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10% Of The Population Has A Student Loan Debt

19 June 2002

Ten Percent Of The Population Has A Student Loan Debt

A Student Loan debt exceeding $5 billion now rests on the shoulders of more than 300,000 people. This is equal to about one in every ten New Zealanders being directly affected by past and current government under funding of public tertiary education. From a strictly financial perspective, total debt is more than double the latest budget surplus of $2.3 billion.

ATSA is concerned that there has been little serious debate about how the country will deal with the sheer size of that debt in the future. “The most conservative government projection has this $5 billion tripling in size over the next few years. It will exceed $16 billion by 2019,” Julie Pettett, President of the Aotearoa Tertiary Students’ Association, said today. “People need to understand that this debt is a social and economic time bomb lying close to the heart of New Zealand’s economic system.”

“The effects of Student Loan debt are not limited to students.” Pettett stated. “More than two million New Zealanders, or over half the population, are probably related to someone with a Student Loan.”

“If people have genuine concerns about their children’s educational futures, they need to look very closely at the tertiary education policies of all political parties,” Pettett concluded. “Parties which make no comment about the fundamental importance of public tertiary education, or gloss over the issue of student financial assistance, deserve little support from students and their families.”

ENDS

For further comment, contact: Julie Pettett ATSA National President Cell phone 029 939 1417


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