Government Should Dump Student Loan Scheme
Students are calling on the government to commit to dumping the student loan scheme as part of their response to the Select Committee Inquiry into fees, loans and allowance. The government is to look at different options for student support in a discussion paper to be released in May.
“For students there is only one option, the scheme should be dumped. The select committee inquiry demonstrated yet again the gross inequities of the scheme and now it is time for the government to take firm action,” said Andrew Campbell, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).
“Another discussion paper with no concrete change will not satisfy public concern about student loans. The root causes of student debt - high fees and limited access to allowances need to be addressed or debt will continue to rise and continue to be a major financial burden on our nation,” said Campbell.
“We don’t want this to be another report about a report. Students want to see a commitment from the government to make real change. We have had ten years of the current loan scheme and it has been a complete failure. It is time start over again,” said Campbell.
“It is pleasing to see that the government will be looking at student support options in other countries. We suggest the government adopts the model of strongly performing knowledge economies like Ireland, and Finland where tertiary education is free,” said Campbell.
“The government needs to come up with real options for change, and they need the courage to put the best option into practice before the election,” said Campbell.