Red Alert

Keep Our Talent

Posted by on December 3rd, 2012

It’s no exaggeration to say that almost every day I get a letter or email from a postgraduate student who is facing the prospect of not being able to finish their study next year because of the National government’s abolition of student allowances for postgraduate study. I have been working with a number to try to find a way for them to keep studying. Many of the letters are copies from people imploring Steven Joyce to change his mind. There seems to be no chance of that. A number are from students who thought they would be allowances next year as they are part way through their programmes. With a few exceptions (those with dependents who have same course code as this year) this is not happening. Steven Joyce’s confused communications about the issue have not helped.

A group of students affected by the cuts have undertaken a nationwide survey of those getting allowances to see the impact. Good on them for this initative. Amanda and the Keep Our Talent team have come up with some important and disturbing conclusions. 40% of those who responded said they were re-considering post-graduate study becuase of the cuts to allowances. 20% were looking at going overseas. As one respondent put it

I will not be able to do my PhD in New Zealand meaning I am less likely to do research on a topic that is relevant to New Zealand. I am sure others will be in a similar situation and this will severely disadvantage New Zealand’s knowledge and expertise.

The situation is particularly dire in long programmes like clinical psychology (which I will write about in another post). This really is one of the most heartless and short-sighted tertiary policies I have seen in 20 years working in this sector.

And worse of all. Steven Joyce won’t even meet the Keep Our Talent group to discuss their survey. Gutless.


9 Responses to “Keep Our Talent”

  1. dave says:

    Steven Joyce does not want to meet with students’ associations either. ( and why am I on moderation)

  2. bbfloyd says:

    It’s not gutlessness behind joyces refusal to meet with the keep our talent group…. It is just more of the nats tactic of refusing to engage with any “inconvenient” group, or set of facts….

    Considering that the raiding party knows that the fourth estate will continue to refuse to ask questions that would be “inconvenient”,(and, indeed, move to bury incovenient truths) then the tactic works brilliantly…

    So who, apart from those that read these pages, is going to know just how utterly without principle, or real concern for the welfare of “ordinary” new zealand these puppets of corporate headquarters really are?

    Time to start organising your own newspaper guys and girls….

    The “Standard” needs to be resurrected….(and not the pseudo lefty,chardonnay socialist excuse for political activism the blog of the same name is)….

    We, the real people of this country have never needed a voice that speaks for us with credibility, and passion for real social/economic justice so desperately, since before the government of Micheal Joseph Savage created the great revolution that was largely responsible for New Zealand being able to step into the first world…

    Time to finally sideline those who would have us beleive despicable lies, simply to further their own careers…Who would, and do, use the full weight, and resources of the official “fourth estate” to discredit any person unwise enough to challenge the raiding parties “principles”, and their obvious agenda of asset stripping, for as long as they can get away with it, this time…

    It’s time to “harden up” people….these theives, and liars won’t go away until we send them packing…And New Zealand will never achieve it’s full potential until the stain of the old, imperialist idiocy that passes for the national parties “principles” is removed once, and for all from our collective consciousness…

  3. Jack Ramaka says:

    The problem is we have had a stagnant country for the past 30-40 years apart from milk production, kiwifruit and the tourism and education sectors.

    We have a Government who is determined to destroy our manufacturing sector and rely on cheap Asian imports.

    We need export growth strategies if we are to grow the NZ Economy and boost employment prospects in this country.

  4. A Mother says:

    With teachers now requiring postgrad, where does that leave them? What if you finish your degree at end of 2014, when the new policy starts in 2015 for any new teachers to have a postgrad education? Does this requirement include the ones already in study?
    Getting different answers from people and cannot get a straight answer from anyone. No one seems to know.

    Goal posts have been moved so many times.

  5. Ryan says:

    Its not like you cant study without an allowance; it just means you will have a student loan; but I can understand the frustration when their aren’t the jobs out there. There are a few simple decsions that the government could have made to make high skilled jobs but decide to go overseas because they look to the short term instead of the long term for NZ. For example Kiwi Rail (Hillside) was a disgrace! Importing cheap Chinese wagons instead of producing them here was an example of the governments lack of forsight! Surely the costs of making these employees redundant as well as the costs of putting a portion these people on a benefit as well as the lost revenue from taxes and increased expenditure out in the community outweighed the savings from sending the jobs overseas. And dont get me started on the faults on the wagons!

    Sorry slightly off topic…

  6. A Mother says:

    @Ryan
    It is a huge drop in income. Not only do you lose the accom sup (you do not qualify for that if you do not qualify for student allowance) but also the only way that some people can survive is using the loan and allowance with the accom sup. It isn’t just for Post grad either. Medical students are also facing this, when they have studied for 4-5 years and heading into their last year. Suddenly it is unaffordable, yet we are short of GP’s.

    I am a single mother. There is no way I can support 2 children, pay market rent, buy food and support all of us on student loan. It was hard enough studying as a mature student, but to be told every 6 months it feels that the goal posts have changed or more difficult situations put in my way while I see my loan growing and thinking now that it may all be for nothing…. It is frustrating to say the least.

  7. The Al1en says:

    “I am a single mother. There is no way I can support 2 children, pay market rent, buy food and support all of us on student loan.”

    Paula Bennet says she “backs women” all the way, but apparently not in the same way that enabled her to have a brighter future… Even if her future isn’t as rosy as her *cheeky cherub cheeks.

    *Go on, tell me cheeky cherub face is offensive and I’ll retire for good. :lol:

  8. Freek Power says:

    @ A mother

    ‘you lose the accom sup (you do not qualify for that if you do not qualify for student allowance)’

    You can get an Accommodation Supplement….You just can’t get the Accommodation benefit. The Accommodation Supplement is generally a higher amount than the Accommodation Benefit.
    :)

  9. Jack Ramaka says:

    This Government is not really interested in a majority of NZ’s population they are only interested in the top 5-10% of the country’s poulation and the further accumulation of wealth for their families.