News of today’s increase to Alert Level 3 in Auckland and Level 2 across the rest of Aotearoa comes at a challenging time for students.
With orientation events planned to start today and most study starting in the coming days, these community cases bring significant disruption to students at an already challenging time of the year.
NZUSA National President Andrew Lessells says that “the timing of these community cases couldn’t be worse for many of our students. O-weeks should be underway, and programmes will start soon. Many have just moved into flats and halls, and we’re really thinking of them at this time”.
“This outbreak is particularly hard on first-years, who have just moved out of home and into halls and flats. These students already had a challenging 2020, with schooling disrupted significantly due to lockdown and need to have support from Government and tertiary institutions to make sure their study is successful” says Lessells.
The ongoing risk from COVID-19 and the uncertainty this creates for students demonstrates that more support is needed for tertiary students in New Zealand.
“This is now the time Government needs to implement a Universal Education Income, to support all students in tertiary education regardless of age or background”.
“Also, the Tertiary Hardship and Technology Access Funds that were created last year during lockdown need to be restored to make sure that students can afford to live and have access to the tools they need to learn”.
NZUSA is working with our members and partners to ensure that students needs are met at this challenging time.