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February 21, 2011 | by  | in News |
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Your Student Dept says “NO!”

Statistics released by the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations show that students and graduates are heavily influenced in their life choices by the debt they will have at the end of their studies.

2850 students participated in the survey. One of the many statistics included in the published results show that 58 per cent of students surveyed were “significantly” stressed about the effect of their financial situation. A quarter cited fees as having an influence on their course and institution choice due to the varying costs between education providers. Thirty-seven per cent found that their loan even affected their choice on whether or not to have children.

Since the recession, students—both those currently studying and recent graduates—and their parents are struggling with increasing course costs. Tertiary fees have risen 48 per cent since 2007 with the average annual cost rounding out to just over $6000.

As a result of these increases, more and more students are driven to seek financial assistance from StudyLink.
The poll stated that the “NZ Support System [StudyLink] clearly fills a great need in supporting participation in higher education, particularly in hard economic times.”

In saying this, the average student allowance “received across all students is only $70 per week”. The average student spends $200 to $300 a week throughout the academic year, so needs an additional source of income. However, students comprise a large portion of the unemployment bracket, with many struggling to find work in the current economic climate.

Despite this, 88 per cent rated the overall quality of their courses as “good” or “very good” and four out of five rated the same for their tutors and library resources.

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