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Student Loans Scheme Perplexes Nation's Best

STUDENT LOANS SCHEME PERPLEXES NATION'S BEST AND BRIGHTEST

The majority of student loan borrowers do not understand the implications of the debts on their lives according to Government research.

Papers released under the Official Information Act to the Aotearoa Post-compulsory Student Union (APSU) indicate that more than half of students who take out loans do not understand the serious implications the debt will have on their future.

The Ministry of Education surveyed student loans officers from 27 tertiary institutions and found that more than 82% thought that at least half or more students did not understand the implications of the interest on the loan and how the repayment scheme works.

"We have always suspected that many students borrow thousands of dollars without being given adequate information about how the loan will impact on their ability to buy a home, travel overseas or start a family," said David Penney, APSU Student Union National President.

"We hear of people all the time that finish studying who regret their loans. Student loan officers from polytechnics and universities work with students everyday and are in the best position to judge student understanding of the loans scheme. This is hard evidence that the implications of a student loan debt are not well understood."

Since the student loans scheme was introduced, the amount borrowed by individual students in a year has increased by 57%. Total student debt stands at more than $3.4 billion.

"APSU believes that the government should launch a public information campaign on the student loans scheme, explaining how borrowing will affect students later in their life," concluded David Penney.

ENDS

FOR MORE INFORMATION or a copy of the Ministry of Education research paper contact:

David Penney

National President

APSU Student Union

04 498 2501

025 756 526


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