New Zealanders Studying Across the Ditch Receive Double Standard
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations
(NZUSA) has labelled recent changes for New Zealand students
in Australia as a double standard.
The Australian Government yesterday announced their Higher Education Reform Package, including removing the ability for New Zealand students to pay domestic fees in Australia.
‘There exists a double standard when Australian students are entitled to domestic fees here in New Zealand, yet New Zealanders no longer will get the same entitlement in Australia’, says NZUSA National President Jonathan Gee.
‘New Zealanders will be left short-changed as a
result of these changes, forking out thousands more dollars
to study in Australia.’
New Zealanders studying in Australia will however still be eligible to access the Australian student loan scheme so they do not have to pay their fees upfront.
‘While we’re concerned that the fee rises will result in the ballooning of student debt, the situation presents a stark reminder of how unfair our own loan scheme is here in New Zealand.’
Part of the Reform
Package includes reducing the repayment threshold, meaning
graduates will have to start repaying their loan once they
start earning over $42,000, as opposed to the previous
threshold of $55,000. Repayment is progressive, starting
from 1% in the dollar.
‘Australia’s new repayment threshold is still over two times higher than in New Zealand, where graduates must pay 12% in the dollar for any income over $19,084, just two-thirds of minimum wage.’
NZUSA urges the New Zealand Government to call on
Australia to restore access to domestic fees for New
Zealanders studying across the ditch.
We also call upon Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Hon Paul Goldsmith to investigate a fairer loan repayment system so low-income graduates have a chance succeed.