One of the things I really cannot stand is people who decide to reject reality and established facts.
Early tonight one of these Rich Pricks Students decided that they would talk to the other people in their masters degree course to try and establish if it was normal for students in NZ to be supported by their parents.
They concluded that it was normal for students in NZ:
to be fully supported by their parents,
to live at home, and
contribute nothing back to the household.
Now I cannot even begin to express how outrageous this statement is.
But lets look at where this conclusion came from.
First it came from a taught masters class. This means a few things. First it is a bloody expensive class. Secondly it means that you have to be pretty good academically to get into it. It is well known that to get as far as masters you typically come from a very well off background or get lucky with a scholarship. So it is little wonder this conclusion was made.
So what is the true reality of students? Well here are some true facts.
(Data and edited comments from NZUSA 2007 Student Income and Expenditure Survey)
The socio-economic level of parents/guardians was calculated from their stated occupation
using the Elley-Irving index. These figures are based on at least one parent or guardian
currently in paid employment.
Significantly more students were from a high socio-economic background in 2007 than in 2004
(59% in 2007, 47% in 2004). Over one third of students (35%) were from a middle socio
economic background. Significantly fewer students were from a low socio-economic
background in 2007 (6%) than in 2004 (15%).
Students from a high socio-economic background were significantly more likely to be
studying full time, with parents earning over $80,001, international students, aged 20-
Students from a middle socio-economic background were significantly more likely to be
studying part time, with parental income between $20,001 and $40,000.
Students from a low socio-economic background were significantly more likely to have
parents earning under $60,000, Maori, over 30 years.
Thirty eight percent of tertiary students are financially independent. Almost one third of
students (32%) are partially supported by another adult (4% by their partner, 28% by their
family). One fifth (20%) are totally supported by another adult (5% by their partner, 15% by
International students were significantly more likely to be fully supported by their family (55%
of international students, compared to 11% of domestic students). Domestic students were
significantly more likely to be partially supported by their family (29% of domestic students,
compared with 15% of international students) or to be financially
During 2007, half (50%) of students rented a home or flat. Just over a quarter of students
(26%) lived with their parents.
Now it is important to note that this survey was of tertiary students only. What about those other people in society who cannot afford to attend tertiary education. Are they supported by their parents? I highly doubt it.
So lets look at the statements again.
The vast majority of students are not fully supported by their families.
The vast majority of students do not live at home.
The vast majority of students are expected to contribute back to their families.
Word of advice: Don’t mess with someone who loves statistics, debating, and looking out for the downtrodden.
Rick Pricks need to open their eyes and see beyond their gold plated fences. How about spending a year without your comforts. How about spending a whole year financially independant and earning the minimum wage? Don’t critise what you have not experienced.
Update: Here are some more facts… This is a press release from 30 July 2008 on Student Allowances showing very clearly that students are not supported.
Government report justifies calls for universal student allowances
Students are welcoming the release of a government report highlighting the positive educational
outcomes associated with student allowances.
“The findings of this report come as no surprise. NZUSA has long advocated that adequate support
in the form of student allowances is integral to academic success, and this government report now
confirms this,” said Paul Falloon, Co-President of the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations
The Ministry of Education report, Educational achievements of student support recipients, found that
those who receive student allowances do better academically and are twice as likely to achieve
successful completion of their studies.
“This evidence provides an excellent academic justification for the introduction of a universal student
allowance”, said Falloon.
Currently only around one third of students receive an allowance, with two thirds excluded due to
parental-income means-testing till the age of 25. As a result many must borrow simply to cover basic
living costs, resulting in the vast amount of student debt that individual students bear, and the
immense collective student debt of $10 billion now held in the community.
“In 2007 NZUSA conducted the national Student Income & Expenditure Survey and found that 90%
of fulltime students undertake paid work during the academic year, and 59% cite a stressful financial
situation as a major concern,” said Falloon. “The impact of this, and the often significant time away
from study at paid work, has concerned academics and student representatives alike for years,”
With both political and public support for a universal student allowance, and now government
research identifying allowances as a significant factor in positive educational outcomes, the time is
now right for its implementation into policy.
If students were supported by their parents then why are those who recieve an allowances twice as likely to complete their studies?