A student support package announced today in response to Covid-19 will assist students financially to continue their studies, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.
“Covid-19 is impacting students’ ability to financially contribute to and continue their studies. They are facing additional personal costs associated with study in a different way while having fewer opportunities to work to support their study,” he said.
“The Government wants to give certainty to students as soon as possible that they can continue to be engaged in their education and will be supported adequately until such time that tertiary education providers can put in place alternative ways of delivering teaching and learning.
The domestic tertiary student package will help cover extra costs by increasing the student loan amount available for course-related costs for full-time students from $1,000 to $2,000, on a temporary basis.
It will also continue to support payments for students unable to study on-line for up to 8 weeks
The package will ensure that when students receive partial tuition fee refunds in 2020 because their course has been discontinued due to Covid-19, this will not affect their future entitlement to student loans or if they are unable to complete a course of study, their entitlement to Fees Free tertiary study.
“Today’s package means students who cannot access their courses on-line will continue to receive their student loan payments as normal throughout the four-week lockdown period, and for up to four weeks afterwards. This flexibility is already available for student living allowances.
“These pragmatic measures, coupled with the support MSD can already give, will provide an immediate response to the financial impact Covid-19 is having on tertiary students. It will support students to stay engaged in their education,” he said.
The cost of the package is $35 million in operating funding and $98 million in capital expenditure.