Students protest ‘black’ budget

Posted By TEU on May 24, 2012 |

Tertiary Update Vol 15 No 17

Students at the universities of Auckland and Victoria are planning to protest today’s budget and impending to cuts to student allowances.

The student action group ‘We are the University’ at both universities are holding student association and TEU endorsed protests.

At Auckland University, over a thousand students have said that they will attend a ‘student strike‘ outside the library at 1.00pm.

At Victoria University of Wellington students are planning to march to Parliament from their Kelburn campus at 12 noon.

We Are the University Auckland says the government is planning to attack students with this year’s budget:

“It will affect current students, ex-students and potential future students by limiting allowances to the first four years of study or 200 weeks (with no exceptions for longer degrees or postgrad study), by freezing the parental income threshold to get the allowance (so even fewer students can get it), and increasing the repayment rate from 10 percent to 12 percent. We have had enough of the short sighted, mindless politics of austerity that limit who gets access to tertiary education and that see us paying rent to a generation that had everything they are taking from us.”

TEU will have analysis and comment on Budget 2012, as well as links to coverage of tertiary education-related and employment-related Budget news on its website.

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. TEU rejects performance pay in education
  2. Good employment law crucial to good vocational training
  3. Time to reinvest universities’ million dollar surpluses back in staff
  4. Insecure work rife in Australian universities

Other news

Campaigners are calling for a “living wage” in New Zealand, inspired by policies in United States cities and London. The Living Wage Aotearoa NZ campaign is drawing support from unions, churches, Pacific, women’s and community groups. Organiser Annie Newman of the Service and Food Workers Union said it was inspired by “living wage” policies governing council contracts in more than 140 US cities and in London, where the rate of £8.30 ($17.35) an hour is 37 percent above the legal minimum wage – The Herald

Tertiary Education Minister Stephen Joyce is defending the decision to decline loans to students failing their papers as “absolutely” the right one to make, despite targeting less than five per cent of the students it was expected to –Stuff

Tensions have escalated further in Montreal as Quebec’s legislature voted in favour of an emergency law, Bill 78, to end the 100 days of student strikes. The Bill pauses the current academic year at institutions affected by strikes; imposes steep fines for anyone who tries blocking access to an institution; and limits where, how, and for how long people can protest in Quebec. Critics blasted the bill as an affront to civil rights, an overreaction or ill-considered improvisation. Thousands stormed the streets of Montreal and Quebec City late Friday night to protest the bill’s passage –CBC/Radio-Canada

Millions of youth around the world have essentially given up looking for a job, warned the International Labour Organization (ILO) in a new report. The global youth unemployment rate (at 12.6 per cent in 2011) would be a full percentage point higher if it included the number of young people who have dropped out of the labour market, said the ILO in its “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012” report.  Of particular concern are young people who are neither in employment nor in education or training – known by the acronym NEET. If youth are economically inactive because they are in education or training, they invest in skills that may improve their future employability, but NEETs risk both labour market and social exclusion – ILO

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