10 signatures reached
To: Ministry of Social Development
Allow more students to qualify for Student Allowance to reduce student poverty.
The government needs to change the overly strict requirements to be able to qualify for student allowance to make it accessible for more students who are in need of further financial support. You can't get a Student Allowance if your parents’ joint earnings, while you study, are more than $110,928.72 if you live with them and $119,202.07 if you don't live with them. These out of date limits leave many students having to give up university or live in extreme poverty. The government is responsible to create equal opportunities for all members of society. In this case, we think the government should increase the threshold for parents' incomes to help aid more students financially, to create equal learning opportunities for all.
Why is this important?
Why is this important?
University students in New Zealand live in poor conditions every day due to the lack of support from the government and with living costs rising rapidly, students are in need of support now more than ever. Annual inflation has risen to 6.9% which is the highest percentage in 30 years. This impacts petrol, housing, electricity, water use, supermarket shopping and all other necessities. Food prices went 8.3 in the last year alone. This makes it extremely difficult for students to cover the funds for living and studying at the same time. Out of 4500 students surveyed, ⅔ of students regularly do not have enough money to buy food, clothing, pay bills, get health care or other basics. The student loan provided by Study Link does not provide enough money for living expenses and the student allowance is very hard to qualify for. The average living cost in New Zealand is $3,000 per month. The maximum amount students can borrow through a student loan to help pay for living costs is $228.81 a week which adds up to less than a third of the average living cost per month. This is not enough for uni students to live in New Zealand's expensive living costs while still covering education fees, the government has high expectations of the next generation yet refuses to provide the necessary support and assistance to be financially able to study.
It should therefore be the government's responsibility to financially assist a student in their education journey. Society expects people to go study and build themselves a degree and an education foundation so there are people available to fill jobs. An example is that society needs medical students to hold the responsibility of becoming a nurse or doctors to provide essential medical care. We believe that a positive change in policy regarding student allowance would have a significant benefit on students’ financial state. Education is a right, not a privilege, so everyone should be able to have an equal chance to be able to study. Supporting more students to be able to access the student allowance would create an opportunity to break the cycle of families and individuals who have never been able to gain a territory education due to financial hardship and not enough support. With more government assistance, this builds a stronger future generation.