University students pushed further into debt

Students have become significantly poorer since National took office according to recently released data, the Green Party said today.

Students have become significantly poorer since National took office according to recently released data, the Green Party said today.

The Student Loan and Allowances: 2013 data released today by Statistics New Zealand shows that there have been significant increases in the amount students are now borrowing.

“There has been a 22.5 percent increase in the average amount borrowed for course fees, by students, in the last six years,” said Green Party tertiary education spokesperson Gareth Hughes.

“Students are borrowing more to pay for increased living costs and increased fees. They are starting their lives deeper in debt than ever before.

“The average student, leaving university with a bachelor’s degree, is now almost $24,000 in debt.

“Education costs are running well above general inflation.

“Figures provided by the Parliamentary Library show that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has increased 11.7 percent from 2009, while the tertiary education component of the CPI has risen by 31.7 percent over the same time period.

“Reining in the costs of education should be priority because investment in education is one of the biggest factors in reducing growing inequality.

“The Green Party would make tertiary education more affordable. One solution is our Bill to reinstate access to student allowances for postgraduate students to ensure the burden on students are reduced,” said Mr Hughes.

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