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Greens Call For Return To Campus Loan Processing

Green education spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street is calling for student loan processing to be returned to tertiary campuses in light of more WINZ blunders at Canterbury University.

Yesterday 800 pre-enrolled students were told they were unable to enroll at Canterbury University until next week as WINZ had not processed their loan applications in time.

Ian Ewen-Street said that as Canterbury was the first university to begin enrolment, WINZ were off to the worst possible start.

"Until they are enrolled and their fees paid these students cannot access the library, labs or computers, which means they basically cannot start studying," he said.

"Last year students were forced out of study and many had to borrow thousands of dollars while WINZ took months to process their allowances," he said. "Given this year's shocking start to their handling of loans I hope the Minister responsible for WINZ, Steve Maharey, will stand by his promise to step in and personally deal with these new problems quickly," said Mr Ewen-Street.

Mr Ewen-Street said it was appalling that WINZ were trying to avoid taking responsibility for the difficulties which Canterbury University says will double their enrolment costs.

"We want the Minister to immediately establish the scale of the problem and make sure the delays at Canterbury aren't occuring at every other tertiary institution in the country.

"When individual tertiary institutions were handling the processing of allowances they could turn around an application in 24 hours. Events at Canterbury University show WINZ can't even do this in a week.

"The Greens want to see the handling of student loans taken off WINZ and given back to tertiary institutions. Local and personal face-to-face processing has worked extremely well in the past and is obviously much more efficient than the remote call centres WINZ is running," he said.

Ends

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