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AG On Student Loans No Surprise

Auditors General's comments on student loan scheme come as no surprise say students

The New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) is unsurprised at that the findings in the report from the Controller and Auditor-General on the student loan scheme, released today.

"Student associations have long been saying that there was a complete lack of government research into the long-term effects of the student loan scheme, and are pleased, yet unsurprised, that the Auditor-General concurs with this view," said Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co President.

"The burden of research into the student loan scheme has fallen on to universities and student associations when the government itself should have been playing a leading role in conducting this research."

"The long term effects of the loan scheme are enormous. There was no assessment from the previous government on the effects of the loan scheme on participation levels, the ability to raise a bank loan for a mortgage or the passing on of loan debt to consumers via professional fees such as lawyers, dentists and doctor's fees. It is woeful that the National government saw no reason to ensure that these issues were being monitored and researched."

"We also have concerns about the lack of information provided to borrowers up front, when they take out their loan. Students and potential students are informed about the mechanics of how to take out a loan, but are given no advice on the effect that having a large student loan debt will have on their future career and lifestyle."

"We are welcoming the comments from Tertiary minister Steve Maharey that his government is willing to consider the recommendations contained in the Controller and Auditor-General's report. This is a distinct difference from a previous National party that had no real interest in assessing the long term impacts of the student loan scheme," concluded Sam Huggard.

Ends.

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