No post-grad allowances for first semester, no set start date

Education Minister Chris Hipkins.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins. Photo credit: Getty

Labour's election promise to reinstate post-graduate student allowances has no set start date and won't be introduced until at least the 2018 second semester.

During the campaign, Labour pledged to restore allowances for post-graduate students. It has promised to do so since National scrapped them in 2013.

But Education Minister Chris Hipkins told Newshub reinstatement of post-graduate allowances "isn't being actively considered as part of the Government's 100-day plan".

"It will be considered as part of the Budget 2018 process."

The Budget typically occurs at the end of May, so changes won't come into effect until at least the second semester of 2018. With no set start date, though, students would be unwise to bank on when the allowance would come into effect.

AUSA President Will Matthews says the student union is "firmly in favour of them being reinstated", but wants a start date.

"It's good the Government is doing it," he said. "We would prefer to have a less tentative response, but we understand there are financial requirements to be met."

The National Government scrapped post-graduate student allowances at the beginning of 2013, limiting allowances to undergraduate study or a Bachelor degree with Honours.

Then-Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said the changes would save $33 million over four years.


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