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Double-edged sword to female students

Double-edged sword to female students

"The Aotearoa Tertiary Students' Association’s (ATSA) national women's advisory committee, ATSA Women in Action (AWA), believes this budget offers some positive initiatives for women in tertiary study,” said Rachel Davis, Chair of AWA.

“Opening up eligibility to student loans for part-time students appears to be a blessing for many women who can only study part-time," Davis said. " In the past, they have not been able to afford tuition fees for part-time study, or been forced to enrol as full-time students, to gain access to a student loan, and then failed half the papers they took.

AWA believes there is little doubt that this change will increase the number of women participating in tertiary education. ”Unfortunately, although access has opened up, the impact of further student loan debt has not been addressed,” says Davis. “Sadly women who will most benefit from these changes, are the same group of people who are most penalised by the student loan scheme.”

“Government should balance this up with interest breaks for women who leave the work force to become full time caregivers,” said Davis. “This way the positives of increased access, could partially balance the long term costs the current loan scheme punishes women with.”

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