Postgraduates 'below poverty line again'

Postgraduates may be in need of more student finance advice after figures emerged showing that the Australian Postgraduate Awards (APAs) value slipped back below the official poverty line.

Nigel Palmer, research fellow with the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, revealed that it first dropped below the line in 2008.

In 2009, the budget for APAs was increased by ten per cent, but recent data suggests that student banking customers receiving the funds are once again likely to struggle financially.

The poverty line is $441.71 each week according to indicators for the March quarter, yet the base rate for the APA is $439.62.

This means that the higher degree research students only received sufficient money to keep them above the poverty level for 12 months.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of people in the country with at least one qualification gained after leaving school rose to 62 per cent in 2011, eight percentage points higher than the figure recorded in 2001.

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