Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 

Student Loans Set To Become THE Election Issue

VUWSA web siteStudent loans will be the major issue in this years election campaign according the Acting President of the Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association Chris Hipkins. The total amount owed under the Student Loan Scheme will exceed $3 billion before the end of 1999 and if changes aren't made that figure could inflate to nearly $5 billion before the next election in 2002.

"Students are being asked to shoulder a totally unreasonable burden through the Student Loan Scheme. It is not uncommon for students to owe up to $30,000 or more, that's a heck of a burden to start your working life with," Hipkins said.

Figures released earlier in the week by the Alliance show that students with the highest level of debt are choosing to go overseas rather than face the prospect of huge repayments as soon as they start work.

"For students who are serious about paying back their loan, and I believe the overwhelming majority are, it's a huge commitment to pay off $30,000 in any reasonable period of time, especially when the government keeps charging higher than market interest rates on them. This will naturally impact on other decisions they are going to make, such as whether to buy a house, start a family, or move overseas," Hipkins said.

"No interest on loans while studying, a decrease in the overall interest rate, and a one year stand down after study before you have to start making repayments are all good starting points for positive improvement. But they are only a drop in the bucket, the real problem is that diminishing government funding has sent tuition fees skyrocketing. Until the tertiary sector is funded sufficiently student loan debt will continue to spiral out of control," Hipkins said.

VUWSA Campaigns Officer Yadana Saw said the general election this year would be a good opportunity for political parties to lay their cards on the table and tell students what they intend to do to address the loans issue. "We want all of the political parties to demonstrate a serious commitment to tertiary education and to students," Saw said.

"Over the next few months we will be reminding people that changes the government has made to tertiary education have resulted in students accumulating an incredible amount of debt and that they can do something about that with their vote," Saw said.

Victoria University's Education Action Group will be participating in a National Week of Action to raise public awareness about the student loans issue. There will be a rally in Civic Square at lunchtime on Wednesday 4th August and leaflets with further information will be available.

ENDS


As at 30 August 1998 the breakdown of loan borrowings was:
Range of outstanding balanceTotal number of borrowers
$1 to $5,99993,750
$6,000 to $9,99944,814
$10,000 to $19,99951,082
$20,000 to $29,99918,894
$30,000 to $39,9996,738
$40,000 to $49,9992,001
$50,000 or more 663
Total217,942

Projected Total Student Loan Debt: ($B)
20002002200520082011 2014
3782.54775.56224.57553.28715.99825.8


For more information contact:
Chris Hipkins, Acting President
473 8566 or 025 28 777 51
email: chris.hipkins@vuw.ac.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Legendary Bassist David Friesen Plays Wellington’s Newest Jazz Venue

Friesen is touring New Zealand to promote his latest album Another Time, Another Place, recorded live at Auckland's Creative Jazz Club in 2015. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Father - Descending Into The Depths of Dementia

Florian Zeller's dazzling drama The Father explores the effects of a deeply unsettling illness that affects 62,000 Kiwis, a number expected to grow to 102,000 by 2030. More>>


Howard Davis Review: Blade Runner Redivivus

When Ridley Scott's innovative, neo-noir, sci-fi flick Blade Runner was originally released in 1982, at a cost of over $45 million, it was a commercial bomb. More>>

14-21 October: New Zealand Improv Festival In Wellington

Imagined curses, Shibuya’s traffic, the apocalypse, and motherhood have little in common, but all these and more serve as inspiration for the eclectic improvised offerings coming to BATS Theatre this October for the annual New Zealand Improv Festival. More>>

ALSO:

Bird Of The Year Off To A Flying Start

The competition asks New Zealanders to vote for their favourite bird in the hopes of raising awareness of the threats they face. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
K Emma Ng's Old Asian, New Asian

This book, written by a young second-generation Chinese New Zealander, gives many examples of the racism that Asian New Zealanders experience. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION