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New research shows school leaver debt nightmare

New research shows debt nightmare for school leavers

Two thirds of 2003 school leavers are concerned about student debts before they even undertake tertiary study, according to new research released today by the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA).

The costs of study, including fee levels and living costs, were a major influence on the school leavers decisions about whether to undertake tertiary study, and what or where to study.

"This research shows that costs are a huge worry for young people about to undertake tertiary study," said Fleur Fitzsimons, NZUSA Co-President. "It also shows that student debt and high fees are especially unfair for Pasifika students and those from poorer schools."

"It's hard enough to make big decisions about where to live and what to study, without the added burden of thousands of dollars of debt," said Fitzsimons. "The Labour Government's continuing love affair with the unfair loans scheme is placing huge pressure on school leavers."

"The Government sanctioned fee rises under the fee maxima system will make fees and loans even larger for this group of young people," said Fitzsimons.

"The Government need to show their commitment to young people contemplating entering tertiary education in 2004 by reducing fees and introducing a living allowance for all students," said Fitzsimons.

Nearly six hundred seventh formers from fifteen schools throughout the country participated in the survey.

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