A petition launched today calls on the government to use the forthcoming Budget to deliver on its promise to restore student allowance eligibility for postgraduates.
Postgraduate allowances were scrapped by the previous National-led Government in 2013. Labour, along with the Greens and New Zealand First, pledged to restore the postgraduate allowance during last year’s general election. A petition calling on the government to keep this promise can be signed here.
“The current Government says that it’s committed to issues such as addressing the mental health crisis, uplifting the teaching profession and tackling climate change. In order for this work to succeed, we urgently need to be supporting our people to gain skills in these areas. A postgraduate student allowance is an easy first step towards making this a reality,” President of the NZ Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA), Jonathan Gee, said.
Postgraduate students are studying in fields that are crucial to the future success of Aotearoa – clinical psychology, teaching and learning, and environmental studies to name a few. Some students studying in these areas are coming forward as part of the campaign to tell their stories of struggling without an allowance.
A Master of Science in Psychology at the University of Auckland said: “Psychology is my passion and to be able to work in the field you need to be qualified at postgraduate level. Due to the lack of postgrad allowances my family and kids have had to suffer in order for me to get a respectable career so I’m able to provide for them. This needs to change.”