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Tell Students about Consequences Of Loan Debt

Government must tell Students about Consequences of Loan Debt

The Government must immediately launch a public education programme on the consequences of taking out a Student Loan Debt, the Aotearoa Post-compulsory Student Union (APSU) said today.

The call came after the release of a damning report from the Auditor General into the Student Loan scheme.

"The key finding of the report essentially confirms what students' associations have always suspected - that many students are forced to take out a student loan and yet they are given little information about how the loan will impact on their life," said David Penney, APSU National President.

"For most other risky pursuits - smoking, drinking or even bungy jumping - the Government has made sure that there is clear information about the likely consequences of the action. With the student loans scheme, people are required to take a leap in the dark."

"It is frightening to think that people are taking on thousands of dollars of debt, with little idea whether their tertiary education will actually increase their future income and therefore their ability to pay back the loan."

"We can't help but wonder whether the previous National Government declined to provide this sort of information because it knew it would have a dampening effect on participation in tertiary education."

"APSU called on the Government to investigate the possibility of a public education programme on student debt in March. We are pleased that the Minister, Steve Maharey, has said today that he is willing to consider the recommendations contained in the Auditor General's report."

"Given that the previous National Government refused to accept that the student loan scheme was a problem, we hope that the Labour/Alliance Government will waste no time in gathering hard data about the impact of student debt and distribute it to current and prospective students," concluded David Penney.


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