Tertiary Education Policy
- Support keeping the current zero interest scheme
- Ensure that repayment rates reflect borrowers’ ability to repay by adjusting the repayment thresholds to start at a higher income level, and introduce a progressive repayment scheme
- Review levels of student support to ensure they are at an equitable and liveable level
- Work towards a universal student allowance by progressively reducing the age at which students cease to be means tested on their parents’ income and continue to raise the parental income threshold
- Reinstate access to the Student Allowance for those studying postgraduate courses
- Work towards a public ‘fee-free’ tertiary education system by capping and then progressively reducing student fees
- Review funding mechanisms to explore alternatives to EFTS funding
- Ensure Tertiary Institutions are adequately funded
Student debt has reached crisis level and acts as a barrier to entering education for
many New Zealanders. In order to address the burden of debt as a result of the
student loan scheme, the Green Party will:
Debt Write Off
Explore options to introduce a debt write-off scheme that limits the individual
burden of debt, while incentivising graduates to contribute to New Zealand after
- Ensure that repayment rates reflect borrowers’ ability to repay by adjusting the
repayment thresholds to start at a higher income level, and introduce a
progressive repayment scheme.
- Lengthen the repayment holiday for overseas borrowers to reflect the typical
time spent by graduates overseas.
- Re-introduce a voluntary repayment bonus scheme.
Interest on Student Loans
- Support keeping the current zero-interest scheme.
- Review current funding to tertiary institutions to ensure that subsidies are
sufficient to meet real costs and to provide sufficient funding to:
a. Improve staff to student ratios;
b. Improve library resources and staffing;
c. Improve staff recruitment and retention
- Provide targeted funding for tertiary institutions to create an inclusive
environment for students with disabilities by supporting disability support
services and ensuring staff are trained to meet students’ needs.
- Ensure graduates with disabilities receive support and assistance to move from
tertiary education into employment (see our Disability policy).
Student Fair Deal
The Green Party will:
- Make all post-graduate students eligible for student allowances, as a step towards a truly universal student allowance.
- Increase all student allowances by 20 percent.
- Increase funding for tertiary institutions to make sure they are resourced to support students with disabilities.
- Restore the ability of students in long courses to access loans and allowances beyond seven years.
- As well as these Green Party promises, we support Labour’s three free years of tertiary education plan.
- This policy also includes raising the minimum wage to $17.75 and restoring the Training Incentive Allowance to help people on benefits gain new skills and qualifications.
- Improving student disability support services
Students with disabilities face significant hurdles accessing tertiary education. Current Government funding for disability support in tertiary education is not adequate. The Green Party will increase equity funding fourfold,
to $112 per equivalent full-time student with disabilities.
- Restoring access to loans and allowances
- People in long term courses like medicine, dentistry, and veterinary science help us build a
world class health system and need support to complete their degrees. The Greens will
restore access to student loans and allowances beyond seven years. We are committed to
keeping all student loans interest free in the long term.