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Student Debt Out Of Control

19 February 2002

The Aotearoa Tertiary Students’ Association (ATSA) is appalled at government figures released today showing that total student debt has reached $5 billion.

“This figure confirms our worst fears,” said Julie Pettett, President of ATSA. “Student Loan Debt is spiralling out of control and the government appears powerless to accurately predict it, let alone stop it.”

“Early projections of Student Loan Debt never guessed it would grow this big this quickly,” said Pettett. “The overall student debt figure is now over five times the total overseas debt of the entire Albanian nation!”

“This is an issue that all New Zealanders should be concerned about,” said Pettett. “The Ministry of Education is currently predicting that Student Debt will grow to $10 billion by 2010. Given the inaccuracies of previous debt forecasting, who knows what it will really be by 2010?”

“Student Debt is growing at a rate that now affects every individual in the community, whether it’s through your family, your friends, your neighbours, or the local doctor who has to raise fees because they’re trying to repay their student loan.”

Pettett stated that making sure Student Debt is a major issue for all political parties in the lead up to this year’s election would be a priority for ATSA. “We want to see how seriously politicians are taking this issue. ATSA wants to see policies that focus on solutions to the ever-growing problem of student debt, and we want to see them now.”


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