New Zealanders Studying Across the Ditch Receive Double Standard
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has labelled recent changes for New Zealand students in
Australia as a double standard.
The Australian Government yesterday announced their Higher Education Reform Package, including removing the ability for
New Zealand students to pay domestic fees in Australia.
‘There exists a double standard when Australian students are entitled to domestic fees here in New Zealand, yet New
Zealanders no longer will get the same entitlement in Australia’, says NZUSA National President Jonathan Gee.
‘New Zealanders will be left short-changed as a result of these changes, forking out thousands more dollars to study in
New Zealanders studying in Australia will however still be eligible to access the Australian student loan scheme so they
do not have to pay their fees upfront.
‘While we’re concerned that the fee rises will result in the ballooning of student debt, the situation presents a stark
reminder of how unfair our own loan scheme is here in New Zealand.’
Part of the Reform Package includes reducing the repayment threshold, meaning graduates will have to start repaying
their loan once they start earning over $42,000, as opposed to the previous threshold of $55,000. Repayment is
progressive, starting from 1% in the dollar.
‘Australia’s new repayment threshold is still over two times higher than in New Zealand, where graduates must pay 12% in
the dollar for any income over $19,084, just two-thirds of minimum wage.’
NZUSA urges the New Zealand Government to call on Australia to restore access to domestic fees for New Zealanders
studying across the ditch.
We also call upon Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Hon Paul Goldsmith to investigate a fairer loan
repayment system so low-income graduates have a chance succeed.
We stand for opportunity, for all.
NZUSA is the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations, the national body that represents New Zealand's students'
associations and the interests of New Zealand's 400,000 students at universities, polytechnics and in trades training.
We conduct original research, advocate to Government and through the media, and support New Zealand's students'
associations to be more effective on behalf of their members. We advocate alongside Te Mana Akonga – The National Māori
Students' Association, and Tertiary Women New Zealand – The NZUSA Women's Caucus.
Since 1929, we've believed in a society rich in opportunity, where anyone from anywhere can become any thing. We
support accessible, affordable quality public tertiary education.