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Alternative Student Support Review: The Real Story

Students Release Alternative Student Support Review: The Real Story

In two months, students have produced what government has been unable to produce after nearly two years - a fair analysis of student loans and allowances in New Zealand with concrete suggestions for improvements.

"We're releasing our Alternative Discussion Document on Student Support to provide balance to the government's one-sided review," said Fleur Fitzsimons, Co-President of the New Zealand University Students' Association. "We canvas the wide variety of concerns about the negative impact of the loan scheme and outline a plan for change."

"The first thing that Government could do if they wanted to fix student support is immediately commit to a living allowance for all students," said Fitzsimons. "This would reduce reliance on student loans and would especially cut down the size of bigger loans."

The student report contains new data from the Ministry of Social Development, which shows that over 40 percent of student loan borrowing over $10,000 per year is for living costs, despite this group of students including those enrolled in high fees courses such as medicine.

"Government has asked students for feedback on their conservative Student Support Review. Our message is clear - a living allowance for all should be the number one priority for change."

"They have already disappointed students and the community with a lacklustre discussion document," said Fitzsimons. "Government now needs to look at both sides of the story and start dismantling their unfair loans scheme."

Submissions close for the government's Discussion Document on Student Support today. The NZUSA submission calls on the government to deliver meaningful change to address the $6 billion dollars of student debt that is crippling the country.

Copies of the document are available on the NZUSA Website or by contacting NZUSA

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