April 24, 2020
Issue 04 2020

Mixed reactions to government’s ‘student support package’

An announcement made by the government last week aimed at increasing course related costs from $1,000 to $2,000 has received mixed reactions from students across the country.

 

There are positives within the governments and universities’ frameworks, although increasing student debt isn’t a solution, said Massey student Tessa Guest.

 

“The government needs to shift its approach if it actually wants to make a difference. Debt isn’t helpful.”

 

Tessa motioned towards the fact that students were already facing day-to-day struggles before the pandemic, therefore will need more help post-pandemic beyond what the government has offered.

 

MAWSA echoed these sentiments, with association president Jacob Paterson saying they were disappointed with the student support package. 


“Why are the students the only group expected to keep borrowing money off the government to survive?” he said.

 

On the flip side, Te Auaha barber student Joel Zonneveld was happy with the government’s work so far. 


“My Studylink was raised by $50 a week for the duration of lockdown, I’ve had no drama at all,” he said.

 

Most universities have pushed forward their semester breaks to take stress of their students whilst the pandemic dominates normal day to day life.

 

The extra $1,000 will help students in their time of need, although it will need to be paid back as a part of the student’s loan. 


Studylink does not allow for course-related-costs to be used on accommodation.

 

Students will be able to apply for the extra $1,000 from Wednesday the 22th of April through Studylink.


The government’s student support package also includes continued weekly payments for students who can not study for a period of up to eight weeks.

 

Some students will also receive partial refunds for fees if their studies have been affected due to Covid-19.

 

For more information and assistance throughout Covid-19 visit the links below or contact your student association for further details.

 

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/covid-19-tertiary-student-support-package

 

 https://www.studylink.govt.nz/about-studylink/news/2020/covid-19.html#null