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NZUSA Quietly Cashes In On Loan Scheme

Wed, 20 Oct 2004

NZUSA Quietly Cashes In On Loan Scheme

Despite being challenged, NZUSA have failed to declare how much of their income comes from money borrowed under the student loan scheme, Student Choice spokesman Matthew Flannagan said today.

Student Choice estimates about half of the New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) and other compulsory student groups' income comes from money borrowed under the loan scheme. Before NZUSA condemns the loan scheme and the level of debt, they should reveal how much of their compulsory income comes via the scheme.

Most tertiary students are forced to pay fees to regional student associations before they can study. Regional associations then channel some of this money, in the form of a per-student levy, to the national student organisations, NZUSA and the Aotearoa Tertiary Student Association.

The ability to borrow compulsory student association fees under the loan scheme allows the cost of student politics to be buried in the total amount students borrow at the start of the year, Mr Flannagan said.

"NZUSA and other associations are unlikely to argue for the removal of the ability to borrow association fees as it would mean students would have to pay their fees separately. This would cause students to question why they are forced to pay for student politicians," Mr Flannagan said.

Mr Flannagan said students should be free to study without being forced to fund student politics.

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

ENDS

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