A nationwide student-led survey has been conducted into the future choices postgraduate students might make when funding support is lost next year. Two out of every five who responded to the survey are thinking of quitting postgraduate studies in New Zealand – with one in five respondents looking to take their talent overseas instead.
“With eligibility for a student allowance being stripped away from next year, our leaders seem to have stuck their heads in the sand about the consequences – and that’s why we undertook our own grassroots survey under the name of Keep Our Talent,” says survey organiser Amanda Thomas.
“Overall we had more than 655 unique responses to our qualitative survey, from 202 students and members of the broader community, all of which have been independently analysed.
“We’ve requested a meeting with Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce to discuss the results but have been told his diary is too full. We think this is a real shame because we need him to understand the depth of passion we have about continuing our studies here in New Zealand, and the issues at stake,” says Amanda Thomas, a doctoral student at Victoria University.
“This survey shows that not only is our ability to keep our talented young people in New Zealand under threat, but that those that are staying are facing huge financial stress. Up to 85 percent of students who took part in the survey said there would be severe personal disadvantages to them because of the allowance changes.
The survey’s final question asked about the benefits of postgraduate studies for New Zealand. Of the people that answered the last question, a number of whom were non-students, nearly half emphasised that postgraduate study is important for New Zealand because of the societal benefits of innovation, expertise and knowledge.