WELLINGTON, Nov 21 - It was promised for the government's first 100 days and Education Minister Chris Hipkins says he's delivered.

"This will make more than 130,000 students $50 a week better off," he said.

"No change is being made to eligibility rules for student allowances or loans.

The maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will increase from $178 to $228.

"We have heard the concerns of students and their families who have told us cost is a real barrier to taking on tertiary study," Mr Hipkins said.

"Improving affordability and access to tertiary education and training will improve opportunities both for our young people and adult learners."

Mr Hipkins says the government is on track to deliver the second of its promises - the first year of fees-free education and training from January 1.

"Final decisions are being worked through and students can rest assured that the first year of fees-free study will kick in next year, and they should plan accordingly," he said.

The full programme will see three years' fees-free by 2024.

The lobby group Aotearoa Students' Alliance said the $50 increase was "a pittance for future generations of students".

"A $50 boost now does nothing for those students in the future who face higher costs through rent price inflation," said spokesman Jack Close.

"If Labour had any sense they'd index this increase to the biggest cost students face - rent prices."