The National Government’s cuts to postgraduate student allowances will add to skills’ shortages, the Green Party said today.
Just released research by the New Zealand Psychological Society and the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists found 75 percent of undergraduate psychology students said they were less likely to continue into postgraduate study without an allowance. Psychologists require postgraduate level study to complete their professional registration.
“New Zealand already has a shortage of clinical, educational and developmental psychologists and psychology is included on New Zealand’s long-term skill shortage list,” Green Party student spokesperson Holly Walker said today.
“New Zealand doesn’t have enough psychologists to meet demand and now the National Government is making it really hard for students to continue to study.
“The National Government cut allowances to postgraduate students without any real consideration of the impact that move would have on New Zealand.
“Since these cuts came in some students have withdrawn from clinical psychology programmes because they can’t make ends meet.
“The industry research found 75 percent of undergraduate psychology students said they might have to rethink their decision to continue on to postgrad study.
“The figure was higher for Maori students – 85 percent said it would affect their decision to enter postgraduate programme, this at a time when we have a shortage of Maori psychologists and Maori are overrepresented in negative mental health statistics,” Ms Walker said.
Other professions have also been hit hard by these cuts.
“It is dishonest for National to talk about making New Zealand a more innovative, internationally competitive nation when it has stripped away support for the people who would do just that.
“We need smart tertiary policy that invests in our future and that values the contribution that higher education makes to our economy and society.
“The Green Party has a bill to reinstate access to student allowances for postgraduate students to ensure talented bright New Zealanders reach their potential and ensure we don’t have skills shortages.”