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Bradford Dodging Student Debt Question Again

“Bradford is dodging the student debt issue again”, said University of Canterbury Students’ Association President Darel Hall.

“If the Minister for Tertiary Education Max Bradford has a new model for calculating how long it takes students to pay back their debt, great, share it so we all are using the same data.

But it is sheer sophistry to talk about the average time to repay debt when the NZUSA Choat Report model explicitly uses $20 657 as end-of-study-debt using a mean borrowing of $6 495 per annum for three years. How long, Mr Bradford, using your new improved model will it take women to pay back their debt using the assumptions openly built into the Choat model?

It is also sophistry to argue our model should include government promises made in 1998 that are scheduled to be implemented in 2001. Should we rely on promises from government that might be implemented in 2-3 years in calculating how long it will take us to repay our debt?

In fact, the Choat report does calculate the 2001 changes for us. It estimates the time for women to repay loan debt will move from 51 years to 29 years which is why the UCSA commended the changes when they were announced, but questioned why they had to wait for 2-3 years.

All this data is contained in the one report, so the Minister had the opportunity to report clearly and truthfully. To paraphrase the Minister’s own media release: ‘The Minister needs to remember that playing the political game does not mean playing with the truth’”, said Mr Hall.


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