In 2010, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures showing that, across Australia, 44% of 18-24 year-olds were studying.
Amongst New Zealand citizen residents of Australia, however, the figure dropped sharply to 22%. Figures released by other organisations paint a similar or even more bleak picture of the educational prospects of Kiwi-born kids in Australia.
These shocking statistics can largely be attributed to a series of policy changes by the Australian Government over the past 15 years. The removal of eligibility for NZ citizens first for citizenship and student support payments, eg Youth Allowance, then eligibility for HECS, and then eligibility for a range of undergraduate scholarships have had an absolutely devastating effect on the educational and career prospects for Kiwi-born kids who call Australia home.
The government’s tertiary education reforms remove the barrier of upfront fees. However, the massive fee increases for NZ citizen students are only likely to see the number of NZ-born young people in tertiary education drop even further.
Oz Kiwi strongly opposes the Australian Government’s proposals and continues to advocate for improved access to education for NZ citizens in Australia.