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More of the Same Bad News for Students

27 February 2002, For Immediate Release
Attn: Education Reporters

More of the Same Bad News for Students

Otago students today reacted with dismay to the news that the interest rate on student loans will remain at seven percent, calling the move a continuation of an inequitable system.

“In Australia, students are charged interest at the rate of inflation. This means that students only ever pay the real cost of their education. In New Zealand if you earn less you take longer to pay back your loan. You therefore pay more interest, and end up paying more for your education than a person who earns more. The system is insane.” said Otago University Students Association President Roz Connelly.

OUSA pointed out that the rate is still set arbitrarily, as indicated by the two percent movements in the internal base and interest adjustment rates, and called on the Minister to remove the base interest rate entirely in his May discussion document.

“While the Minister dislocates his shoulder patting himself on the back, students are wondering just how much they need to go through before the government makes tertiary education something that they are encouraged into. When are we going to be seen as an investment for the future of the country, rather than a cost which has to be recovered.” said Ms Connelly.

Contact Roz Connelly 03-4795333 021-345368

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