THAILAND: Student loans to depend on employability

Thailand's Education Minister Woravat Au-apinyakul has proposed changing the student loan fund to make loans contingent on an applicant's employment prospects, reports the Bangkok Post.

The government wants to reduce the number of borrowers defaulting, he said. The change would make repayments easier for university students, as they would be contingent on income. Woravat said he had asked the Higher Education Commission to draft a regulation to change the fund, which he hopes to enforce before the start of the 2012 academic year.

About 160,000 students have defaulted on loans, with 500,000 more out of contact. The total loan defaults are valued at seven billion baht (US$233.5 million). The new criteria would focus on the borrowers' employment prospects and repayments would start once graduates start working in jobs that pay a monthly salary of 16,000 baht (US$534). Loans would not incur any interest charge or inflation cost, said Woravat.
Full report on the Bangkok Post site