PRESS RELEASE: Student Loan Cap Lifted To 10EFTS For Medicine

Joint Press Release – NZMSA and Te Oranga

NZMSA (New Zealand Medical Students’ Association) and Te Oranga (Māori Medical Students’ Association Aotearoa) warmly congratulate the government on their announcement to extend the life-time limit on student loan borrowing to 10 EFTS for programmes such as medicine.

“We are incredibly pleased to hear today’s announcement. This has been a major issue for the medical student body and one which we have advocated strongly on for a number of years. The government’s announcement today is a huge relief for many of our students, who can now focus on completing their medical degrees and serving their communities. We applaud the government on fulfilling their promise and taking a step towards addressing educational inequities and creating a more representative health workforce.” says Jibi Kunnethedam, President of the NZMSA.

Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins’ announcement means that all students in long-length programmes such as a medical degree can have access to a student loan for a maximum of 10 EFTS. Many postgraduate students study for longer than three years prior to entering medical school. Almost all of these students can now complete a medical degree with the reassurance of government support.

Importantly, lifting of the EFTS cap reduces its effects on students from targeted entry pathways such as those for Māori, Pacific and Rural students. “We have always held significant concerns that the previous cap would undo the significant work to increase the number of Māori medical students”, says Chayce Glass, Tumuaki o Te Oranga. “The previous cap was making it extremely difficult for post-graduate tauira Māori to complete their medical degrees”.

NZMSA and Te Oranga would like to express their deep gratitude for those past and present who have worked to see this policy addressed.



Jibi Kunnethedam
New Zealand Medical Students’ Association
Phone: 027 819 0142

Chayce Glass
Te Oranga (Māori Medical Students’ Association Aotearoa)
Phone: 027 512 1993