Australian Greens higher education spokesperson Senator Robert Simms will launch the Save Our Scholarships campaign to mark the start of O'Week, calling on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to reverse their decision to turn the Student Start-Up Scholarships into a loan.
"The Student Start-Up Scholarship allowed students from disadvantaged or low-income backgrounds to purchase study necessities like text books and equipment, and for many it was the difference between being able to pay their rent or buy groceries, and not. This scholarship provided much-needed support for students on Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY," Senator Simms said.
"More than 270,000 students across the country received the scholarship in 2013 including almost 21,000 students in South Australia. By turning the scholarship into a loan, hundreds of thousands of low-income students are being saddled with an extra $6150 of lifetime debt.
"The Greens are calling for this decision to be reversed and for the Student Start-Up Scholarships to be turned back into a grant."
Postcards asking for the scholarships to be reverted back to a grant will be handed out to students on university campuses during O'Week, which will be collated and presented to Mr Turnbull and Mr Shorten in Canberra.
Media contact: Amy Moran 0417 173 508