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Student Loans and Allowances: 2006
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  28 February 2008
Technical notes

Key official statistics

This release includes official statistics on:

  • borrowing in a year
  • leaving debt
  • allowance received in a year
  • repayments
  • income after leaving study
  • borrowers who have repaid their loan in full.

Glossary

Economic variables

Amount borrowed / Amount received: This is the amount borrowed or received by a student in a particular calendar year (this is not the total amount borrowed by the student over all years of study).

Leaving debt: This is the total debt still owing in March following the last year of study, including any repayment the student may have made during study. This includes those who had $0 debt on leaving. For example, if a student last studied in 2001, their leaving debt is their debt in March of 2002. This data will always be a year behind the release date. For example, leaving debt data is only available for those who left study up to 2005 and did not return the following year in the 2006 dataset on Student Loans and Allowances.

Debt five years post-study: This is the total debt still owing in March five years after the last year of study, including any repayment made up to this time. This includes those who had $0 debt five years post-study. For example, for those who last studied in 2001, their debt five years post-study is their debt remaining in March 2007.

Income one year post-study: This is the taxable income earned in the tax year after leaving study. This excludes those with $0 income. For example for those students who left study in 2001, their one year post-study income is in the 2002/2003 tax year.

Income five years post-study: This is the taxable income earned in the tax year five years after leaving study. This excludes those with $0 income. For example for those students who left study in 2001, their five year post-study income is in the 2006/2007 tax year.

Demographic characteristics

Age group: the person's age at 1 July in the reference year in the table.

Ethnic group: data for the years before 2000 are sourced from the Ministry of Education, and assign each individual to one ethnic group only. For those who identified with more than one ethnic group this allocation was based on the following order of priority: Māori, Pacific peoples, Asian, Other, European. For example, if a student loan borrower identified as both Samoan and European, then they were assigned to the Pacific peoples ethnic group. Subsequently, unprioritised ethnicity data began to become available, from StudyLink (from 2000 onwards) and the MoE (from 2001 onwards), and where available this unprioritised ethnicity data has been used. The data from both sources may include up to three ethnicities for each individual, meaning that figures relating to 2000 may reflect identification with as many as three different ethnic groups per student, and those from 2001 as many as six different ethnic groups per student.

From 2001 onwards, unprioritised ethnicity data are available for nearly all borrowers. In a small number of cases, where unprioritised ethnicity data are not available, the older prioritised MoE ethnicity data have been used. The change from prioritised to unprioritised ethnicity data will affect ethnic group comparisons between the tables relating to borrowers in 1997 and 2006. Tables spanning the 1997 to 2006 period will reflect a combination of prioritised and unprioritised ethnicity data.

Leaving cohort: a group of students who left study in the same year.

Study-related variables

Leaving year: This is the last year of study of a student, and does not distinguish those who completed their qualification from those who did not. For example, if a student last studies in 2001, then the student is considered to have left study in 2001 and their leaving year is 2001.

Field of study, level and provider type during the student's last year of study were assigned to their debt, income and repayment.

Level of study: the qualification(s) for which the student was enrolled. This does not distinguish those who completed their qualification from those who did not. A student can be enrolled in more than one level of study, therefore they can be counted in more than one level in the table.

Field of study: the New Zealand Standard Classification of Education of the field(s) of study or subject of a programme of study in which the student was enrolled. A student can be enrolled in more than one field of study, therefore they can be counted in more than one field in the table. Field of study includes all levels of study, and does not distinguish those who completed their qualification from those who did not.

Provider type: the type of provider at which the student was enrolled. A student can be enrolled in more than one provider type, therefore they can be counted in more than one provider type in the table. This does not distinguish those who completed their qualification from those who did not.

Further definitions of individual provider types are outlined below:

University: A university is a public tertiary education institution that is primarily concerned with advanced learning and knowledge, research and teaching to a postgraduate level.

Institute of technology: This is a synonym for polytechnic.

Polytechnic: A polytechnic is a public tertiary institution that is characterised by a wide diversity of vocational and professional programmes. Polytechnics are now referred to as Institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs).

College of education: A college of education is a tertiary education institution that provides training and research, mostly related to early childhood, compulsory and post-compulsory education.

Wānanga: A wānanga is a public tertiary institution that provides programmes with an emphasis on the application of knowledge regarding ahuatanga Māori (Māori traditions) according to tikanga Māori (Māori custom).

Other tertiary education providers: Other tertiary education providers (OTEPs) are organisations that deliver programmes of tertiary education or in support of tertiary education of some national significance, and are recognised by the Minister of Education under section 321 of the Education Act 1989.

Private training establishments: A private training establishment (PTE) is defined in the Education Act 1989 as 'an establishment, other than a public tertiary education institution, that provides post-school education or vocational training'. PTEs include not only privately owned providers, but also those operated by iwi, trusts and other organisations. 

Loan and allowance categories of students

Venn Diagram, Financial Support Options Available to Students.

The diagram above (not to scale) shows the financial support options available to students. The dataset used in this release only includes students with a loan and/or an allowance.

Integrated dataset

The statistics in this release have been produced using a database of student loans and allowances, and tertiary education data held by Statistics New Zealand. One of the important components of the database is an integrated dataset on student loan borrowers and allowance recipients. This dataset was created by linking administrative records from a number of government agencies:

  • individual students’ tertiary enrolment data from the Ministry of Education (MoE)
  • individual students’ borrowing data from the now-defunct Student Loan Account Manager (SLAM) provided by Inland Revenue and the MoE
  • individual students’ borrowing and allowance data (from 1999 onwards for allowances, and 2000 onwards for loans) from StudyLink, a service of the Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
  • individuals’ repayment and income data from Inland Revenue.

The integrated dataset contains data on the loans of students who borrowed under the Student Loan Scheme and has recently been updated to include data for 2006.

The 2006 data presented in this HOTP is based on linking new data supplies from agencies to Statistics NZ to take advantage of improvement in data quality. This means all previous data has been revised.

The integrated dataset is the only data source that links information on borrowers and allowance recipients' income, debt and repayment with their enrolment details and other characteristics. It includes information on borrowing and allowances, and has the ability to link records over time, thus enhancing its usefulness as a single integrated data source from which to provide statistics for strategic policy and financial analysis.

Differences between all student loan borrowers and those in this release

Users should be aware that official statistics on student loans are also published in the annual report of the Student Loan Scheme, published each year by the MoE, and various other topical reports by the MoE. The official statistics on student loan borrowers included in this Hot Off The Press may differ from statistics published in the annual report. This is because the source administrative data was provided to Statistics New Zealand at a specified cut-off date which differs from the one used for the compilation of the annual report. In addition, the tables in this Hot Off The Press use different populations from those in the annual report, and different concepts for those populations.

For example, the data on leaving debt produced by Statistics New Zealand includes those who leave study with $0 leaving debt (having repaid their loan while studying), whereas reports by the MoE at times exclude those who leave with $0 debt.

The use of probabilistic matching significantly increased the percentage of student loan borrowers whose information was included in the integrated dataset. However, it should be noted that some types of student loan borrowers were still under represented, even after both stages of matching were completed. Due to the absence of data from the MoE's dataset on students attending PTEs before 2000, the link rate of PTE students prior to 2000 was around 30 percent. From 2000 onwards, the link rate rose to around 91 percent.

More information

For further information regarding the history of the dataset, matching methodology and student loans policy list, please see Student Loans and Allowances: 2005, available on the Statistics NZ website.

Copyright

Information obtained from Statistics NZ may be freely used, reproduced, or quoted unless otherwise specified. In all cases Statistics NZ must be acknowledged as the source.

Liability

While care has been used in processing, analysing and extracting information, Statistics NZ gives no warranty that the information supplied is free from error. Statistics NZ shall not be liable for any loss suffered through the use, directly or indirectly, of any information, product or service.

Timing

Timed statistical releases are delivered using postal and electronic services provided by third parties. Delivery of these releases may be delayed by circumstances outside the control of Statistics NZ. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delays.

Next release ...

Student Loans and Allowances: 2007 will be released on 11 February 2009.

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