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Tertiary student financial support discussion

Tertiary student financial support up for discussion

A discussion document describing New Zealand’s student support system has been released today.

Student Support in New Zealand aims to build a common base of understanding about the level financial assistance currently available to tertiary students. The document doesn’t set out specific changes, as these can only be advanced through the budget process. It sets out to engage students and other stakeholders to provide feedback on what refinements they think should be made to the current system.

Speaking at the New Zealand University Students’ Association’s conference today, Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey said the discussion document sets out to clearly establish the facts on student loans and student allowances.

“Student support is a significant area of government spending and it’s always controversial.

“The government hopes this document can achieve what has not been possible so far in any forum: a common understanding of the operation of the system and of the constraints on the government so that we can work together in identifying the best way forward.

“The document reviews the performance of the tertiary education system and the student support system and looks at some approaches taken by countries overseas.

“While it clearly shows that New Zealand is in the international mainstream there are areas where we can make improvements.

“Just like investing in superannuation, our student support system involves setting aside money now as an investment in the future. Therefore it’s important in making future changes that we consciously strive to create an enduring system.

“That’s why we want to hear from students and others what their priorities for future changes are,” Steve Maharey said.

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