National | Auckland University of Technology - AUT

Student loan cap extended from 7 to 8 years

The cap for the number of years undergraduate students are eligible for loans has been lifted, an important win for New Zealand students.

The government has announced that student loan support will be available to students for eight years, rather than the previous cap of seven years.

This means that students studying medicine, optometry, dentistry and veterinary science are now able to borrow an extra year for course fees and living costs, helping solve the issue of affordability for many students.

Over 20,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling for change, and after student groups worked tirelessly for the last five years to keep the issue alive, they can now let out a sigh of relief.

NZUSA President Rory McCourt says, “Hundreds of students at Auckland, Otago and Massey Universities in medicine, dentistry and vet science will be very relieved to hear the Government has seen sense.

This change has come after five years of student groups lobbying and showing Minister Joyce the evidence, but in the end it was public action and constant media that pushed him.

The lesson here is that students need to organise if we want to see a change in policy from this Government -our arguments are not enough.”