Student loan extended for longer degrees

The government is extending the student loan borrowing limit for those in long undergraduate programmes like medicine and dentistry.

In 2019 the limit will increase from 7 to 10 years for students.

In the past, students have reached the 7-year limit before completing their studies, raising financial barriers to completing their qualifications.

“Students in long undergraduate programmes are affected by the limits on borrowing disproportionately compared with students in other programmes,” says Chris Hipkins, Education Minister.

Anna Cusack, President of The Auckland University Students' Association, says, "This decision is a positive step towards offering equal access to higher education for everyone. It is great both for students and for the Health sector.”

Cusack credits student action like the #LetUsFinish campaign as contributing to the government's decision.

It's expected around 100 people in 2019 will benefit, across undergraduate degrees such as medicine, dentistry, optometry and veterinary science.