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New repayment times bad news for Masters grads

New repayment times bad news for Masters grads

The average female Masters graduate will take 29 years to repay her student loan, according to new research released today by the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA). NZUSA also calculated that the average male Masters graduate will repay his loan in 17 years.

NZUSA is calling on the government to pay attention to these new student loan projections and extend the fee maxima to include postgraduates in the upcoming budget. "If fees rise for Masters students and other postgrads, these repayment times will get much worse very quickly," said NZUSA Co-President Fleur Fitzsimons.

"To our knowledge this is the first student loan repayment forecast for graduates with postgraduate qualifications," said Fitzsimons. "It shows that even a Masters degree will not generate enough income to escape the life-long debt trap."

Government is currently looking to exclude postgraduate students from the new system of fee maxima, which will see the first public control of tuition fees for over a decade.

"Our society and our economy cannot afford for postgraduate tuition fees to raise beyond the reach of more students. Already there are serious inequities with enrolments beyond first degrees - particularly the under representation of Maori and Pasifika students," said Fitzsimons.

"Increased tuition fees will only make it harder to attract students into the postgraduate study and research that is essential to the development of the knowledge society Labour say they want," said Fitzsimons.

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