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August 10, 2009 | by  | in Opinion |
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The VUWSA 2009 Alternative Student Guide: What you really think about your courses

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VUWSA is currently compiling course entries for The VUWSA 2009 Alternative Student Guide.  The publication is produced annually by the VUWSA Education Team, coordinated and edited by the Vice-President (Education).

Every year, surveys are distributed to first year classes that ask each student to grade their course in terms of its content, workload and its overall effectiveness.  The Guide is an amalgamation of these surveys into an index of student-graded reviews of courses. It also contains other useful information about the services offered by VUWSA and by the University. 

VUWSA representatives will be conducting surveys in all 100 level Trimester Two courses. The first round of surveying took place last week, with two further rounds scheduled for 17-22 August and 7-11 September. 

The Guide is a valuable resource for potential and current Victoria students. VUWSA looks forward to hearing what you think about your courses.

For more information contact the Vice-President (Education) at evp@vuwsa.org.nz

Campus Angels: new trial at Te Aro

VUWSA has recently extended our Campus Angels service to include a trial at Victoria’s Te Aro campus. This trial began last week, and was established in result of requests from architecture and design students at that campus.

The service is coordinated by VUWSA’s Vice-President (Welfare). VUWSA employs students to serve their peers by walking other students home or to the nearest bus stop, taxi stand, or other safety point.

Campus Angels are available to accompany students for a maximum 30 minute return journey. It is a free service.

Campus Angels operates from the following locations:

  • Kelburn: Central Library, Level 2, Mondays-Thursdays, 7.30-10.30pm, excluding the mid trimester break
  • Pipitea: Law School Library, Mondays-Thursdays, 7.30-10.00pm and Sundays, 7.30-9.30pm, excluding the mid trimester break
  • Te Aro: Main Foyer, Wednesday-Thursday, 12, 13, 19 and 20 August, 8.30-11.30pm.

For more information contact the Vice-President (Welfare) at wvp@vuwsa.org.nz
TIA Axed: More difficult for student parents

The recent axing of the Training Incentive Allowance (TIA) has been met with condemnation from unions, students’ associations, and beneficiary rights groups.

The TIA was available to recipients of the domestic purposes benefit, as well as those on invalids and widow’s benefits and emergency maintenance allowances. Recipients accessed the TIA is order to help pay for training-related costs, such as course fees and materials, travel, and childcare.

VUWSA is concerned that these moves will make it particularly difficult for some groups of students, such as student parents, to commence or continue their course of study.

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has launched a nationwide petition calling on students and the wider public to register their opposition to the axing of the TIA by the Government. The petition urgently requests that the House of Representatives call on the Government to reverse the cuts made to the provision of the TIA in the 2009 Budget. This petition calls for reinstatement of the TIA and emphasizes the beneficial effects that the TIA has.

In particular, the petition highlights:

  • That the TIA was an allowance granted to those on benefits who wanted to access higher education and increase their skills in order to enhance their ability to find paid employment. The cuts to the TIA have shut people out of higher education and limited potential employment opportunities
  • That the Government has often emphasized the importance of encouraging beneficiaries to access higher education to improve their skills and create pathways back into the workforce. Cutting the TIA is at odds with their stated aims
  • That the Government made no attempt at consultation before axing the TIA.

You can show your support for the reinstatement of the TIA by signing the NZUSA petition. Copies are available at VUWSA’s Kelburn reception, or by e-mailing campaigns@vuwsa.org.nz

In solidarity and service,

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