that has Gemma the Retradoodle, and assorted ducks, geese and wild rabbits

ENDS

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