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War Economy

University Education for Ex-servicemen

page 513

University Education for Ex-servicemen

For those who wanted to take up or renew university courses, bursaries were provided. By 1946 over twice as many male students were attending university lectures as in 1939. A substantial proportion of the extra students was assisted by the Rehabilitation Board. Rehabilitation bursars, including those attending part-time, numbered 3400 in 1946 and 1947.

There was a peak university attendance in 1947, when 9200 male students were attending lectures, compared with 4100 in 1939. From 3400 rehabilitation bursars in 1947, the number fell gradually to 900 by 1950. University attendances fell, but not by so much. There were some 8300 males attending lectures in 1950. Buoyant economic conditions and other influences had raised the proportion of young people who sought university education.

Of ex-servicemen, Condliffe wrote: ‘By the end of the financial year, 1953, about 27,000 had received generous educational bursaries and the number of renewals exceeded this total. The majority of these grants were for part-time study in the university colleges, but 4,212 were studying full-time (732 of them overseas) with all fees and academic expenses paid as well as subsistence at a rate of £6. 5. Od. per week for married men and £3. 13. Od. for single men.’1

1 J. B. Condliffe, The Welfare State in New Zealand, p. 96. The 4212 studying full-time refers to the number of students who were assisted in this way up to 1953, not to the number at any one time. Similarly with the 732. Initially the subsistence rates were below those stated. Later they were to be raised higher.