Ambulance at the Bottom of the Cliff for Students, But What Else?
While tertiary students across Aotearoa welcome today’s announcement of a $20 million increase in the Hardship Fund for
Learners (HAFL) they say more needs to be done to prevent students falling into hardship in the first place.
“We’ve been warning for weeks that hardship funds across the tertiary sector are about to run dry, so it’s heartening to
see the Minister of Education give them a significant boost. This $20 million will go a long way towards alleviating
some of the more critical hardship currently experienced by students” says NZUSA National President Andrew Lessells.
An increase in the HAFL was one of three key asks of Government in the National Student Action Plan on COVID-19,
designed by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, Te Mana Ākonga, Tauira Pasifika, the National Disabled
Students Association and 45 other student organisations across Aotearoa.
However, the call in the Action Plan for a temporary Universal Education Income (UEI) has gone unanswered. “A UEI would
ensure that all students have enough to live on regardless of how old they are or what they study. While an introduction
of a universal allowance would be bold, students need bold action to survive. A revolutionary moment in the world's
history is a time for revolutions, not for patching. We’re disappointed that the Minister hasn’t recognised this” says
NZUSA and student leaders across the country look forward to working with the Tertiary Education Commission on the
distribution and criteria for the HAFL.
We stand for opportunity, for all.
NZUSA is the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, the national body that represents New Zealand's students'
associations and the interests of New Zealand's 400,000 students at universities, polytechnics and in trades training.
We conduct original research, advocate to Government and through the media, and support New Zealand's students'
associations to be more effective on behalf of their members. We advocate alongside Te Mana Akonga – The National Māori
Students' Association, and Tertiary Women New Zealand – The NZUSA Women's Caucus.
Since 1929, we've believed in a society rich in opportunity, where anyone from anywhere can become any thing. We
support accessible, affordable quality public tertiary education.