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Student Loans Harder On Women

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is calling on the government to dump the student loan scheme in light of new research released by the New Zealand Vice Chancellors Committee (NZVCC) that shows women graduates earn significantly less than their male counterparts.

The survey shows that, on average, women earn $3,000 less than men. Women with business or commerce qualifications earn $11,000 less than their male counterparts.

‘Women take longer to pay back student debt, so we pay more in interest for our qualifications. Yet these same qualifications earn us less. Women are being penalised twice”, said NZUSA National Women’s Rights Officer Anna McMartin.

‘Student debt is another form of economic discrimination against women. The government must act now to stop its affects on women and their families”, said McMartin.

“This research goes to show that front loading student debt as we currently do is inequitable as males and females who do exactly the same degree can have vastly different earning potential once they graduate yet they have paid the same costs’, said McMartin.

“The student loan scheme is ten years old this year. We are now starting to see glaring inequities such as this emerging. It is time for us to face up to the fact that the student loan scheme has not worked well and if not dealt to soon will have major economic and social consequences for New Zealand”, said McMartin.

“A scheme that so poorly treats all students and in particular women should be dumped”, said McMartin.

ENDS

For further information please contact
Anna McMartin, NZUSA National Women’s Rights Officer
Cell: 021 670 369 Home: 03 473 83 92

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