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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 39, Number 16, July 12, 1976.

At Polytech Too

At Polytech Too

Nicholas Bevin,

President, Wellington Polytech Students' Association.

Wellington Polytechnic, Wellington Teachers College, Central Institute of Technology and Victoria University are talking cost-of-living bursaries.

Because of the importance of this issue and its effect on thousands of students in the Wellington area, it is necessary that we all know what is going on in the various tertiary institutions in Wellington and combine our efforts to form a solid, united front. Wellington Polytech students have never really been politically active in this area and the number of students who suffer under the bursary anomalies, at Wellington Polytech makes me question this inactivity.

Hopefully I can claify the present position at Wellington Polytech concerning students and the Tertiary bursary, and even more hopefully stimulate some action by W.P. students.

Bursary not Standard

To call the Tertiary Bursary, standard, is fatuous. Of the 800 odd full-time students at W.P., only 340 (approx 42%) receive the unabated bursary. Why?

A large number of students, 120 (approx 15%) do not receive a bursary at all Why?

Only 12 students (i.e. 1.5%) receive hardship bursaries (I'm one of them) and these are not a all at the unabated rate. Why?

There are about 200 students, who, because of the nature of their courses incur large expenses due to the materials and equipment they are required to produce. These students do not receive any additional assistance. Why?

There are students studying full time at W.P. for 6 months, in courses that are not recognised by the Education Dept., as full time courses and therefore the students are not eligible for bursary assistance. Why?

Student nurses and child-care students are required to do practical work in hospitals and day care centres situated in places like Porirua and Upper Hutt and do not receive any re-imbursement or assistance. Why?

Some students have to travel to Polytech from as far away as Paremata each day because $13 a week is nowhere near enough to enable them to flat in town. Why?

Parents are forced to subsidise their children at W.P. even though that child is of voting age and legally an adult who shouldn't have to depend on assistance from their, already financially hard pressed, parents. Why?

One student lives with her divorced mother in Wellington and receives only $13 a week. Why?

Students lucky enough to receive a bursary (and I refuse to call it S.........D Tertiary Bursary) are having to deal with constantly rising prices with a bursary that has yet to be adjusted to the cost of living increases, as promised by the Government. Why?

There is one man who is supposed to know the answers to these questions but all Mr Gandar can say is "I am aware of the anomalies...."

Polytech Students Suffering Most

Wellington Polytech is a tertiary education centre and the introduction of the Tertiary Bursary was part of the necessary relignment in tertiary education that was going on at that time. After the initial excitement at the substantial increase in Polytech bursaries we have now realised that we are still being discriminated against (no offence to varsity students) and it appears that a Polytech education is not as tertiary as varsity education, therefore an anomaly exists in transferability.

Having already completed a varsity or polytech course many Wellington Polytech students (120 approx) are not eligible for bursaries under the present system. Second-chance education. Bullshit Gandar! If these students were to enroll in a full-time varsity course the bursary would be forthcoming. The anomolies list is almost endless. I say almost because we, the student, can put an end to them. Death to all anomalies!

As regards payment of the bursary, provisions have been made to have the bursary paid fortnightly, directly into students' bank accounts by the Wellington Polytech administration. If this system is successful in the third term of this year, it will be implemented for all eternity. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the W P. administration for this long awaited move.

The Government and Education Department cannot be allowed to continue to call the tertiary bursary, standard, and must be forced to rapidly remove the present anomalies and make tertiary education financially acceptable to those who wish it. We do not want the Government or Education Dept to change the bursary system - just make it standard for all tertiary education institutions.

Action Needed from Polytech

Polytechnic students are told that Polytech education is directly beneficial to "N.Z. industry" Polytechnic students are told that they are highly motivated and dedicated to their particular courses, that they have shown their studious intentions by this strong motivation. Yet, we are discrimianted against by the bursary 'regulations' (no official regulations exist) and are being regarded as "second-class" tertiary education students.

The time has come for all students concerned to cease to suffer under an inadequate bursary system and to receive what has been promised to them (a carrot maybe?)

To all those Polytech students reading this Think about it, think about the 120 students who are not receiving bursaries at Wellington Polytech, think about the Government and its price control. Think about the students who are thinking of coming to Wellington Polytech next year. Think about these things and begin to make yourselves heard, Wellington Polytech is coming out of its broom cupboard. We must demand parity for Polytech education and the bursary system. We must make Polytech recognised as a tertiary education centre that contributes a great deal of expertise to the "N Z industry".

You are entitled to more - demand it.

What Wellington Polytech Students Need

  • an unabated Standard Tertiary Bursary available to all students, irrespective of their geographic locations and past tertiary education.
  • additional assistance in the areas of expensive courses and where travelling costs are incurred.
  • the necessary cost-of-living adjustments.
  • a chance to continue their studies without the heavy load of night and weekend part-time work.