From the start of next year, the limit will be extended to 10 years for medical students and those studying dentistry, optometry or veterinary science.
“Students in long undergraduate programmes are affected by the limits on borrowing disproportionately compared with students in other programmes,” Hipkins said.
The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) national president Jonathan Gee said allowing future doctors, vets and dentists to finish their studies was “a no-brainer”.
The change was likely to result in greater equity for students wanting to enter certain health professions, Gee said.
“We have heard stories of students from disadvantaged backgrounds taking a little longer to realise their dreams of entering programmes like medicine. They shouldn’t be denied their dreams simply due to an arbitrary cap..”
I’m actually supportive of this change.
You do need a cap because of a small number of lifetime students who spend decades at university. But it did have an impact on genuine students who say had done a BSc and then a medical degree. Allowing them to continue to access student loans is fair. Of course it would be fairer if the loans were not interest free.