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Nothing new in student support review

Nothing new in student support review

Students are extremely disappointed with the latest in a long line of reviews of student support released today at the NZUSA Conference, and say that it offers no hope to students or graduates. Student representatives are renewing calls for a living allowance for all students as the only way out of New Zealand’s debt crisis.

“This review has been promised for a long time as the solution to our country’s huge debt nightmare,“ said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA). “Instead of a commitment to meaningful change, we’ve been given a glossy report telling us how great current policies are.”

“Labour has misjudged the depth of opposition in New Zealand to student loans. The effects of high student debt and the need for living allowances are well understood. Action is now needed to combat disastrous student debt,” said Conference Spokesperson Andrea Grant (President of the Massey University Students’ Association).

“Labour promised to increase access to allowances but they have taken five years in government in order to ask us how,” said Grant. “The time is well overdue for Steve Maharey to show some political guts and to make the only fair call – give all students a living allowance.”

“The report does not fairly represent the harsh reality of the current policy which leaves graduates with debt that will take decades to repay and where women take twice as long to repay their debt.”

“We will be releasing an alternative Student Support Discussion Document to tell the real story about student debt. We will be reminding Labour of the disastrous effects of student debt on the New Zealand economy and society they seemed to understand so well when they were in opposition,” said Fleur Fitzsimons. This document will form the basis of a community wide campaign for a living allowance for all students

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