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Debt is forcing graduates overseas

8 March 2005

New Government report proves student debt is forcing graduates overseas

The government has today released a report on student loan integrated data that proves that student debt is forcing students overseas.

"This report proves that graduates with higher student debt are more likely to go overseas than those with a lower debt. The Government's own research confirms student debt is forcing our best and brightest overseas", said Camilla Belich, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA).

The report also found that graduates who are overseas have student loans that are increasing, and are paying their loans off more slowly than graduates based in New Zealand.

"By burdening students with unbelievable levels of student debt the government is dislocating a generation and leaving New Zealand with chronic skill shortages in key areas, " Belich said.

The integrated data report also indicated other disturbing consequences of the student loan scheme.

"These new figures show that the student loan scheme is unsustainable. Half of those who last borrowed in 1997 had the same or a higher debt by March 2001. To add to this, the report shows that Maori and Pasifika students have made significantly less progress towards repaying their loans," said Andrew Kirton, Co-President of NZUSA.

"Trevor Mallard must act now by reducing fees and installing a living allowance for all instead of defending this government's shocking record on tertiary education and burying his head deeper into the sand," Kirton said.

ENDS

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