How NZ's student loan scheme measures up worldwide

(Getty file)
(Getty file)

The Productivity Commission believes Kiwis should be paying interest on their student loans, saying it would make education more accessible.

Interest-free student loans were first introduced in 2001 and the scheme extended in 2005.

What's happening in other countries?

Across the ditch, Aussies have a similar system where students also don't pay any interest on what they borrow.

They don't have to start paying off their loans until they earn a certain amount each year.

Currently the Australian threshold is NZ$57,760, whereas in New Zealand it's just over $19,000.

In the US, the loan system is confusing.

There are numerous types of student loans and generally all of them have interest attached.

It usually ranges from 3.5 to 7.5 percent.

But students' debt is usually higher because university is more expensive - the average graduate racks up more than NZ$50,000.

Brazil is touted as one of the best countries for free higher education, but it's not available to everyone.

This year around 3 million students competed for just 230,000 places at free public universities.

These schools offer the best education, but spots still often go to wealthy white students because they received better childhood education.

Tertiary education inGermany is free - well, almost.

There is no tuition at state universities and students just have to pay an administrative fee of up to NZ$385 per term.