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Student loan improvements - trouble-free enrolment

19 April 2001 Media Statement

Student loan improvements ensure trouble-free enrolment

A Government $6m package of improvements to the student loans system ensured students had a trouble-free enrolment period this year, Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey said today.

Mr Maharey today released statistics showing the number of students who successfully applied for a student loan this year and the processing performance levels achieved by the Department of Work and Income (DWI). Significant problems with the processing of student allowance (in 1999) and student loan (in 2000) applications badly affected students and tertiary providers.

Following consideration of an independent evaluation Cabinet agreed last October to provide a $6m package of improvements to boost staffing levels, cut waiting times on the Student Services 0800 phone line and to provide limited networked on-campus services to students at 34 campus locations nationwide.

Mr Maharey said the changes and enhancements made to the processing system had led to improved performance in all areas.

"Turning around two years of significant problems with the loans and allowances processing system was a major Government focus over the last year. National failed totally to ensure DWI was able to take on the job of processing loan applications. The new Government was forced to make a considerable investment into the system so we could be confident that it could cope.

"Following the improvements package the Department is now meeting and considerably exceeding its performance targets across all regions.

"Service to students has improved out-of-sight with 94% reporting that they are satisfied the how their loan was processed in an independent student satisfaction survey.

"Tertiary providers also benefited from considerably improved service. Tuition fee income was passed to providers on time meaning they did not suffer cash flow problems. For example the University of Auckland had received an additional $7m in fee income by the start of March 2001 than DWI had been able to process in 2000.
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"DWI worked closely with an advisory group of student and tertiary provider representatives when implementing the package of improvements to the system. This partnership has been a key ingredient in securing success.

"Some further improvements to the system are planned for this year focussing on better information to students and improved technical capability," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

DWI FIGURES ATTACHED

Regional Round Up
Student Services – 31 March 2001


Methodology:
To analyse our performance we have selected each of the six Universities and the largest Polytechnic in each University City. For example in Auckland we have chosen The University of Auckland and UNiTEC Institute of Technology.

A comparison has been made between 9 March 2001 and 10 March 2000 for the following outcomes:
1) the total amount of fees paid to the Institutions.
2) the total number of Loan accounts activated by the students enrolled in each institution.


Outcomes:

Across all Regions the figures for 2001 are a significant improvement when compared to 2000.

The Department has paid out more in fees to Institutions this year, and we have paid it much earlier than in 2000.

Across all Regions the number of Loan accounts activated by students has increased, and once again these applications were processed earlier than in 2000.

Further detailed analysis for each of the institutions featured, is outlined in the tables below:

1) Auckland Region:

Number of Loans Activated
9 March 2001 Number of Loans activated
10 March 2000 Difference between 2000/ 2001 % improvement
University of Auckland 10,521 7,825 2,696+ 35%
UNiTEC
3,154 2,410 744+ 31%


Fees Paid as at
9 March 2001
$million Fees Paid as at
10 March 2000
$ million Difference between 200/ 2001
$ million %
improvement
University of Auckland $38.9 $31.7 $7.2+ 23%
UNiTEC
$9.8 $7.6 $2.2+ 29%


2) Hamilton Region:

Number of Loans Activated
9 March 2001 Number of Loans activated
10 March 2000 Difference between 2000/ 2001 % improvement
University of Waikato 5,030 4,701 329+ 7%
Waikato Polytechnic 2,738 2,302 436+ 19%


Fees Paid as at
9 March 2001
$million Fees Paid as at
10 March 2000
$ million Difference between 200/ 2001
$ million %
improvement
University of Waikato $18.6 $17.5 $1.1+ 7%
Waikato Polytechnic $8.4 $6.8 $1.6+ 23%


3) Palmerston North Region:

Number of Loans Activated
9 March 2001 Number of Loans activated
10 March 2000 Difference between 2000/ 2001 % improvement
Massey University 8,220 6,469 1,751+ 27%
Universal College of Learning 1,786 1,312 474+ 36%


Fees Paid as at
9 March 2001
$million Fees Paid as at 10 March 2000
$ million Difference between 200/ 2001
$ million %
improvement
Massey University $26.4 $20.9 $5.5+ 27%
Universal College of Learning $5.0 $3.8 $1.2+ 32%


4) Wellington Region:

Number of Loans Activated
9 March 2001 Number of Loans activated
10 March 2000 Difference between 2000/ 2001 % improvement
Victoria University 5,043 3,093 1,950+ 63%
Whitireia Community Polytechnic 891 545 346+ 63%


Fees Paid as at
9 March 2001
$million Fees Paid as at
10 March 2000
$ million Difference between 200/ 2001
$ million %
improvement
Victoria University $17.9 $10.9 $7+ 64%
Whitireia Community Polytechnic $2.9 $1.9 $1+ 53%


5) Christchurch Region:

Number of Loans Activated
9 March 2001 Number of Loans activated
10 March 2000 Difference between 2000/ 2001 % improvement
University of Canterbury 6,208 4,784 1,424+ 30%
Christchurch Polytechnic 2,631 2,336 295+ 13%


Fees Paid as at
9 March 2001
$million Fees Paid as at
10 March 2000
$ million Difference between 200/ 2001
$ million %
improvement
University of Canterbury $22.7 $18 $4.7+ 26%
Christchurch Polytechnic $9.3 $8.3 $1+ 12%


6) Otago Region

Number of Loans Activated
9 March 2001 Number of Loans activated
10 March 2000 Difference between 2000/ 2001 %
improvement
University of Otago 8,803 7,096 1707+ 24%
Otago Polytechnic 1,838 1,307 531+ 41%


Fees Paid as at
9 March 2001
$million Fees Paid as at
10 March 2000
$ million Difference between 200/ 2001
$ million %
improvement
University of Otago $36.7 $31.5 $5.2+ 17%
Otago Polytechnic $6.5 $4.8 $1.7+ 37%

NOTE: The tables above do not include all Institutions in each Region only the two largest in terms of total student numbers.


STOP PRESS:
Student Satisfaction Survey:

An independent satisfaction survey of students who applied for allowances and loans in January to March 2001 resulted in a 94% satisfaction level. i.e. rated service as very good, good or satisfactory.

Student Services
April 2001

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