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Greens welcome changes to overseas student rules

Greens welcome changes to rules for overseas students

Changes introduced in the Student Loan Scheme Amendment Bill today have been welcomed by the Green Party which says the move will encourage New Zealanders to come home.

Education Spokesperson Metiria Turei says: "This new policy is very sensible and will enable students not only to go on their OE, but incentivised to return to New Zealand.

"Until now, students leave the country and after six months have huge repayment problems, with interest and penalties to pay. The longer they are overseas the worse the debt gets, making it even harder to come back to New Zealand. Lumbering them with huge loans only encourages them to leave New Zealand once they have finished studying.

"The Green Party believes that the student loan scheme should be abolished, but until that happens, systems need to be set up to enable students to return from their OE with some financial stability and equity with other students.

"The way forward is to make the loans scheme redundant through a living allowance, dramatically reduced or eliminated fees and a year-for-year debt write off scheme. We believe that this announcement will somewhat reduce the burden of debt for some borrowers and as such is a good move.

"However, eliminating the barriers to education remains our priority and we're certainly not there yet," Mrs Turei says.

ends

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