Changes will hurt postgrad students
Mon, 21 Jan 2013 2:40p.m.
By Sarah Robson
Changes to the student allowance scheme will hit postgraduate students in the pocket and may put some off further study.
The changes, which came into effect of January 1, mean students undertaking higher-level study, for example masters or doctoral degrees, are no longer eligible for the student allowance.
It's estimated about 5000 students across the country will be affected by the tightening of the eligibility criteria, which was announced in last year's budget.
Without access to the allowance, postgraduate students will need to find some other way of supporting themselves, either by adding to their student loan, finding part-time work, or deferring study until they can afford it.
"The increased price effectively for doing a postgraduate degree means that for a lot of students, they're going to defer it," Victoria University Students' Association president Rory McCourt said.
New Zealand Union of Students' Associations president Pete Hodkinson says some postgraduate students don't have the flexibility to work part-time, especially if they're doing professional programmes that require practical placements.
"Many students have expressed that being forced to work 20 or 30 hours a week is detrimental to their studies, which is something that some are going to have to try and do."
Sarah Williamson, who is looking to start her PhD in music at Otago University this year, says that if she doesn't get a scholarship, she will have to add thousands of dollars to her student loan.
"Even if I get a part-time job, they're pretty hard to come by and I don't want anything that will interfere too much with my study," she told NZ Newswire.
"It's not making [postgraduate study] impossible, but it is making it more difficult than I had anticipated it was going to be."
Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says government expenditure on student allowances has increased significantly in recent years, to the point where it is simply not sustainable.
"As a result, the Government has sought to focus student allowances more on students from low income families and the early years of study," he said.
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22/01/2013 8:38:40 p.m.
@Joe: Wow you really are grasping at straws. What's stopping music students from completing post-graduate study? Nothing! There are interest free loans available for everyone, up to 7 years of study. If a student can't study full-time and work - then study part-time! If your current job doesn't have the flexibility to complete part-time study - then get a job that does! If a student at post-graduate level doesn't have the intelligence to work that out, it's a indication that academia probably isn't for them. If you want it, work for it. Don't expect the tax-payer to fund your already heavily subsidised study. POST-GRADUATE STUDY IS NOT A RIGHT.
22/01/2013 7:06:01 p.m.
@Matt: if the person with the PhD in music came up with the score for the next Peter Jackson movie then you - and the donkey at the beehive - would change your tune!
22/01/2013 4:25:41 p.m.
@Joe: I disagree that because I have to work to support myself the government is failing. I think that your attitude of people having to work in return for a valuable asset (an education) being a sign of government failure is wrong, and an example of the sense of entitlement that many in our society have. Many of the things you have listed are not the fault of the government, they are happening all over the world and it is naive to think that the government of NZ can shield us from them. Finally, do you really think that someone having a PhD in music is "for the good of society and the economy"?!
22/01/2013 2:09:24 p.m.
There are plenty on students out there supporting themselves while studying and I don't see why people insist it is not possible. Through working over summer, actually using the student loan system and perhaps a small amount of part time work (not even essential) it is quite possible for a student to survive the university year so long as they live frugally.
I'm assuming the author of this article has already had 3+ years of governmental support for their study so why should they not take an INTEREST FREE loan and pay for the next 1 or 2 years themselves. I think it really will make students consider whether post graduate study is actually going to benefit them rather than just doing it because it's basically free. A student studying post graduate in a high demand subject will easily increase their earning enough to cover the extra cost of the study after graduation. As for post graduate study in music, well that's for the author to decide
22/01/2013 8:51:11 a.m.
@Matt: We all have goals that we want to achieve, and the govt has a key role to play in assisting with that for the good of society and the economy. The answer is not to work full time and study full time. If you have to do that, then the govt is failing in its responsibility. The truth of the matter is that this govt is failing in most of its responsibilities, hence child poverty, sky rocketing property prices, over-valued dollar, people leaving by the thousand etc. It's become a nasty dog-eat-dog world without a sense of community anymore, thanks to this greed obsessed National government.
22/01/2013 6:22:14 a.m.
@@Matt: I catch the train actually... and I am a menace - to is people looking for a handout for doing stuff-all! And while at times I find my schedule challenging, I get through it. Why? Because I have a goal and want to achieve it. Maybe you should try it one day instead of becoming increasingly bitter about New Zealanders electing a government who recognise that there is no "money tree" and no one is entitled to a handout from the taxpayer.
21/01/2013 10:30:00 p.m.
ex public servant wrote:
Philistines always oppose education. When Nick Smith was Minister of Education he opposed TeachNZ Scholarships because he said that he had received a scholarship once and he had not deserved it! So his answer was to deny everyone else the opportunity to have a scholarship. Fortunately he was made to see sense, but what a low-life.
21/01/2013 9:19:15 p.m.
A PhD in MUSIC!!! Oh come one...the country is not going to benefit one iota from this, so why should tax payers have to shell out? Will you students please get a grip of reality - you already get free loans.
21/01/2013 8:47:57 p.m.
@Matt: "I am studying full-time AND working full-time". Great! So you probably drive home half asleep being a danger to other road users. People like you are a menace and just want to show off how much ignorant testosterone you've got. Hope you fail your exams and learn something in the process.
21/01/2013 5:23:12 p.m.
gotta pay for whanau ora somehow....how did people think it was going to get paid for?...ohhh thats right the crown, which means the royal english family would send a cheque right! idiots...wake up to where everyones tax dollars are going!
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