Universal student allowances remove a barrier to education

Posted By TEU on Apr 3, 2014 |

Tertiary Update Vol 17  No 8

TEU launched the third and fourth of its Te Kaupapa Whaioranga blueprints at its annual branch presidents’ meeting this week.

The third blueprint, on student well-being, demands universal student allowances and moves to eliminate financial barriers to students learning – including student fees.

TEU national president Lesley Francey called the blueprint a line in the sand and said that to have a truly public education system that meets the need of all students New Zealand needs to cut the cost of education and remove the financial barriers to students participating.

“Tertiary education is not primarily a public subsidy and skills factory for big business. It is about providing opportunities and hope for students and their local communities. If debt prevents students getting an education then our public education system is failing and our country is losing out.”

“And the best way to demonstrate that we are committing our education system to the well-being of students first and foremost, rather than corporations, is not to saddle them with huge debts while they study.”

The Labour Party’s Grant Robertson, the Green’s David Clendon, NZ First’s Tracey Martin and spokespeople from both the Māori and Mana parties all expressed support for the two Kaupapa Whaioranga papers at their launch.

TEU women’s vice-president Cat Pausé, who attended the Kaupapa Whaioranga launch, said New Zealand has to reverse cuts to student allowances.

“Cuts to student allowances disproportionately impact women; women returning to study, women studying part-time, women pursuing postgraduate study to move forward in their careers.”

Also in Tertiary Update this week:

  1. McCutcheon of Auckland and Jackson of Hokitika agree on diverse councils
  2. Vice-chancellor must let Lincoln staff speak
  3. Huge job losses at Lincoln
  4. TEU hip hops Boots Riley into Dunedin
  5. One day UCOL strike in Palmerston North

Other news

New Zealanders with student loans now run the risk of arrest if they move overseas and get behind on their loan repayments. From 1 April, the Inland Revenue Department gained the power to seek arrest warrants for overseas-based borrowers with significant arrears – University World News

In the Michigan Senate, the Appropriations Higher Education Subcommittee included in its budget proposal a penalty against any public college or university that teaches a labor-related course or offers a labor-studies program – Academe Blog

The woman in charge of equal employment opportunities is set to “crack the whip” on government departments for failing to close the gender pay gap – New Zealand Herald

A bill that aims to support workplaces in the reduction of domestic violence and provide victims of domestic violence with practical support in the form of leave and expert assistance “must be supported by all political parties” says Sheryl Cadman, CTU Women’s Council co-convenor – CTU


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