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Minister Joyce is Wrong Again

25 May 2015

Minister Joyce is Wrong Again

Today Minister Joyce commented on our push to reinstate student loan for postgraduate students in the final year, in some cases, two years of medical school. Minister Joyce’s suggestion was that we use our Trainee Intern Grant to pay for our fees.

New Zealand Medical Students’ Association President Elizabeth Berryman say the minister is making no sense with these suggestions.

“The Trainee Intern Grant is paid throughout the course of the final year. So, the minister is suggesting a source of funding that we don’t have access to until we have started the year and already paid our fees. This completely ignores the fact that some students require more than one year”

Minister Joyce knows that there is no chance of private loans through his own conversations with banks and lenders. He also knows that relying on family and friends isn’t an option for most.

“This policy completely undermines the great work of medical schools to diversify the medical student cohort. Our medical students come from various backgrounds. However, Mr. Joyce’s position gives the impression that he thinks medical studies should be only the domain of those from well-off families”

“At the core of the issue this appears to be a policy that is specifically targeting students in professional programmes. Minister Joyce is on the wrong side of this and the impact of a poorly thought out policy is coming back to bite.”

In a survey, 47% of affected medical students say that they have no way of paying for their final year of studies. A further 6% say they will use a bank loan, an option we now know is not a possibility.

“We want to get this sorted so that medical students can focus on becoming the quality doctors New Zealanders deserve.”

“If Minister Joyce is open to having a discussion about medical students who borrow for extra years committing to making extra repayments to their loans after starting work we are willing to have that discussion”


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