COVID-19 has impacted so many of our vulnerable communities disproportionately and tertiary students have been hit hard. We believe all students should have access to support so that they can continue to study safely during these difficult times.

We know the Government announcement today to top up University-facilitated Hardship Grants doesn’t go far enough to support the quarter of a million students across Aotearoa. Many students report access to these funds requires a substantial amount of time and energy, and that it can feel deeply embarrassing to have to prove just how poor you are to access them.

We’re asking for immediate, direct financial support available for all students. At the very least, the Government can pull the same lever it did last time and double the borrowing allowance for course-related costs.

Last lockdown the Government rightfully extended some support to vulnerable students, and we believe it not only can do the same again, but should go further and faster.