30 Jun 2012

Higher postgrad loan limit wanted

9:00 am on 30 June 2012

A university students association wants postgraduates to be able to borrow more than is currently permitted when their allowances end.

Under Budget changes, people doing masters or doctoral degrees will no longer be eligible for a student allowance from next year.

The Otago University Students Association says hundreds of postgraduates who have children will be hurt by the policy.

Welfare officer Francisco Hernandez says some students will have their weekly payments halved from $350 to $170.

He says students should be able to borrow up to the amount the allowance paid them or they will be forced to find part-time jobs and extend their studies.

But a spokesperson for Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says the student loan living cost amount is almost exactly the same as the student allowance.

He says once the accommodation supplement is added, it would bring the figure to at least what the students are currently getting - and in some cases slightly more.