Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 13. 1967.
Bursaries must rise
Bursaries must rise
Inflation in recent years and the current employment prospects for students during the coming vacation call for an immediate increase in bursaries, and for the long term, the establishment of a mechanism to regulate bursary levels.
New Zealand must start to grow out of the haphazard government which it has tolerated to date. If universities are worth having and students are of some use to society, then society must be prepared to pay the price.
As students are coming more and more from the lower income groups it is unfair to expect these parents to support their children at university. If bursaries are not increased in the near future this tendency towards greater egali-tarianism will be reversed and the institutions will once more be a haven for the sons and daughters of the wealthy classes.
To date bursary levels have been fixed following a brief power struggle between students and Government. The more impressive the student action the larger the bursary increase. For instance following the great student march of 1965 when nearly 2000 students marched to Parliament in protest over the inadequacies of bursaries, the boarding allowance took a 50 per cent plus rise.
This year some students are not going to get jobs at all—does the Government expect them to sponge off their parents? Those who do gain employment will earn considerably less than usual. This means fewer students will be able to continue on a full time basis next year. This means inferior education as it is now recognised that full time university education is definitely preferable to part time study.
It will also mean some students will be forced to give up university study altogether, thus slowing down the graduate output of our universities. Can the country afford to slow down the production of graduates?
Must this political process of exerting pressure on Government— students marching in parades etc —be acted through before bursaries are raised? Is it not possible for the Government to relate and fix bursaries (and pensions) to the cost of living index, to avoid the necessity of large irregular rises?
If the Government, does not wish to slow the output of the universities then it must adjust bursary levels, in order that students are not prevented from returning to university next year because of the employment situation, which has occurred because the Government failed to heed the many warnings of economists during the past few years.