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5 out of 10, More Work Needed

Labour Tertiary Education Policy –
5 out of 10, More Work Needed

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is describing the Labour Party tertiary education policy as a mixed bag for students that is lacking in specifics, and is saying it is further evidence of the need for a coalition government to ensure real progress on the issue of student debt.

“This policy is another step in the right direction to reduce the cost of tertiary study. However it is not the fundamental shift required to seriously address the student loan crisis,” said NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell.

“It’s positive to see Labour wanting to increase access to student allowances, as this is the key issue for students this election. With all potential coalition partners offering a universal allowance, Labour needs to come to the party if they want to receive the support of students,” said Campbell.

“Tinkering with allowance eligibility will not have the effect of dramatically decreasing student debt. A universal allowance will. We challenge Labour to identify to what degree they will increase parental income thresholds for allowances in another term of government so that students know exactly what they are voting for on July 27,” said Campbell.

“There is also nothing in this policy for graduates. New Zealand is currently experiencing an exodus of skilled graduates burdened with debt. Simply offering scholarships and bonding is not going to solve this problem. Graduates NZUSA has surveyed have identified the high student loan interest rate as the thing they would most like changed. That isn’t in this policy,” said Campbell.

“Students want a universal allowance. Labour needs to make clear if they support universal allowance or not,” said Campbell.

ENDS
For further information please contact
NZUSA Co-President Andrew Campbell
Wk: 04 498 2500 Cell: 0274 86 86 77

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