The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Thursday, May 26, 2005


I am frequently irritated by the mumblings of Ministers, but what I've just read from Mallard really has my back up.

In response to the excellent research done by NZUSA and NZEI on student loans and teachers, Mallard has said that the number of teacher graduates show that the student loan scheme is not a disincentive to study and is not creating a recruitment problem.

But he's also recently uttered that he couldn't possibly allow a universal student allowance because that would encourage too many more people to study, and thus cost too much to be affordable.

You can't have it both ways - either being forced to borrow to live is a disincentive or it isn't. Which is it Mr Mallard? I suspect he just doesn't want to face the reality and the hard work that comes with it - the student loan scheme is going to be a massive problem for NZ in years to come, and the longer we put off fixing it the worse the fallout will be.


stephen said...

And I reckon there are too many people studying, too. One of the great shames of the loan scheme combined with aggressive competition for funding is that people whose chances of success are really marginal are suckered into incurring a huge debt, when they will never graduate or win the jobs that might help them pay it off.

What we need is both better financial arrangements for student support AND more stringent entry criteria for study. And if that means that some institutions go tits-up, tough shit.

That's how you solve the problem of increasing student support without costing too much.

As to the existing loans: at the very least, we should reduce the interest burden, but at best, we should work out some sort of amnesty/tax credit combo that wipes out debt and recognises repayments already made.

span said...

i think there may be a case for having more stringent entry requirements. i believe that there should be much better support at school, not just a couple of chats to the careers office too late in the piece, so that people can make good choices about what to do when they leave school.

there is definitely a lot of snobbery about going to university, which is quite unnecessary.

if we accept that we can't afford for everyone who wants to to go to uni then we should chose on a better criteria than wallet size.

millsy said...

The trouble is, and lets face it, the goverment, whether it be red or blue, is not going to listen to you. Huff and puff all you like, the government has all but come out and said that it doesnt intend to even start reducing fees, or implmenting a universal student allowance, and instead wants to put in a saving scheme. Sad but true...