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More shocking student loan side effects

"Today's news that the British government will restrict access to working-holiday visas for students with significant loan debt is further proof of the unintended consequences of the student loan scheme," said Sam Huggard, Co President of NZUSA.

"Rights that previous generations took for granted are being taken off young New Zealanders," said Sam Huggard. "Living and working overseas for a few years in your twenties is a freedom thousands of New Zealanders have enjoyed in the past. We don't think that having a student loan should prevent young people from doing so now."

"Students are caught between a rock and a hard place on this issue. If they can't find a job in New Zealand, or have children, their loan will be with them for life. Yet if they head overseas looking for work to alleviate their debt, they are being told to go home."

"When the National party set up the student loan scheme in 1992, it was intended to be a financial aid for students to help them to complete their study. It is now fast turning into a restrictive trap that is preventing graduates from leading normal lives."

"If the government wants this generation of young people to have the same opportunities that they did, they will need to cut the high level of student debt. This will only be done by increasing access to living allowances while studying and lowering fees," said Sam Huggard.

Contact: Sam Huggard, NZUSA Co President, 025 86 86 73

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