29 Nov 2021

New research into 'sweat equity' at our universities

From Nine To Noon, 9:15 am on 29 November 2021

There are concerns more post-grad students at our tertiary institutions will abandon their research because they simply can't afford to continue. A new paper out today analyses how the stipend portion of scholarships and awards granted to PhD and Masters candidates haven't kept pace with minimum wage - let alone the living wage. It found from 2000 to 2010, PhD scholarships grew on average from $14,000 to over $24,476. But over the next nine years to 2019, only rose by $1000 dollars.

The researchers say the cost-sharing of post-grad research is skewed in favour of universities, who have kept their financial contribution low relative to inflation and living costs. They say the overall effect may be to lock out certain groups from research careers. Kathryn speaks to Chrystal O'Connor, a PhD candidate at Lincoln University who's organised a petition seeking to increase the stipend to minimum and one of the paper's authors, Dr Sereana Naepi.

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Photo: Pixabay/BeFunky