Green Party tertiary education spokesperson Gareth Hughes has written to the tertiary education minister Steven Joyce asking that the amount students can borrow for course-related costs should be increased to $1500 to reflect inflation.
“The course-related costs component of the student loan scheme hasn’t changed since 1992, but the cost of being a student has risen dramatically,” Mr Hughes said.
Under the student loan scheme, students are eligible to borrow up to $1000 per year for course-related costs, including textbooks, computers, and course materials. Mr Hughes said the figure was out of date and should be increased and indexed to inflation.
“It is unrealistic and unfair to expect students in 2011 to equip themselves to study for the same dollar amount as students in 1992. $1000 in 1992 had the same purchasing power as $1492 today,” Mr Hughes said.
“A more realistic figure for course-related costs in 2011 is $1500, and this should be indexed to inflation in future to ensure it doesn’t get so out of step again. I have written to Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce asking him to make this change.
“As the academic year gets underway, we need to make sure that every student has access to the resources they need to study successfully. Ensuring that course-related costs reflect the true cost of being a student is one way to do this,” Mr Hughes said.