Skip to main content

To: Parliament

Free Tertiary Education

This campaign has ended.

Free Tertiary Education

Request the House of Representatives to initiate an inquiry into making Tertiary Education fees FREE.

Why is this important?

Primary and secondary students receive free education in New Zealand, so why are tertiary students denied this right?

According to the Ministry of Education Annual Student Loan Scheme report a whopping 731,754 people had a student loan collectively amounting to an unnerving $15.3 billion dollars in the 2015-2016 period [1].

The financial burden of student loans has become a topic of increasing concern within New Zealand society. Student loans not only affect students, but their negative impact is also shared by their families, communities and wider New Zealand society.

In our increasingly volatile and changing world there is a pressing need for tertiary qualifications. New Zealanders are told more and more we need to retrain for the future work environment, however many are restricted to a cycle of low-skill and low-pay jobs due to the increasing financial burdens associated with tertiary education.

The student loan system does not support the egalitarian ethos that we believe is fundamental to New Zealand culture.

We need to break down the barriers that restrict many populations from pursuing tertiary education. As a country we must strive for equality of opportunities to build a stronger economy and ensure tertiary study thrives in New Zealand. We need to move forward from a low-wage and low skill economy to a progressive society, celebrating kiwi ingenuity and innovation.

Many students believe that student loans will have long-term negative impacts on their livelihoods- such as their ability to buy a house, afford to have children, and save for their retirement [2].

A better future for New Zealand does not entail placing crippling debt upon future generations; rather, we should be supporting next generations to reach their potential, as they are the future of our country.

European countries, such as Germany, Finland and Slovenia, successfully operate with free tertiary education for their citizens, and it is about time that New Zealand followed suit.


[1]. Ministry of Education. (2016). Student loan scheme annual report 2016(Report No. 24). Wellington, New Zealand: Ministry of Education.

[2]. NZUSA. (n.d.). We need to talk about debt. Retrieved from


2019-08-09 23:40:58 +1200

25 signatures reached

2017-09-15 21:47:59 +1200

10 signatures reached