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Student Loans and Allowances: 2012
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  04 December 2013
Data quality

Time periods covered by the student loans and allowances data

The student loans and allowances data provides statistics from the earliest point at which information is available. Due to the nature and source 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 available from 1995 onwards
  • 1997 – information on ethnicity, field of study, level of study, completion status, and full provider type is available from 1997 onwards
  • 2000 – the amount borrowed in loans or received in allowances in a particular calendar year is 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

We produce student loans and allowances data using Statistics NZ’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI). The IDI is a linked longitudinal dataset that covers an extended range of pathways and transitions information. The IDI allows for policy evaluation and research analysis, and the production of statistical outputs on the transitions and outcomes of people, including the student loans and allowances release. The student loans and allowances information includes data from the following sources:

  • 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
  • individuals’ loan balance, repayment, and income data from Inland Revenue
  • demographic information.

The IDI currently contains economic, education, justice, health and safety, migration, and business data.

See Integrated Data Infrastructure for more information on the IDI.

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 private training establishments (PTE) before 2000, the link rate of PTE students before 2000 was around 47 percent. From 2000 onwards, the link rate rose to 89 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.


Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delay.

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