Survey Results Support Student Loan Changes

  • Tony Ryall
Youth Affairs

The views expressed in a survey of students released today support recent Government changes to the student loans scheme, said Youth Affairs Minister Tony Ryall.

The survey of 52 people, conducted early this year, was designed by a policy analyst in the Ministry of Youth Affairs who distributed it in hard copy and through e-mail to known associates. These people were in turn asked to pass it on to others who may have had an interest in responding. It is not known how many people received the survey and no deadline for response was given.

"While one could question the way this survey has been conducted, the results indicate that prior to recent changes to the loans scheme, there was a lack of understanding among the students and graduates surveyed on the consequences and impacts of the scheme," Mr Ryall said.

"The survey pointed to confusion on issues such as the repayment threshold, how interest rates are calculated and applied and even the role of the Inland Revenue Department.

"It is the same attitudes among students that encouraged the Government to review the student loans scheme.

"Recent changes to eligibility, entitlement criteria and the repayment regime make the loan scheme fairer, reduce the debt burden and the time spent repaying loans, and reduce abuse of the scheme."