New Zealand is enjoying its good time with the announcement of billions of dollars of budget surplus by the current Labour government.
It seems that not everyone is enjoying this. Almost every domestic student in New Zealand universities have a student loan. These students not only have to borrow for tuition fees but also borrow for living costs. This is a sad fate for New Zealand youths. They are not earning good money yet and they are already in debt.
Average student debt is about USD 12,000 and will take years for students to pay for them. Once a student stops studying full time their loans are charged 7.5% per year or the prevailing market rates.
Student loans are a sad reality and can discourage the best and the brightest Kiwi minds.
Militant students from the various universities and polytechs, if they had their way want a universal allowance for all students, a complete write-off and some even demand free education until the tertiary level.
It is undeniable that New Zealand students have a problem with their student loans. The best thing that New Zealand can do is to impose only a discounted interest rate for their student loans at least it will become bearable for them.
New Zealand militant students however, must also realize that their is a cost to everything. There is no such thing as totally free education and they cannot expect their government and international students to fully fund their universities.
No, I do not have the final and lasting solutions on this problem. The answers are on the hands of the New Zealand government that will listen and understand both sides of the issue.