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New research shows student debt and fees rise

New research shows student debt and fees rise by over a third since 2001

Average student debt has risen by 36 percent since 2001 and fees have risen by 34 percent since according to major new research released today by the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

Other major findings of the research are:
- Average debt is 60 percent higher than in 1998
- Students are looking elsewhere for borrowings with debt to parents over $10,000 on average
- 44 percent of students consider that student loans will impact on their ability to buy a house

“With an election looming, the Government needs to commit to overhauling the appalling student loan scheme, reducing student fees and introducing a living allowance for all students,” said Andrew Kirton, Co-president of the New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA).

“Student debt has more than doubled since Labour have been in government,” said Kirton. “Labour’s record on student debt is a shameful indictment on politicians who received their tertiary education for free.”

The research was carried out by TNS Research and has been conducted since the introduction of the student loan scheme in 1992. It provides the most comprehensive picture of the destructive impact of ever-increasing levels of student debt.

“This report is more bad news for students starting out this academic year, most will be paying even higher fees and 6000 will have their entitlement to the independent circumstances student allowance cut,” said Camilla Belich, Co-president of NZUSA.

“Many young New Zealanders are voting for the first time in 2005 and student debt will be one of their top priorities,” said Belich.

The NZUSA Income and Expenditure Survey is carried out every three years and details the financial and socio-economic situation of students at polytechnics, colleges of education and universities throughout New Zealand. Copies of the report are available from NZUSA on request.

ENDS

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