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Then Do Your Research Minister

The Minister of Tertiary Education, Max Bradford claimed in the latest Women’s Weekly (20th Sept); “We have seen no hard evidence of students being denied bank loans, putting off buying houses or delaying starting families as a result of their student loans . If it was considered these effects were occurring and were creating barriers to participation, the Government would take appropriate action.”

“The Minister may think he is on safe ground here as his Ministry is refusing to do the above mentioned research into any of these areas. Thus the blatantly obvious effects of student debt remain unproven.” Stated Steve Day, President of the Otago University Students' Association (OUSA). “Students’ association research does however indicate that students are being denied bank loans and delaying their future in the face of mounting debt.”

Research by the New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA) and the Aotearoa Polytechnic Student Union (APSU) indicates that nearly half of graduates have issues seeking additional finance because of student debt. Furthermore there are many people who do not even seek mortgages or loans as they know they simply can not afford the repayments at the same time as they pay their loan. A number of surveyed graduates have indicated that they have deferred having children or have suffered financial difficulties in raising children due to the impact of the loans scheme.

“So Mr Bradford, what is the appropriate action the government will be taking? - Universal allowances, changes to the loans scheme or increased tertiary funding?” Asked Steve Day as students on his campus continued to graduate with tens of thousands of dollars worth of debt


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