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Loans Not Driving Students Overseas

Evidence given by the IRD Commissioner to a Select Committee has thrown doubt upon student associations' claims that tertiary graduates leave New Zealand because of high student loan debts, according to ACTivist President, Gavin Middleton.

Mr Middleton said "student associations have repeatedly said that young, skilled New Zealanders leave New Zealand because of their student loan debts. The evidence of the Commissioner for Inland Revenue before the Finance & Expenditure Select Committee last week contradicts that."

"Only 5,184 of those who've gone overseas have a student loan, and the average loan of those overseas is $3,900 - a quarter of the average debt of those students who choose to stay in New Zealand."

"NZUSA claims that the main reason our young people have been going overseas is to escape their student loan debts. Now that the relatively low debts of those leaving has been exposed, it's obvious other factors are the cause - factors such as the contempt and bureaucracy this Government heaps upon anyone who wants to be successful."

"Every year, student associations take over a million dollars from students, much of it through compulsory fees. Thousands of dollars are spent on research that has more holes than a sieve, but associations deny students the right to choose not to fund the research by maintaining compulsory membership."

"If NZUSA's assertion was presented as a university's research, the department would be discredited, and the standard of research would have to improve. Because students are forced to join students associations if they want to study, however, there's no requirement for this student-funded politicking to be put aside in favour of proper research."

Mr Middleton said that universities were supposed to advance the field of human knowledge, not force students to join unions which conduct shoddy research, and called on Government to address the real reasons young New Zealanders leave - high taxes, low wages and a systemic scorn for success.

ENDS

For more information, contact:
Gavin Middleton
(+64) (021) 505495
president@activists.org.nz
http://www.activists.org.nz

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