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ATSA Adds To Student Debt

ATSA Adds To Student Debt

Today's report on women's student debt from the Aotearoa Tertiary Students Association (ATSA) rings hollow as the association adds to student debt by accepting money borrowed under the loan scheme to pay compulsory student association fees, Student Choice said today.

Student Choice spokesman Clint Heine said approximately half of the money students are forced to pay to compulsory student associations is borrowed under the student loan scheme. Regional associations then give some of this money to national student organisations including ATSA.

Therefore ATSA receives about half of its income via the loans scheme. If ATSA is opposed to student debt it should refuse to increase student debt by refusing to accept borrowed money.

"ATSA opposes students borrowing to pay for their education. ATSA president Julie Pettett should say if she supports students borrowing to pay fees to political groups," Mr Heine said.

The ability to borrow compulsory student association fees under the loan scheme allows the cost of student politics to be hidden. "ATSA is unlikely to argue for its removal as this would cause students to question why they are forced to pay money to student politicians," Mr Heine said.

Clint Heine 021 122 8544

Student Choice promotes freedom of association through voluntary membership of student associations.

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