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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 16, No. 18. September 18, 1952


We asked a number of students what they thought of the principle of the "salaries for students" schemes which are being discussed so widely among overseas federations. Five per cent said suspiciously, "Does it mean we'd have to work?", 5 percent said, "It sounds too good to be true," and 94.5 per cent said, "Don't know." It appears, therefore, as if there is room for a little preliminary explanation.

Just at present, as the result of some seven years' discussion among political parties and student bodies, there is a Bill before the French National Assembly proposing a pre-salaire (literally "pro-salary") for university undergraduates. The main elements of the Bill are:—
(i)Every student of a university ... recognised under the present Act, has the right, provided he satisfies, the prescribed conditions, to receive a salary equivalent to the basic wage.
(ii)Students who do not fulfil the prescribed conditions can receive whole or part scholarships.
(iii)Students who do not come under the present Act are to retain the right to follow courses ... in accordance with regulations already in force.

The renumeration would be drawn from an autonomous national fund, administered by a board, including the Minister of Education and professorial and student representatives. The fund would be derived chiefly from governmental and municipal subsidies.

This is the first legislation for student-salaries, and is being followed with considerable interest overseas, for the principle of payment for study has been discussed at many international gatherings. The 1950 International Student Service Berne Congress on Access to the University, talked over the pre-salarie, and at the XXIInd world congress of Pax Romana, undergraduate partner of the Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, to be held in Montreal at the end of this month, a report will be presented on the various applications of the principle, as part of the general theme. Mission of the University. We find the 2 salaries, schemes being brought forward wherever there are similar discussions which include the closer integration of the university with the life of the community, and proposals of "democratisation."

The object of the different proposals is to make university education accessible to all classes by the payment of a "salary" to every student who has attained a certain academic standard.