Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 28, No. 8. 1965.
What, How, We Won — Students Score In Budget
What, How, We Won
Students Score In Budget
In a Budget not noted for great concessions — categorised by one economist as "totally lacking in imagination"—universities gained several valuable concessions:
• Tax deductions up to £500 for donations by companies to universities for research purposes.
• Masters' bursaries rise from £100 to £150
• Third year fees and allowance bursaries rise from £60 to £80.
• Boarding bursary rises from £80 to £125.
• Hostel subsidies rise from 66⅔ per cent to 80 per cent.
• Introduction of a 10 per cent loan scheme for hostels.
All measures come into effect immediately and the hostel scheme applies to hostels being currently built.
An attempt to predict the effect of these measures must be partly based on guesswork.
The research donation provision should stimulate some donations, but the ceiling will discourage one donor from sponsoring a whole research programme. Individuals are not eligible for the concession. Universities will have to actively solicit donations, as the scheme is more an argument than an automatic incentive.
Hostel schemes should now spring ahead. It is unlikely that the government will use its new veto powers on building against hostel schemes.
Some schemes may grow in size. Otago has collected £200,000 to finance a £600,000 hostel. The same sum could now finance a £2,000,000 scheme.
The Sharp rise in boarding bursary will help bridge the gap between possible earnings and essential expenditure which now affects many students.
Still untouched are bursary anomalies, the standard and size of university building schemes, and university salary scales. However Mr. Kinsella has announced that bursary anomalies are under review.
What prompted government action? Many factors appear to have combined against the Government.
The quiet anger of student protests on a large scale in Auckland, Dunedin and (in particular) Wellington are known to have concerned the Government.
Protests have come from other strong organisations, including the National Party Annual Conference, the Association of University Teachers, the Federation of University Women, and the Wellington Watersiders' Union.
One of the most potent forces is believed to have been the way in which the situation has been brought home to the Government in places not normally associated with student protest.
Graduation ceremonies this year caught the Government unprepared.
At Otago Mr. Hanan's platitudes found a hostile reception.
"One thing Mr. Hanan can be pretty sure of is that he won't be invited back again to insult intelligent people with political drivel," one Otago student wrote of his performance.
At Victoria, the Chancellor, Sir Duncan Stout, denounced Government inaction in a measured, dignified but bitter speech. From a man respected for his good sense and caution, these were strong words.
(The "Dominion," it may be noted, so appreciated the importance of the speech that it reduced it to a couple of paragraphs.)
Yet even the "Dominion" did its bit to shake the government. In an editorial, it denounced students' methods, but acknowledged the justice of the student case, and in this the "Evening Post" concurred editorially.
We started with everyone apathetic or against us. With one budget past, we are on the way.
It is useful to pause and consider methods.
We may need them again.