Stu­dents’ money strug­gles


A third of ter­tiary stu­dents in an Auck­land-based study say at times they go with­out food and hy­giene prod­ucts be­cause they can­not af­ford them.

The study, by Unitec In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, re­leased on Tues­day, found many of the 1964 stu­dents sur­veyed strug­gled to meet ba­sic needs.

Be­cause of this, two-thirds said they had ‘‘se­ri­ously con­sid­ered’’ drop­ping out of study due to fi­nan­cial pres­sures.

More than half of those sur­veyed were adults up­skilling, chang­ing ca­reers or hav­ing their first go at for­mal qual­i­fi­ca­tions. One in three had at least one fi­nan­cially-de­pen­dant child.

De­spite cash flow from loans, fam­ily or earn­ings, one in three stu­dents said they had to forgo food and hy­giene prod­ucts be­cause they could not af­ford them.

The sur­vey found 55 per cent or work-study-life did not have enough in­come to meet their liv­ing costs at some stage in the past 12 months. More than two-thirds of Maori stu­dents sur­veyed ex­pressed the same strug­gle.

New Zealand Union of Stu­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Jonathan Gee said the sur­vey showed the cost of study was a ‘‘huge dis­in­cen­tive’’ for many to con­tinue with ter­tiary ed­u­ca­tion.

‘‘Ter­tiary study should be a way out of poverty, not a way into it,’’ he said.


NZUSA pres­i­dent Jonathan Gee says ter­tiary study should be a way out of poverty, not a way into it.

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