First in Family Policy

Introduction

We remain concerned at the tertiary system continuing to underperform for particular groups and further that the targeting and cuts to the student support scheme of recent years has worked against the goals of reducing unequal outcomes as expressed in the Tertiary Education Strategy.

We are aware that international research indicates that the key barrier for underrepresented groups is a lack of understanding of the benefits and familial support for potential students from backgrounds where higher level tertiary education is not normalised through previous experience.

Accordingly we believe that targeting that focuses on “Māori and Pasifika” or even “lower-socio-economic” is not necessarily as well directed as it could be, though such groups would necessarily be the principle users of the scheme outlined here.

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Minister Disingenuous With University Council Claims

18 March 2014

Press Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations is calling for greater scrutiny of Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce’s claims about University Governance.

The Education Amendment Bill (No.2) would reduce the size of the governing board of the institutions, called the Council, from the current twelve to twenty members to between eight and twelve. It removes all nominated stakeholder representation, apart from those appointed by the Minister himself – which it is proposed to increase as a proportion of the total.

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Calling Overseas-Based Graduates: Student Loan Deadline Looms

17 March 2014

Press Release: New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations

The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) is reminding overseas-based borrowers (OBBs) that they have just two weeks to make student loan payments. After that, they will become criminals and may lose their right to travel.

From April 1, Inland Revenue will be able to seek an arrest warrant for former students who are not meeting their obligations. The next payment date for OBBs is 31 March.

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Students challenge Joyce to live on $173 a week

Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce has been challenged to live on $173 for a week after he claimed that the amount students’ can borrow to live on has risen with inflation.

President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association, Sonya Clark, challenges the Tertiary Education Minister, Steven Joyce, to live on the living costs students’ loan after he claimed that they had risen with inflation.

 

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Minister, size does matter!

A radical proposal to change university and wānanga governance, introduced by Tertiary Minister Steven Joyce as “moderate”, has been rejected by students as dangerous and extreme.

The Education Amendment Bill (No.2) would reduce the size of the governing board of the institutions, called the Council, from the current twelve to twenty members to between eight and twelve. It removes all nominated stakeholder representation, apart from those appointed by the Minister himself. The Minister’s appointees which currently constitute twenty percent of the Councils will increase to at least a third, and as much as 40% of the total.

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Borrowing to live means debt for life - A living allowance for all students

There has never been a policy that makes as little sense as giving only one third of all full time students an allowance to live off.

Because student allowances are means tested on parents’ income up until the age of 24, most students are in the unfortunate and unusual position of being forced to borrow just to meet their living costs. It’s a nonsense that adult New Zealand citizens have to fund their weekly expenses – like rent and food – from a loan that many will decades to repay

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Students are a powerful force in New Zealand

Students are a powerful force in New Zealand. As students, we are change-makers. We push intellectual barriers, question tradition and challenge the status quo – such is the staple of a healthy university culture.

Students over the generations have put in place the infrastructure to support this culture. Your students’ association, VUWSA, has a proud 115-year history. VUWSA is also a member of the national students’ organisation – the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA), which was founded in 1929. The idea of doing things together and being able to speak with one student voice where we agree is one way that both VUWSA and NZUSA work tirelessly for you.

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Massey University Students To Lose Their Magazine

19 February 2014

To whom it may concern

On behalf of Albany Students’ Association (ASA), Massey University Students’ Association (MUSA), Massey Wellington Students’ Association (MAWSA) and the Massey University Extramural Students’ Society (EXMSS) we regretfully announce Massey University will be the first university in the country post-VSM to no longer have a printed student magazine.

The February 26 issue of MASSIVE magazine will be the final edition in print capacity. From this date onwards, MASSIVE will exist as MASSIVE media, and will be primarily online. 

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Alarming Comments by Chair of Tertiary Education Commission

20 February 2014

Victoria University of Wellington Students’ Association (VUWSA) President Sonya Clark said she was, “alarmed and concerned”, at the commercial agenda being proposed for universities by the Tertiary Education Commission Chairperson John Spencer.

Clark cautioned against moves to ‘run [universities] like businesses’ saying there was a real risk academic freedom for staff and students would be threatened.

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Changes to student support 2010-2013:

Changes to student support 2010-2013:

2010

Recipients of superannuation and veteran’s pension eligibility for allowances removed.

Student loan establishment fee increased.

Annual IRD admin fee introduced.

Two-year stand-down introduced for Australians and permanent residents.

Loan eligibility removed for those who didn’t pass ½ their papers the previous year.

7-EFTS life-time limit introduced to borrowing entitlement.

 

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On Becoming An Overseas Based Borrower - What Do You Need to Know?

On Becoming An Overseas Based Borrower - What Do You Need to Know?

If you are overseas for more than 6 months (184 days continuously) then there are three main differences from the rules for domestic based borrowers: you get charged interest, your obligation doesn't get deducted from your salary automatically, and the amount you owe is calculated on the size of your loan and not your income.

Repayment Holiday

You can apply for a one-year repayment holiday (note that interest is still charged so you might want to consider making payments you can afford anyway). The application needs to be made before you leave or within six months of leaving. Apply through myIRD. Register via http://www.ird.govt.nz/online-services/ir-online-services-register.html.

Repayments

Payments are due in equal payments on 30 September and 31 March. If you haven't paid what you owe on this date you get automatically charged "late payment interest". This is compounding so adds up quickly. We really recommend setting up regular payments; it gets rid of all the hassle.

Repayments are fee-free for you, and can be any amount through NZForex. Sign up for NZForex through the students.org.nz website.

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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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