Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search


Ignore Unions and Leave Loan Scheme Alone

20 October, 2004

Maharey Should Ignore Unions and Leave Loan Scheme Alone

The Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey's comment on National Radio this morning that further changes to the student loan scheme might be in the offing should be of great concern to those who support sensible and forward-looking tertiary education policies, said Education Forum policy advisor Norman LaRocque.

"It is important to remember that the Minister's last major change to the student loan scheme - the abolition of interest while studying - was an abysmal and expensive failure, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, inflating the stock of student debt outstanding and doing absolutely nothing to improve quality or participation in tertiary education", Mr LaRocque said.

The Ministry of Education's own figures, released at the time the change was made, showed that the abolition of student loan interest while studying - a move designed to reduce the amount of student loan debt outstanding - would instead increase the amount of student loan debt outstanding by 33% by the year 2020.

"There is no justification for making the scheme even more generous. Doing so would simply transfer an even greater share of the burden of financing tertiary education away from students, who are its direct beneficiaries, to taxpayers - who already foot an estimated 70% of the cost of tuition.

"There is certainly no justification for abolishing the student loan scheme, as suggested by the New Zealand University Students' Association (NZUSA). Indeed, the student loan scheme report for the year to June 2004, released yesterday, makes a mockery of the NZUSA's 'Chicken Little' scare campaign", Mr LaRocque said

"Instead of making the student loan scheme more generous or abolishing it, as demanded by the NZUSA, Mr Maharey should reverse his earlier failed policy changes - like the abolition of interest while studying - and close the door on further backward moves. It is high time he stood up for the national interest and told the Jurassic, rent-seeking student associations to 'move on'", concluded Mr LaRocque.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Benjamin Ree's The Painter and The Thief

The Norwegian filmmaker had long been fascinated by art thieves who commit high-stakes crimes with a delicate touch when a chance Google search in 2015 uncovered a botched heist in Oslo. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>

Howard Davis: The Phoenix Foundation Friend Ship Tour Docks in Wellington

A sense of local pride was certainly running high at the Opera House on Saturday night, as the lads ran through a tasty little set drawn mostly from their latest album Friend Ship (splash out for Xmas on the shocking pink extra-thick vinyl edition). More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland