Student allowances will not be given to anyone studying at post-graduate level under changes made in last week's Budget.
Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce announced prior to the Budget plans to tighten up rules around student loans and allowances, but said that allowances would be allowed for four years of study.
Deputy Labour leader Grant Robertson says it's now clear no one who does post-graduate study will be eligible for an allowance.
He says there had been a minimum 200 week limit, but after that people were eligible for allowances depending on the course they were doing.
"What the Government's done in this Budget is take away allowance eligibility for anyone studying post-graduate qualifications. I think that's short sighted, I think that's going to see a number of people not be able to undertake post-graduate study and achieve their potential."
The cuts send a mixed message to people wanting to be teachers, as they are being told they have to have a post-graduate qualification, but at the same time will be ineligible for a student allowance.
The plans are part of government plans to cut costs when it comes to student allowances and increase the quality of teachers.
Mr Robertson says for people who want a teaching career, it just got that much harder.
"The starting salaries for teachers are not high and I think it is sending a signal to people from low and middle income backgrounds that teaching, along with other careers that require post-graduate qualifications, may not be for them. I think it's a terrible message to send."
Photo: Stephen Joyce (Getty Images)