Student loan debtors escape on OEPublish By Jane B. Hatcher Updated 02/02/2012 1:36 pm in NZ News / no comments
Students with larger debts are more likely to leave New Zealand and less likely to return after their ‘OE’ according to a report released by the Ministry of Education last week.
The report identifies that nearly 60,000 former students who have completed their study since 1999, left the country and have not yet returned to New Zealand.
The report, Going abroad: What do we know about people going overseas after tertiary study?, concludes “a large proportion [of student loan borrowers] had been away for longer than three years and was still based overseas at the end of our data series. And there were few distinctive characteristics of those who returned that mark them out from those who stay away… More than half of those who stay overseas for an extended period see their loan balances rise, not decrease, over time, as interest and penalties outweigh any repayments.”
TEU national president Dr Sandra Grey says that for New Zealand it does not matter greatly whether student loan borrowers return from overseas or not, so long as they are happy and their education is serving them well, wherever they reside.
“But we do need to be wary that large debts may be either encouraging young Kiwis to head overseas, or discouraging them from returning once they have left. Having an education should not become something that makes it harder for New Zealanders to feel as if they cannot live in their own country.”
Wintec settled a collective agreement with its academic staff late last year. NorthTec is now the only one of the old ITP MECA polytechnics not to settle a collective agreement with its staff. NorthTec wants an employment agreement which allows it to direct staff to work any days, evenings and weekends. Tutors have not had a pay increase since November 2008.
“The government should be focusing on creating jobs and getting money into the pockets of low and middle income people by stimulating the economy rather than an inflexible deficit target,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “We have had over 150,000 unemployed and 250,000 jobless almost constantly now since mid 2009. The unemployment rate at 6.6 percent is barely below its financial crisis peak in December 2009.” – CTU
Lower Hutt is in danger of losing its last provider of adult community night classes. Hutt City Workers’ Education Association (WEA) president Maurice Payes confirms a funding squeeze has forced the group to lay off its two part-time workers, who are owed wages. Four Lower Hutt colleges abandoned running adult community courses in 2010 when the National Government cut $13 million out of the $16m annual Adult Community Education (ACE) budget. That left the WEA as the last provider – Hutt News
United States President Obama brought his campaign for college affordability to an audience of Michigan college students last week, pledging that his administration would be “putting colleges on notice” over rising costs and issuing a call for continued public support for higher education by states so that the USA does not become a nation where education is reserved for the well-to-do – Chronicle of Higher Education