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Fees-free cut scholarships

This year a number of government scholarships have been cut, including the ‘First in Family’ scholarship for those who are first in their family to attend university

These cuts are a result of polytechnics and universities receiving no increase in funding in this year’s 2018 Budget.

It is said that Labour's fees-free scheme prevented the Government from spending more on tertiary institutions because the first year of the policy has already cost $260 million.

Despite missing out on a mention in the budget, students at AUT say they had no expectations of the budget so were not concerned with the outcome.

“I don’t think the universities need any more funding. I hope that all the money students are paying to go to university is actually going towards the university," says second-year communications student Moira Murphy.

Ms Murphy says she would like to see more investment into the mental-health sector.

“I hope mental health facilities, especially for young people, would get more money out of that because we do have the biggest youth-suicide rate in the First World. It’s pretty hard for people to get appointments and the health they need.”

Students say increases in student living costs at the beginning of this year were enough for them, but that a review of the student allowance system is well overdue because it is based on how much parents earn. “My parents earn too much for me to get the allowance but I actually don’t get supported by them,” says Ms Murphy.

The lack of concern found across AUT is not mirrored by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations, which says there are still issues students face that need to be addressed.

Jonathan Gee, national president of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA), says the tertiary education sector is well overdue for a funding boost and all eyes

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