Critic Named Best Student Publication Third Year in a Row

Press Release:  Aotearoa Student Press Association Awards
12 October 2014

Otago University’s Critic has been named Best Publication for the third year running at the Fairfax Media Aotearoa Student Press Association Awards, held at the University of Auckland Saturday 11th October.

A panel of media experts including Bernadette Courtney, Editor of the Dominion Post; Sarah Daniell, Editor of Your Weekend; and Simon Wilson, Editor of Metro Magazine, awarded Critic the top honour. Judge Sarah Daniell said Critic was “very solid, in both content and design.” Simon Wilson said Critic contained “real investigative journalism and in-depth reporting”, distinguishing it from most other entries. 

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Studylink Listens and Responds to Students

Studylink are launching their new student focused campaign in preparation of semester one 2015. The campaign was developed in partnership with the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA). In addition, Studylink have redeveloped their website, created a more streamlined application process, and produced new content targeted at tertiary providers and parents.

“When students are told they need to get their application in early they don’t realise applications can take up to eight weeks to process. In consultation with NZUSA, Studylink anticipates all applications received before the 16th of December 2014 will be processed before courses begin in 2015,” says NZUSA President Daniel Haines.

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New Zealand Universities Tumble Down World Rankings

2 October 2014

The Times Higher Education rankings released today show New Zealand universities are not keeping pace with the rest of the world. The fall in rankings can be attributed to inadequate funding compared to international best practice.

“If New Zealand wants to retain its place on the world stage as a viable destination for export education, this Government needs to make a serious funding commitment,” said New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations President Daniel Haines.

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Students applaud the Labour Party on its tertiary education policy: it’s in the right direction

18 August 2014
Students welcome the Labour Party’s announcement today that they are committed to undertake a full review of student support, restore students’ voices in influencing their own educational experience, develop a more collaborative approach in the sector and pledge a much needed improvement in funding rates, says Daniel Haines, New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) President.

“Under the National-led Government there have been over twenty cuts to student support, and we accept it isn’t good enough to simply commit to repealing all of these changes.  The student support framework in New Zealand is broken and needs a radical rethink. We support Labour’s commitment to immediately reinstate postgraduate allowances, but creating a sustainable future will need a more holistic approach,” says Haines.  

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Students call for change – and have the power to make it happen

03 September 2014
Early results from a survey of university and polytechnic students, involving nearly 5000 tertiary students, shows that if students vote for what they believe in they are likely to be extremely influential in the current election.

“Our Income and Expenditure Survey has a thirty year tradition and has confirmed students are very clear in what they support. The rules of our democracy are very simple, if the 400,000 tertiary students, which is 14% of eligible voters, vote for parties promising what students want then we will prompt change to get those things”, says Daniel Haines, New Zealand Union of Students’ Association (NZUSA) President.

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Fee hikes restrict student choices

15 September 2014

A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase 4% per year, our survey has discovered that student fees have increased by 14% in the last three years.

“This survey shows how desperately underfunded our tertiary institutions are. Even when the government increases funding for programmes such as engineering and agriculture, the tertiary providers still feel it’s necessary to increase fees the maximum they are allowed. There isn’t an unsustainable demand for tertiary education and university leaders are already telling us that we are nearing the level where there is likely to be a collapse in demand”, said New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) President Daniel Haines.

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Student Loan Debt Continues to Climb – and students’ fear for the future mounts with it.

17 September 2014

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is extremely concerned at a jump in average student loan debt, and increases in student concern for the future amongst those who have debt.

These new findings are part of the longitudinal Income and Expenditure Survey conducted by NZUSA, involving 5000 students from universities and polytechnic conducted in August of this year. The study reveals that although the numbers of fulltime students with a student loan debt has decreased slightly from 80% to 78%, it also revealed that 83% of students expect to be in debt by the time they graduate.

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Students, You Have a Choice, Vote!

18 September 2014

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is imploring students to ensure they make their voices heard this election, and join the many thousands who have already heeded the call.

“We have arranged early voting at every university and a number of polytechnic campuses, produced tens of thousands of pamphlets that explain different parties’ policies and have had volunteers enrolling and assisting students to vote over the last two weeks. We have no doubt that this has contributed to the fact that by Tuesday more people had already early voted this election than early voted in total in the last election,” said Daniel Haines, NZUSA President.

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An open letter to all students

Ki ngā tauira katoa, pīki mai kake mai haere mai, whakamahi tou reo,

Students Matter

Students have a critical role to play in the outcome of the General Election. There are 417,516 students in New Zealand and we make up 14% of the total number of voters. We have the collective power to decide who is leading the next Government. Every single one of our votes counts.

The election started two weeks ago and closes at 7.00pm tomorrow, as of yesterday there were already over 557,174 votes cast and many more students are pledging to vote today and tomorrow. If the turnout is similar to the last election we have already elected 29 Members of Parliament.

The election is unusually early this year and for the first time ever we have had advanced voting booths located at universities and polytechnics. Teams of student volunteers have been working tirelessly to encourage their friends and wider networks to vote. There is no excuse for not voting.  

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Hundreds of students turn out for political debate

Press release: Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA)
16 September 2014

With only a few days left before the general election, over 500 Victoria students packed the central Hub space on campus today to listen to a political debate on student issues organised by the Students’ Association. Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association President, Sonya Clark, was “stoked with the turnout” and said that it shows “students are more engaged than ever on issues that are important to them.”

“Many students are voting for the first time, and are taking the job of deciding who to vote for seriously. With the mass of online tools available from Vote Compass to Ask Away, students are seeking out all the information they can get to ensure their vote is an informed one.”

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Average Full time Student Is in Significant Financial Distress

16 September 2014

A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress.

“This recent information updates the previous Baseline Report of the Graduate Longitudinal Study. Two years ago New Zealanders were horrified to discover that one in six final year students were living in significant financial distress – meaning that they did not have enough money for their basic accommodation, clothing and food requirements,” said New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) President Daniel Haines.

The national graduate study was commissioned by Universities New Zealand, backed financially by the Tertiary Education Commission and undertaken by the National Centre for Lifecourse Research (NCLR).

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Taxpayers Union simply wrong on cost of abolishing student loan debt.

12 September 2014

“The so-called ‘Taxpayers Union’ clearly thought the Internet MANA’s announcement today seeking to abolish student debt was tl:dr (‘too long didn’t read’)”, said NZUSA President Daniel Haines.

This comment is made after Taxpayers Union spokesperson Ben Craven claimed that abolishing student debt would cost $8300 per household and serve to transfer debt from middle-class households to doctor’s lawyers and accountants.

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Students Congratulate Internet MANA on Free Tertiary Policy

12 September 2014

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed today’s launch of the Internet MANA Party’s tertiary education, with the restoration of free education and universal access to liveable allowances at its core.

“Internet MANA has put the issue of free tertiary education at the centre of their political programme, identifying it as crucial to eliminating poverty and developing a New Zealand that can be successful socially and economically. We welcome the message that has been traversing around the country now being codified and costed in their policy”, said Daniel Haines, President of NZUSA.

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One in six students getting allowances would be better off if they didn't.

 

10 September 2014

Research conducted by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) shows that one in six students currently receiving a student allowance would be better off turning it down and applying as a low-income New Zealander for an accommodation supplement instead.

Student leader Daniel Haines describes this situation as “perverse”, and says it is outrageous that students are worse off than many other low-income New Zealanders. The situation we have revealed shows that many students are given inadequate information about the support which is currently available. As many as 10,000 students may be affected.

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Concerning Outcomes from Survey on Student Work

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A study conducted by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, shows that despite this Government’s claim that unemployment is falling, students are continuing to find it difficult to find work to support them during their study. In addition, those students with jobs are finding it necessary to work longer hours in the absence of sufficient governmental support.

“Our last survey, in 2010, showed that 65% of students were in some form of regular paid work, down from 90% in 2007. While that fall has mostly stabilised, it is now at 63%, showing that the economic recovery has largely passed students by”, said Daniel Haines, President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations.

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Study shows students spend their summer working to keep themselves going, rather than saving for the year ahead.

“One of the hardest things that current students face getting themselves through their studies is money problems and living costs. The time where students were able to get a job over the summer and save for the whole year ahead of them has long since passed. When I talk to the generation of students who, ironically, also preceded the introduction of tuition fees and means-tested allowances, that’s the most striking difference from their time”, said NZUSA President Daniel Haines.

“Without accesses to high paying work which allows students to save money, the need for a universal student allowance becomes even more pressing”, says Haines.

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Students Set to Impact on Election 2014

02 September 2014

In wake of the outrage that followed the publication of Dirty Politics some strong policy gains for tertiary students have been overshadowed. As the voting period for the General Election starts tomorrow (Wednesday 3rd September), the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is encouraging students to think carefully about what is good for them and good for New Zealand.

"Students are well placed this election to punch above their weight," says Daniel Haines, NZUSA President. "Several contributing factors have reduced traditional barriers to voting – the election falls in the middle of semester, advanced voting booths are available on campus, and students who are not enrolled can sign up and vote in one go up until the 19th of September. Given this situation, we are expecting to significantly reduce poor youth participation, and maximise the influence of 400,000 eligible tertiary students. Tertiary students are 15% of the total potential voting population.

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Excitement rises as young Māori leaders prepare for national hui

26 August 2014
Press release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations and Te Mana Ākonga

Te Huinga Tauira o Te Mana Ākonga, the annual Māori Tertiary Students' Conference is hosted every year by a roopu tauira Māori on their campus.

Te Huinga Tauira is an opportunity for Māori tertiary students to discuss and debate topical issues, participate in cultural and sporting activities and to raise awareness about some of the issues that impact on Māori students at tertiary institutions and within the wider community.

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NZUSA Launches Call for First-in-Family Scholarships

31 July 2014

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations is calling for targeted support for first-in-family students to address New Zealand’s cripplingly low levels of social mobility.

“We have produced a fully-developed and costed proposal to help break the cycle of educational poverty. We call upon political parties to commit to bringing it to fruition,” said Daniel Haines, President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).

“The policy provides for fee-free education, and requires the institutions receiving the students to have programmes that reach into secondary schools to select and nurture the students who should be aspiring to degree-level study, and support when they are at the institutions to succeed. Institutions will be rewarded enabling funding for the support needed, with a completion bonus. It includes provision for stair-casing and bridging programmes and for students taking longer to complete than the minimum, since this is likely to be a reality,” said Haines.

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Restoration of Post-Graduate Allowances to be Key Election Issue

24 July 2014

Press Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue.

In the process of compiling its guide to voting the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has polled parties on their approach to student support – all except the National Party are calling for a review of the failing system of student support. The Green Party, New Zealand First and Internet MANA have all explicitly said they will immediately restore allowances for post-graduate students.

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The voice of New Zealand's 400,000 students.

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations exists to advance the political, social and economic interests of tertiary students whatever they study and wherever they live. NZUSA is a membership body of local students' associatons. We believe in opportunity for all.

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