Ms Amanda Fraser1, Mrs Stephanie Hunter1
1Victoria University Of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
The combined impact of high living costs and low financial literacy among young New Zealanders continues to cause financial distress for students attending university. Although the government funded ‘free fees’ initiative has been introduced during 2018 for the first year of tuition, the associated costs of living continue to rise and students are frequently accessing overdrafts, loans and credit cards to help meet their day to day expenses. Seeking financial assistance can be daunting and sometimes embarrassing for students and it can be difficult to find time around work, study or family commitments to seek advice. While most tertiary institutions in New Zealand offer a financial support or advisory service, there is no digital learning platform targeted at increasing New Zealand student’s personal financial literacy. Victoria University of Wellington explored various options to provide an online learning tool that would complement the current face-to-face and workshop based service.
After research and consultation, Blackbullion, an e-learning platform designed to help universities ensure students have access to independent, credible and easy-to-understand financial literacy lessons, while empowering them to take control of their personal finances, was procured. This presentation will discuss the process of working with a third party organisation to increase students financial literacy, how the content was contextualised for the New Zealand environment and how the programme was piloted.
Amanda is the Senior Student Finance Adviser at Victoria University of Wellington and is responsible for the development and delivery of financial advice services to students, including the administration of the Hardship Fund. She has been working with tertiary students in a number of roles since 2013 and is passionate about working with students.