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Women Will Pay 20% More For Their Tertiary Ed

Thursday 7 March 2002

Women Will Pay 20% More For Their Tertiary Education

The Otago University Students Association today spoke out against the fact that women pay 20% more for their education under the student loan scheme, costing them $5000 on average more than their male counterparts.

“If a coffee cost one dollar for men, but one dollar twenty cents for women, there would be an uproar” said OUSA Women’s Rights Officer Jo McLeod. “Yet somehow it’s perfectly alright for women to pay more for their education” said Ms McLeod.

The twenty percent figure is based on ‘University Graduate Destinations’ by the New Zealand Vice-Chancellor’s Committee indicating that female graduates earn on average $3000 less per year than male graduates. Over the 28 years that it takes an average female bachelor’s graduate to pay off her student loan, that amounts to $5000 in additional interest payments.

“The loan scheme burdens students with huge debts for an education necessary for their future and the future of New Zealand. Since women and Maori dominate the lower end of pay scales, they face the worst prospects under this scheme. New Zealand needs to seriously examine the inequities in our society, starting with a tertiary education system which is fair for all, regardless of gender” said Ms McLeod.

The association will begin a campaign tomorrow to highlight this inequity to government and the general public.

Contact Jo McLeod 03-4795332

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