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Improved info on student loan scheme welcomed

Improved information on student loan scheme welcomed

The government is welcoming new information from Statistics New Zealand on the student loan scheme, says Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey.

Statistics New Zealand today released Integrated Data on Student Loan Borrowers, 1997-2000, the first of annual new set of statistics. The new series links information on student loans held by the Ministry of Education, Inland Revenue and StudyLink (a service of the Ministry of Social Development). It was requested by the government as part of its response to a recommendation from the Controller and Auditor-General that there should be more information publicly available about the Student Loan Scheme.

Steve Maharey said with students and graduates now owing $4.75b in student loan debt, getting better information about the impact of the scheme is essential.

"The Government agrees with the Auditor-General that there has been insufficient information publicly available about the student loans scheme. Intending students and their families need to know how getting a loan will impact on them in the future before they sign up for a loan.

“The information contained in the report confirms much of what was already known about the student loan scheme, but in much greater depth. Further information will also be provided as analysis of the integrated data continues on such areas as repayment patterns, including voluntary repayments.

“The new information will assist the government to gain a better picture of how the student loan scheme works in practice as we proceed with our plans to review the student support system,” Steve Maharey said.

The Statistics New Zealand Integrated Data on Student Loan Borrowers, 1997-2000 is available on-line at www.stats.govt.nz.

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