Wednesday, May 04, 2005

student numbers up - student allowances down

Keith Ng has quite a good scoop noting that, compared to 2001, 23 percent fewer students are receiving the student allowance despite student numbers rising by 28 percent. This is despite Helen Clark saying in last year's budget speech that 36,000 more students will be eligible for student allowances. Last year just over 60 000 students in total got student allowances.

So where are these people missing out? They have parents who earn too much. Some earn too much themselves. Maybe they are Asians- nearly 15,000 more Asians are studying this year as compared to 2002 - that's more than a 30 percent increase.

Also, a look at the figures will confirm that part time and extramural students are responsible for the increase as there are actually 5000 fewer full time students than there were in 2002. However there was an increase of 13,000 international students, most, we presume, are studying full time.

Yet kiwis are dropping out and studying part time or extramurally - or taking out student loans instead. There are 52,000 more part time students, presumably with part time jobs, many of which would abate out any student allowance. Also of note is the 20,000 extra students studying extramurally - most presumably with full time jobs and not entitled to the student allowance.Some of course study full time.

Education Minister Trevor Mallard had this to say:
Some students are clearly studying part-time because of the availability of well-paid part-time work – again due to the stronger economy.

Well, Mr Mallard, some students - up to 85,000 - are clearly studying extramurally because they can't get the student allowance as they have a working partner or they have families and can't afford to live on such a low income. So they use the loans scheme for course costs, and rely on a their own, often low paid, 40-50 hour week income to get ahead. Or they work part time - expecially when studying full time.

Nearly 200 000 students study part time. Many are doing so as a direct result of the Governments policies. It is almost impossible to study full time - especially with a family - if you do not have a supporting income other than an allowance.

1 comment:

SubversNZ said...

The government managed to save about $5 Million p.a. by changing the eligibility criteria for people married and aged under-25.

They must have saved oodles by removing the "independent circumstances" criteria.

The universities must be making oodles off the increase in foreign students.

Where is that money going?

If we're not careful the student loans system will ruin this country...