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Interest free loans a win for student movement

Interest free student loans – a historic win for the student movement

The New Zealand University Students’ Association (NZUSA) is describing the passing of the Taxation (Annual Rates and Urgent Measures) Bill late last night as a historic win for the student movement.

“The student movement has been working towards significant and lasting reform to the student loan scheme for over a decade. We are delighted that interest free loans will now become a reality for hundreds of thousands of students and graduates from April next year,” said Camilla Belich, Co-president of NZUSA.

“This was a wonderful and hard-earned Christmas present for students and graduates all over New Zealand. We recognise that no interest on loans has support from students, graduates, their parents, their grandparents and from across the community,” said Belich.

“The challenges now for the student movement are to ensure that all students receive a living allowance while they study and to try and bring down the incredibly high course fees currently charged at New Zealand public tertiary institutions. An immediate priority must be to ensure that public tertiary education is adequately funded,” said Conor Roberts, Co-president Elect of NZUSA.

“Students also appreciate the support this Bill received from across the political spectrum and recognise all the political parties who helped to make interest free student loans a reality,” said Roberts.

The Bill was supported by Labour, the Green Party, the Maori Party, United Future and Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party.

Student representatives from around New Zealand celebrated this historic win with the Hon Dr Michael Cullen on the steps of parliament this morning.

ENDS

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