Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Student Debt

Student Debt has passed the $9 billion mark. This is terrible and something needs to be done.

Tomorrow is "National Action Day" and student associations around the country and planning different activities to make students and the public aware of the situation. Salient has an article about what is happening in Wellington and has some opinions about student debt from VUWSA President Geoff Hayward and NZUSA co-president Josh Clark.

The Government has lowered interest rates on student debt from 6.9% - 6.8%, which almost seems pointless. And even though students loans are now interest free so long as you remain in NZ, the fact is students are having to borrow to live and therefore their debt is rising, even without interest.

I know that as students, getting interest free student loans was a HUGE step, and one that we will be forever thankful for, but Universal Student Allowances NEED to be implemented, its not fair or reasonable that students have to borrow to survive.


MikeE said...

yeah - something does need to be done. Tax cuts so that students that choose to work after *finishing* their degrees can afford to pay off their loans.

And students could always do what I did and work part time through university.

Why should those who do not go to university be forced to subsidise those that do.

gliderguider said...

OK, why isn't it fair or reasonable?

Pamziewamzie said...

Ok, first of all, the government already subsidisies two thirds of our tertiary fees - where would those substantial tax cuts come from? Our cheap tertiary education?

"Why should those who do not go to university be forced to subsidise those that do."

Ah, the eternal question. Because educated people will bring profit to the economy. And it makes us better citizens, in many ways. There are heaps of other reasons... I'm sure you can work them out.

Psycho Milt said...

"Why should those who do not go to university be forced to subsidise those that do."

As Pam has pointed out, there are plenty of reasons, but right down there at the bottom is the really essential one: because we're a human society, not a troop of monkeys.

NB: no-one's forced to subsidise anything. You can opt out of our society and join another through emigration, or you can persuade enough people to vote non-subsidisers into govt.

Rich said...

Absolutely Pam - NZ needs to upskill and everyone benefits from this.

There should be a lifelong learning commitment so that those who don't do higher education as young adults can still benefit from appropriate funded education - literacy programmes, reskilling, etc.

Anonymous said...

who is the hot chick in the photo

Alan said...

Not entirely sure how someone taking 5 years to get a BA in classics with honours and then ending up as admin support is somehow making a profit.

seems like they could have skipped the education and gone and worked straight away and the country would be as well off.

no way should people get handouts, if you pay for something you will see the value in it.

Can;t tell you how many people i saw at uni who were being paid for by their parents or loan and just stuffed around, taking their time. they had saw no value in their education and treated it as such.

whereas those of us who were working sometimes up to 4 jobs to survive uni, having saved up to pay for some of our fees, certainly saw some value in it and did something useful.

no way should we subidising more shiftless layabouts :)

going to uni to get a degree in the works of shakespeare and wymyns studies is not a right its a priveledge, one you should be prepared to pay for yourself.

that way at least you might be vaguely prepared for the real world where you do have to pay your own way.

gliderguider said...

Where would tax cuts come from? The rather substantial surplus, perhaps?

Educated people bring profit to the economy ... quite possibly true, but no more so than they bring profit to themselves.

Pamziewamzie said...

Dude, the surplus would not be able to pay for substantial tax cuts, at least in the long term...

Alan, not everyone at uni does that. I know plenty of hard working students who fought their way through societal, financial and transport barriers to get here. And everyone has to repay their student loan one day...

The real world is full of graduates that are valuable members of society (thanks to free tertiary education in the past), and needs educated people for future generations. I'm not arguing this any longer.

Psycho Milt said...

Alan seems to have mistaken a university for a polytech. The purpose of a university is to educate people and carry out research, not to equip jobseekers with appropriate qualifications. If that's what you went there looking for, you were in the wrong place.

Heine said...

Why should wealthy students be entitled to the same financial support as the poorer students Pam?

Isn't that a waste of money?

Education isn't a right, our universities are packed with career student politicians who would LOVE a big juicy student allowance to allow them to stay on campus forever - esp if it meant stirring up these non campaigns like National "Action" Day.

Mikee is on the ball, why should poorer people be subsidising rich student/future lawyers? Why shouldn't people be given REAL incentives to pay back their student loans?

Labour has done the worst thing for student debt by making loans interest free. Inland Revenue reported less than 6 months after Labour introduced this policy that the amount of repayments shot downwards by over 75%! Further proof that this policy was only designed to buy the student vote rather than good policy.

Mike Heine said...

Argue this then: why can't the second largest surplus in the world pay for substantial tax cuts?

Maybe you'd agree that if we cut some of this extra $20 billion a year that's being spent with negligible results, we could afford bigger tax cuts then?

No I didn't think you would. Worth a try though ;)

Pamziewamzie said...

I believe that the public sector has many areas that need to be attended to... That would benefit people more than a few extra dollars in their pocket. Nice to hear from you Mike, long time no comment ;)

I said I'm not arguing the merits of tertiary education any more :)

Pamziewamzie said...

Actually, I'll just quote Dr Cullen:

"Tertiary education is a good investment. People who have a bachelors degree or higher qualification earn two-and-a-half times what people with no qualifications earn,"

MikeE said...

Do you really believe that the public sector can attend to those needs better than the private and NGO sector, espcially today with the figures on NZ charitible donations being released?

Do you really think that central planning gets money to those who need it the most fairly and equitably?

and if:

"Tertiary education is a good investment. People who have a bachelors degree or higher qualification earn two-and-a-half times what people with no qualifications earn,"

Why the hell should the poorer people be subsidising it? Surely if its such a good investment it will pay for itself.

If an average person earns 25k, then according to cullen someone with a degree should earn about 60k, thats enough of a difference to pay your loan back in a couple of years... more if the average is higher.

Why should people who earn on average 2.5 times less (according to cullen) have to subsidise the lifestyles of people who earn 2.5 times more?

This is entrenching poverty, not preventing it.

Or are we somehow supposed to have a nation of peopel with arts degrees and no tradesmen?

Alan said...

So Pam if people with a tertiary education will earn 2.5 times those who don;t, why the hell should we susbiside them? if they are going to double their potential income, then they can invest in themselves via a loan.

Milt, if you want to go to uni to do research etc, then go for it, why should i subsidise it?

Heine said...

Bloody hell, I didn't know it was the second largest surplus in the world. That is outrageous. That is more than enough proof that we are being taxed way too much.

Quoting a history teacher on the economy is like me quoting the Primie Minister on child rearing :)

Insolent Prick said...

Here's a good way to reduce student debt:

Get rid of the stupid frigging broadcasting, "communications", "marketing", and sociology courses. Increase student contribution to fully fund the cost of their course fees.

Cut by half the number of institutions offering degrees. Most of them are a complete waste of time that don't add any value to a student's knowledge, or the economy.

Then offer full fee scholarships to the top 50% of students, for a maximum of three years for an undergraduate course. Make them work really hard to get their education publicly funded. That will make sure that students are studying what is actually useful, and that they work hard while doing it.

Tertiary education should be a sacrifice. It provides enormous personal economic benefit to the student, but only if the student chooses carefully a skillset that is useful in the market. We don't need ten thousand journalists. We don't need ten thousand "communications" majors.

Psycho Milt said...

Already answered it, Alan - "because we're a human society, not a troop of monkeys."

Heine said...

IP. A good plan, far too brilliant for Labour who don't want educational success as the population would be too wise to vote them in again. It would kill their youth branches as well....

Although I'd love to ee Labour try and argue against that kind of proposal.

James said...

Already answered it, Alan - "because we're a human society, not a troop of monkeys."

No we are individuals...there being no collective being.Abstractions like society have no rights...only individuals do because only individuals exist..

Psycho Milt said...

James, that is some fucked-up shit you're taking. Seriously, you should lay off it before you start fantasising that traffic doesn't exist.

MikeE said...

Insolent Prick. After reading your post, I now consider you a socialist.