- Date published:
1:56 pm, May 15th, 2019 - 85 comments
Categories: education, employment, grant robertson, jacinda ardern, labour, making shit up, Media, national, tertiary education, uncategorized - Tags:
For some time the right have been making this loud noise about Labour’s student loan policy and how it has failed because the number of students have not increased dramatically.
The manufactured narrative has persuaded some in the media. They have bought into the premise. But it is frustrating because the policy was all about generational equity and nothing about boosting student numbers.
If you need proof here is the relevant section from Labour’s policy platform.
Notice the phrase “will leave study with less debt”?
The comparison is fatuous. It is like saying that climate change policy has failed because crime statistics have increased.
And the reduction in borrowing will long term have a significant beneficial effect. It will not clear debt but it will mean that current students will be able to remove the millstone of debt from their neck sooner.
The reporting on the announcement that the Government will be able to make $200 million in savings on the scheme is also mischievous at best. The savings are because the amount needed is less than anticipated. A healthy economy and soaring employment reduces the desire of people to engage in full time education.
And this is also the message from Victoria University Students Association president Tamatha Paul. From Radio New Zealand:
Ms Paul told Morning Report the scheme was proving beneficial to students.
“We know that this policy is being extremely helpful,” she said.
“We’re having conversations with students consistently, who are saying they wouldn’t have come to the university if it wasn’t for this policy, especially students coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and especially those getting scholarships who are now dedicated that money towards accommodation and living costs, instead of tertiary fees.”
“So I think they should keep their commitments and keep the funding where it is, were promises were made… Tertiary education, whether it’s higher training, university or polytechnic, should be affordable for everybody.”
However, Ms Paul said she was already disappointed the government was redirecting $200 million from the $1.9 billion allocated to scheme over four years, towards reforming vocational training.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to assess the policy after one year… why are we assessing it and making such massive cuts. We do need to wait and see how it pans out,” she said.
I do not think she has grounds for being disappointed. If the money is not spent then it should be used elsewhere. But the roll out of the policy should continue. So that the incidence of crippling debt on our young people is reduced.