Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Budget 2016: No real change to the lives of students

26 May 2016

Budget 2016: No real change to the lives of students

The Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) welcomes moves by the Government to reduce the level of fee increases institutions can charge students; but believe no real, strategic progress has been made to resolving issues around student debt and support.

The proposed three percent to two percent decrease that tertiary institutions can raise fees by is a positive step in the right direction from Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce. However, change is long overdue after fees have spiralled out of control over the last twenty years; and largely contributed to the current $15 billion student debt, which this budget has ignored.

‘Students won’t see any day-to-day change to their living situation as a result of this budget. The government has tinkered around the edges in trying to slow the ballooning student debt, and no real changes have been made,’ says VUWSA President Jonathan Gee.

Additionally, spending towards student allowances has been cut, furthering the downward trend of spending towards allowances in recent years from $620 million in 2011, to a forecast of just $496 in 2016.[1] The number of student allowance recipients has fallen by almost a quarter since 2010 due to a significant Government cuts to postgraduate and middle-income allowance eligibility.

An average increase of less than a dollar per year in allowance from $170.80 in April 2011 to $175.10 fails to cover even the cost of rent for the majority of students in Wellington or Auckland, and is unresponsive to the rising cost of living.

The $86.1 million increase towards subsidising tuition fees for science and technology subjects is a positive step from the Government, however should be further extended to support all academic fields. A further investment of $1.6 million towards the Engineering to Employment fund is an important step to helping engineering graduates find employment.

In regards to accommodation conditions, the Government also announced $18 million to extend Warm up New Zealand to rental housing. ‘This announcement is a start, but it remains to be seen whether cash-strapped students will see the impact of this.’ says Gee.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Demise Of The Tokyo Olympics

As the Covid vaccines roll out around the world, the Tokyo Olympics are looming as a major test of when (and whether) something akin to global normality can return – to international travel, to global tourism, to professional sport and to mass gatherings of human beings. Currently though, it looks like a forlorn hope that Japan will be able to host the Olympics in late July. Herd immunity on any significant scale seems possible only by December 2021, at the earliest... More>>


New Zealand Government: Cook Islanders To Resume Travel To New Zealand

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such ... More>>


A New Year: No politicians at Rātana in 2021

Annual celebrations at Rātana pā will be different this year, amid a decision to hold an internal hui for church adherents only… More>>


Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>


Covid: Border Exception for 1000 International Students

The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began....More>>





InfoPages News Channels