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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 18, No. 10. July 15, 1954

On Increasing University Bursaries . .

On Increasing University Bursaries . . .

Since every human being has the right to fulfill his vocation for the full development of his personality, the Universities must, in principle, be open without discrimination to all persons having an intellectual vocation and the capacities necessary for its fulfillment. In various countries, there exist racial, political and religious discrimination, in New Zealand, possibly the most favoured of countries, financial difficulties constitute the one obstacle to University studies, bearing in mind the above limitations. This is especially so in the case of one whose course of study demands full-time attendance at a University.

The University of New Zealand is supported financially by the State. The State depends upon the Universities to provide trained technicians to operate and plan its essential services. It is thus in the State's interests to encourage students to attend university full-time. Though it has often been said that the granting of bursaries by the State is a purely arbitrary matter, surely in the existing set-up the granting of those bursaries, designed to remove barriers of class, race and creed, becomes more than a benevolent act—becomes a creed?

In September, 1953, N.Z.U.S.A. presented submissions to the Minister of Education, Hon. Mr. Algie, requesting a revision of the existing Government bursaries available to students, A summary of these submissions was made some time ago in this paper. Of general interest, therefore, was the reply given by the Minister to a question on this topic in the House of Representatives last week—"Submissions were recently made to me . . . and I am (considering) them". On the same day, a remit was passed at the National Party Conference, recommending that university bursaries and scholarships be adjusted to conform with rising living costs. The time is opportune for students—financially needy or not—to put their case more strongly to the public through letters to the daily press, local bodies and organisations.

The University should admit all who can rightly claim to be admitted, while it should not facilitate access for everyone without imposing stricter entrance standards than those at present in force, as regards the student's intellectual ability. Bursaries should not be awarded without discrimination: they should exist primarily for those worthy of them and in need of the financial aid they give.