INDEPENDENT NEWS

Student Debt Equals Nation's Debt

Published: Wed 28 Jul 1999 06:41 PM
Victoria University students support of their Otago counterparts who occupied the Dunedin IRD office earlier today. Otago students have kicked-off the National Week of Action with a strong protest against the rising student debt.
"The implication of student debt is very obvious when students leave for the work force" said VUWSA Campaigns Officer Yadana Saw. "The repayment scheme administered through IRD is not reliable making many calculation errors that have lumbered graduates with more debt."
The loan scheme is not simply a student issue but has ramifications for the well-being of New Zealand and a society. Mounting student debt is impacting on many of the decisions recent graduates are taking, including whether to start a family, buy a house or move overseas, Ms Saw said.
"New Zealanders need to start asking questions about who is going to pay in the end. If your dentist owes $80,000 on a student loan, how do you think they are going to earn enough money to pay that back? They will be forced to do it by charging even more for consultations. This is only one example of many," VUWSA Education Vice-President Chris Hipkins said.
"Over the coming week students up and down the country will be taking their message about student loans to the country. We urge people to seriously consider the $3 billion in student loan debt students have already accumulated and consider what can be done to solve the problem," Ms Saw said.
Wellington students will be holding a rally in Civic Square at lunchtime next Wednesday (4 August 1999) to highlight student loan debt.
For further information contact:
Chris Hipkins, Education Vice-President
473 8566 or 025 28 777 51
chris.hipkins@vuw.ac.nz

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