8 May 2012

Tougher student loans will hurt te reo - principal

6:39 am on 8 May 2012

Quality of te reo teaching in schools will suffer under student loan changes, says the principal of a private Maori language teacher training centre.

From next year, the minimum loan repayment rate's rising from 10 to 12 cents in the dollar, and allowances after four years' study are being stopped.

Head of Te Wananga Takiura o Nga Kura Kaupapa Maori o Aotearoa, Tawhirimatea Williams, says the changes will create problems at its centre.

But he says the reforms have a bigger impact on te reo in kura.

Mr Williams predicts fewer students will enrol in the wananga, and that's going to have an affect on the quality of teaching in immersion schools.

He says the Government wants to save money because its over-spent in years gone by.

But Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce says the new measures will save up to $70 million a year, most of which he says will be re-invested back into engineering and science education.