The Government must urgently take action and address the impact that Covid-19 has had in the tertiary sector. New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) have released a report outlining how Covid-19 has affected the wellbeing, finances, and educational experience of students at tertiary institutions in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Covid-19 and Tertiary Students’ survey details a grim picture of the student experience during the Covid-19 lockdown. Students reported that they were significantly stressed by their financial, accommodation, or study arrangements.

Report author and TEU Under 35 Council representative Joshua James states ‘this report should be of great concern to all staff in the sector. Students who are worried about their next rent payment are not students who will perform well academically.”

TEU National President Michael Gilchrist states “concern for student welfare sits alongside concern for staff welfare, who have also been struggling under the pressure of Covid-19”.

This was demonstrated in May this year when TEU released a survey report Tertiary Lives | Covid-19. TEU has been working with Government to prepare for an all of sector hui to discuss the impact of Covid-19.

This latest report released by NZUSA makes this even more crucial, says Gilchrist, showing that the impact of Covid-19 has been felt across the board in tertiary education. Staff conditions of work affect students' conditions of learning – and vice-versa. Each has an impact on the other.

James adds "The Covid-19 and Tertiary Students report identifies areas that need urgent attention by the Government. Not only are many students feeling less optimistic about their future, many are struggling with expenses at a higher rate than they were pre-Covid-19. Any elected official who were to read the extensive comments provided in the survey should be moved to immediate action.”  

Media Contacts:

Joshua James  - 021 075 9978

Michael Gilchrist – 027 899 4256