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School Leavers Concerned About Large Debts

Seventy percent of seventh form students are concerned about graduating with a large student loan debt, according to the results of a School Leavers Intentions Survey conducted by the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association late last year. Sixty percent of School Leavers also rated the high cost of fees as one of the three major disincentives for tertiary study.

VUWSA President Chris Hipkins said the results were particularly concerning, and urged the Government to give serious consideration to fulfilling its election promise to lower the cost of tertiary education in the forthcoming budget.

"More and more secondary school students are being restricted in the choices they make about their future by financial considerations. Increasingly students are choosing not to undertake tertiary study due to the cost, and that's simply unacceptable," Mr. Hipkins said.

"The current government campaigned on a platform of bringing down the cost of tertiary education, and yet last year fees remained at the same level. What we need to see is a decrease in fees, and that will require the government to put their money where their mouth is,"

"Any increase in fees at all this year will mean the government has broken their election promise. Furthermore, if they don't increase funding to a sufficient level to allow fees to come down, they won't be able to claim they have fulfilled their Pledge Card promise to bring down the cost of tertiary education,"

"This government campaigned on a platform of keeping their promises and returning integrity to parliament. If they bail out on students, their promises will have been meaningless," Mr. Hipkins concluded.

Chris Hipkins President Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (Inc.) Te Ropu Tauira o te Kura Wananga o te Upoko o te Ika a Maui

+64 (4) 473 8566 VUWSA Office +64 (4) 499 7100 facsimile +64 (4) 801 6211 after hours +64 (021) 707 927 cellular

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