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Big student loan debt forcing students overseas

Big student loan debt forcing students overseas - time for Progressive student debt relief policy

Statistics New Zealand research into student loan debt released yesterday proves students with big loan debts are being forced to leave New Zealand, Progressive Deputy Leader, Matt Robson said today.

"The fact that students resident overseas owe on average $8,880 more than those remaining in New Zealand proves that there is an urgent need to help graduates stay in New Zealand with incentives such as those offered by the Progressive student loan policy,” said Matt Robson.

Progressive launched their 'Freedom from debt' policy for the election two weeks ago. Progressive are campaigning for the government to pay student loan repayments for each year that student loan borrowers work in New Zealand after graduation, for 3 years.

"Our policy offers freedom from debt for 3 years to graduates staying to work in New Zealand. There is clearly a desperate need for this kind of assistance as statistics released yesterday show that those students going overseas have the biggest debt to repay.

"It is essential that New Zealand retain as many graduates as we can because there is now a global competition for skilled and talented workers. If we are to maintain and lift our living standards we need to work harder to keep qualified people here.

"Progressive believe in free tertiary education as an essential investment in our economic and social development. The student debt relief policy is one small step we believe can be achieved now, towards that goal," Matt Robson said.

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