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Student Loans and Allowances: 2010
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  02 December 2011
Data quality

This section contains information that does not change between releases.

Time periods covered by this release

This release provides statistics from the earliest point at which information is available. Due to the nature and sources of data, statistics start from different years:

  • 1992 – Leaving debt, debt five years post-study, and full repayment information is available for those who left study from 1992 onwards.
  • 1995 – Income information is only available from 1995 onwards.
  • 1997 – Information on ethnicity, field of study, level of study, completion status, and full provider type is only available from 1997 onwards.
  • 2000 – The amount borrowed in loans or received in allowances in a particular calendar year is only available from 2000 onwards.

The most recent data available for each release is for the previous calendar year. This reflects the time required to include income data for salary and wage earners and for those who are self-employed.

Integrated dataset

The statistics in this release were produced using a database of student loans and allowances, and tertiary education data held by Statistics NZ. An important component of the database is an integrated dataset on student loan borrowers and allowance recipients, which was created by linking administrative records from a number of government agencies:

  • individual students’ tertiary enrolment and completion 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’ loan balance, repayment, and income data from Inland Revenue.

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 links records over time, making it 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 the 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 in other MoE reports. The official statistics on student loan borrowers included in this information release may differ from those published in the annual report. This is because the source administrative data was provided to Statistics NZ at a specified cut-off date, which differs from the one used for the annual report. In addition, the tables in this release 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 NZ includes those who leave study with $0 leaving debt (having repaid their loan while studying), whereas MoE may 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, 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 91 percent.


While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.


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.

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