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Over 20,000 people support medical students to finish training

29 November 2015

PRESS RELEASE – New Zealand Medical Students’ Association

Embargoed until 1 December 12pm

Over 20,000 people support medical students to finish training

Today the New Zealand Medical Students’ Association (NZMSA) supported by Annette King presented a petition with over 20,000 signatures to Parliament urging Minister Steven Joyce to remove the 7-year cap on the Student Loan for medical students.

A medical degree takes six years to complete making it the longest undergraduate degree in New Zealand. Medical schools select more than 30% of their students from a pool of applicants who have previously completed a degree. This policy means these students will be without a student loan to fund their final years of study.

NZMSA President Mike Fleete is concerned at the impact this will have on medical students.

“Medical students affected by this cap are very worried. Some will have to front up over $30,000 to finish their studies and may need to withdraw from medicine to save for the fees.”

The response from Minister Joyce so far has been less than helpful, with Joyce preferring to adopt a wait and see approach.

“Many students are affected by this cap next year and more than 120 will be left without Government support come 2017. Simply waiting to see what happens is unacceptable. These medical students want nothing more than to finish their degree and become the great doctors New Zealand needs.”

ENDS


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