If Student Loan Scheme Is Broke Try Fixing It
The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) welcomes today’s announcement that the government will be gathering better statistical information about the student loan scheme, but believes that this data must be used to improve the scheme.
“There is still a dearth of information on the impact of the student loan scheme. However if government doesn’t act on that information the whole process will be a waste of time and money,” said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell.
“Students have suffered the effects of the loan scheme for the past 10 years. NZUSA has provided much of the statistical analysis over that period also. We can identify that the scheme punishes women, Maori, Pacific Islander people and graduates on low incomes. What the government needs to do is make changes to the scheme to make it fairer,” said Campbell.
“Student debt now totals over $5 billion, average graduate debt is around $20,000 and these figures will only get worse. The election provides all political parties with an opportunity to propose changes to the loan scheme and stop debt snowballing out of control,” said Campbell.
“The primary drivers of the student debt need to be addressed; high fees, lack of living allowances, and a crippling interest rate that is higher than what banks are currently offering,” said Campbell.
“Monitoring the problems will only be effective if policies to rectify them are introduced,” said Campbell.