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May 20, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Budget 2013: Reactions

Holly Walker, Green Tertiary Education Spokesperson:

“Over the last five years, National has restricted access to tertiary education through cuts to student loans and allowances in successive budgets, and 2013 is no exception,”

“National’s strangling of student allowances will see student numbers fall and student debt grow, as older New Zealanders are forced to borrow more to live while they study.

“Moves to crack down on overseas borrowers are also unfair and unnecessarily punitive.

“These changes … make it more likely that students will move overseas to study, and less likely that they will want to return to live in New Zealand.”

Steven Joyce, Minister for Tertiary Education:

“We have been determined to achieve a sustainable level of student support, while maintaining interest-free student loans and targeting additional support to students who need it most.”

“New Zealand continues to have one of the most generous student support systems in the world, with students having access to interest-free student loans and, for many, student allowances as well.”

VUWSA President Rory McCourt:

“Sadly this budget has missed the opportunity to invest properly in tertiary education and students. Instead, it tells individuals and businesses not to retrain and head back to uni or polytech.

“Budgets are about priorities. We think investing in tertiary education and students should be this Government’s priority.

“What we’ll see is less mature students taking up study. It makes much less financial sense to become a nurse or a doctor with a huge student loan when you’re older than 40. Many will say ‘nah, I’ll leave it’.”

Grant Robertson, deputy Labour Party leader:

“Joyce said he wanted to ‘dampen demand’ for tertiary education. Sadly he is succeeding. and pushing grads away too.”

Megan Woods, Labour Tertiary Education Spokesperson:

“This budget is a rerun of the Government’s cost-cutting approach to education. The squeeze on eligibility for student support has tightened with the message being sent to those over 40 years that the Government will not back them to retrain.

“There’s no encouragement of graduates to stay in NZ. Just the opposite––put this year’s changes to policing student loan repayments for overseas borrowers together with last year’s reduction in the repayment holiday, and I fear many educated and skilled people will simply leave for their OE, develop their careers and find it too difficult to come home. Still no investment approach to tertiary education from National.”

Sharn Riggs, TEU National Secretary:

“This Government is stripping money away from students, both directly through their loans, allowances, and higher fees, and indirectly by attacking the quality of their education.

“Instead it is subsidising $29 million to private education companies to help them make a profit rather than investing in local communities’ public education institutions.

Bill English, Minister of Finance:

“The Government is also reining in big rises in student allowance costs by focussing on younger learners and on people studying for their first degrees.

“Students of all ages will continue to have access to the interest-free student loan scheme.”

Keith Ng, journalist and blogger at Public Address:

“The Government is getting pretty aggressive about collecting debt from students overseas.

“It’s a little horrifying in terms of its aggressiveness, but I also think it makes sense in a lot of ways. Aside from raising the amount of money which is collected, it’ll also make it less attractive to try to flee your student loan debt,

“It’s a big, hideous stick, but I guess good policy doesn’t have to be all carrots.”

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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