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Don't Punish Students For WINZ Problems - NZUSA

Call For Institutions Not To Punish Students For WINZ Problems

The APSU Student Union and New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) are calling on tertiary institutions to exercise leniency over the enrollment period in the wake of further problems uncovered this week with Work and Income New Zealand's handling of Student Loans.

After attending an urgent meeting with Ministers Steve Maharey and Ruth Dyson, APSU Student Union and NZUSA leaders David Penney and Sam Huggard say it is clear that there are no easy answers to WINZ's problems and that they are sure that the problem won't go away.

"We are asking that institutions grant students some grace time in the event that their fees are not paid by the institution's enrollment cut of date. Last year some students waited weeks on end for the allowances to come through, and if this proves to be the case with loans, we are concerned that many students will not be recognized as being enrolled by the institution. This may cause their study programme to be interrupted," said David Penney, National President of the APSU Student Union.

"Until their fees are paid, many students will not be able to access the computer labs and libraries, and will not be able to pay for their course materials. It is not acceptable that because of a government department's inadequacy, students will be prevented from studying", said Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co President.

"Students are not interested in who is at fault or liable, they just want to have their fees paid and start their study on time. We are asking the institutions to be proactive on this matter and to not punish the student," said Sam Huggard.

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