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May 6, 2019 | by  | in News |
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Support for Return of Postgrad Allowance

In 2013, the government ended postgraduate student allowances. There are now calls being made to reintroduce it.

 

This is considered to have significantly impacted those who struggle to fund their further education.

As an election campaign promise, Labour vowed to restore the allowance to postgraduate students. However, no progress on the reintroduction has been seen.

In response, the VUW Postgraduate Students’ Association (PGSA) organised a protest on the issue. On April 11, the association held a rally on the Parliament lawn to deliver their petition to MP Chlöe Swarbrick.

 

To date, the online petition has over 5000 signatures.  

 

The university, VUWSA, PGSA, and the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) have all expressed support for reintroducing the allowance.

VUW Provost Professor Wendy Larner argued that while this is a “national matter,” the university “supports the reintroduction of a postgraduate student allowance”.

Larner also commented that the university are “supportive of the students by endorsing our students’ efforts.” She mentioned it was also likely that the matter would be raised with senior government officials.

 

VUWSA President Tamatha Paul reaffirmed its relationship with PGSA, and told ^Salient the association “will continue to support them however they believe necessary to achieve this goal.”

She added, “It’s pretty hard to understand why we’d stop supporting students financially because they choose to carry on.”

 

NZUSA National President James Ranstead reflected back on the efforts made by students: “With 5500 signatures, significant media attention, and a statement from Chlöe Swarbrick that she believes it can be restored this election term, we were incredibly proud of the effort as an organisation.”

 

Ranstead continued, “We are currently in the process of setting up a meeting with the Minister of Education, and organising a date to speak at a select committee. We are pushing for a commitment that the Minister will restore the Postgraduate Allowance within this current parliamentary term.”

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