12 December 2013
Government strangely silent on surplus money reaped from Student Loans
The government has remained strangely silent on a report released this week showing that repayments on student loans in the last year have run almost $200 million ahead of forecasts.
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations notes that the Student Loan Scheme Annual Report published by the Ministry of Education for the year ending June 2013 topped $1 billion in repayments against a Treasury forecast of about $840 million.
“This essentially amounts to a funnelling of money from former students back into the government’s pockets. Accordingly there has to be a high standard of accountability to ensure it is being reinvested in quality learning experiences or being put into student support in ways that visibly contribute to access and opportunity", says Daniel Haines, 2014 President of NZUSA.
“What we seem to be witnessing is a scheme that is acting as a cash cow for the government but that is extremely expensive to run and that isn’t being held up to the light for scrutiny.
“Former president Pete Hodkinson has addressed the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee regarding growing concerns about the way the scheme operates, including questionable calculations on the discount rate used to justify the way it is geared, and given their shared concerns NZUSA remains hopeful that it will be subject to a parliamentary inquiry in 2014”.