This from TEU...
TEU tried to flood the Prime Minister’s live Tuesday afternoon chat on Stuff with insightful (or should that be inciteful?) questions about tertiary education policy and employment relations. But none of them made the cut. Instead, the Prime Minister was able to tell us he likes Katy Perry, the Eagles, and Hayley Westenra. We learnt he wears a Cartier watch and likes playing golf. And, luckily he answered a couple of queries about the student allowance scheme.
When Amy asked about the implications of removing access to the student allowance for postgraduate students John Key replied:
“The advice I have received is that on average the switch between student allowances and access to the student loan scheme will still enable students to complete post-graduate studies, albeit it will require them to repay this loan without interest. The research shows these students are likely to earn considerably higher wages over time.”
However, NZUSA president Pete Hodkinson disagrees with the Prime Minister’s relaxed attitude toward allowance changes.
At this stage, as with its recent class size debacle, the government has not provided any evidence showing how many people its new allowances policy will affect, and how.
“The government, in regards to effects on postgraduate students, simply hasn’t identified how many will actually be affected and what the likely implications will be. We believe the changes will limit access to education.”
“Many people have already started post-graduate qualifications with the expectation of support and it is being ripped away from them. Many more New Zealanders have been waiting to turn 24 before doing a post-grad qualification, expecting to receive support as they would no longer be barred due to the parental income threshold – what happens to them now?”
Pete Hodkinson says student teachers, who will now be required to do a new postgraduate qualification, will be among those adversely affected, as will many science and medical students. [Item from TEU]