22 February 2019: Editorial

If you're on the Victoria Doctoral Scholarship, you're doubtless aware that it can be difficult to get by on $23,500 per annum - especially if you're an international student and/or have any dependents while studying. The PGSA is advocating a raise in the scholarship amount, and for student levies to be included in its provisions, and we need your help to make our case.

The VDS was last raised in 2011, and has therefore fallen considerably relative to the cost of living (especially considering Wellington's high rental costs) over recent years. Wellington has the second highest cost of living in Aotearoa New Zealand, but our doctoral scholarship level is lower than at Massey, Auckland, AUT, Otago and Lincoln universities. We don't think this befits Victoria's commitment to attracting high quality scholars from New Zealand and around the world.

To help argue for an increase in the VDS amount, we are gathering evidence from students on how they feel about the doctoral scholarship, including impacts of financial pressures on their wellbeing and their ability to maintain productivity. If you would like to help us, please send a letter of support to Priyanka at pgsa-president@vuw.ac.nz. All the letters we receive will be submitted as evidence for the changes we are asking for. You are welcome to put your name to any letters, but if you would prefer to remain anonymous you may. We are also asking staff members to support us in this initiative, so feel free to encourage any colleagues to make their own submission. Any help you can give is hugely appreciated.

Elizabeth OlsenComment