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Canterbury Students Spiraling Into Debt

New Research Shows Canterbury Students Spiraling Into Debt

The University of Canterbury Students’ Association (UCSA) launched its ‘Fees and Allowances: Life and Debt’ survey today, as student debt policy will once again look to be the kingmaker in the upcoming election.

In 2001, only 3% of students at the University of Canterbury intended to travel to avoid debt. In 200, this number has now grown to 21%, according to the new research released today.

“The statistic is hardly surprising, as New Zealand is struggling to retain its intellectual capital in this environment of high fees and poor levels of student support”, said UCSA President Richard Neal.

A further key finding from the survey was that 52% of students cite work as a means of paying their living expenses. “It is a natural consequence of an inadequate student support scheme where increased levels of work and long hours are needed to make ends meet. If students are working all the time then the quality of the New Zealand degree becomes substantially at risk,” said Neal.

The survey showed that 47% of mature students, and 61% of Maori students, had considered not attending University this year due to the level of fees. “Once again the loan scheme targets those who are least able to fight the system, as it is now more and more catered to those who can’t afford it,” said Neal.

“With the election looming, the Government must respond in a practical way to the issues raised by this research. Universal Student Allowances remains the key issue for students, and students will be expecting more from the major political parties than the under-whelming policies that currently exist,” said Neal. “Students will be encouraging people and family to vote for education and their futures at this general election.”

Furthermore, Canterbury Students will be protesting this Friday at the University library Quad at 1pm as Bill English and other party representatives front up on behalf of their parties.
NB: Hardcopies sent to all reporters.


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