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Loan Changes Welcomed By University Students Assoc

The New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) is welcoming the changes to the student loan scheme announced today by the Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education), Steve Maharey.

The changes will mean that the income part time students are able to earn while still qualifying for an student loan interest write off will increase from $14,768 to $24,596, effective 1 January 2000.

"The high interest charged on student loans in the previous decade has crippled students with a mountain of debt. For the many students enrolled part time at tertiary institutions, these announcements will be welcomed relief," said Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co President.

NZUSA is encouraging the government to move swiftly to address the core root of massive student debt - high fees and the lack of a universal living allowance.

"We are calling on the government to expediently begin the process of progressively fazing out tuition fees during their current three year term in office, and to move also toward universal living allowances for tertiary students. Only then will we see substantial benefit for students who collectively owe over 3.4 billion dollars in student debt", concluded Sam Huggard.

ends

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