Student Loans Conference (2016)

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The Education Policy Initiative hosted an international comparative conference to provide policymakers, analysts and press with cross-national perspectives on student debt and repayment. We convened leading international and domestic experts to discuss options to improve US student loan policies. The goal was to enrich the US conversation around student loans with perspectives on how other countries structure aid, borrowing and repayment.

The countries represented have a wide range of loan and financial aid models. We heard from international loan experts Bruce Chapman, the architect of the Australian student loan program; Nicholas Barr, one of the primary architects of England’s 2006 student loan reforms; Lorraine Dearden, research fellow at the London-based Institute for Fiscal Studies; Christina Forsberg, acting director general at CSN, the Swedish Board for Study Support; and Achim Meyer Auf Der Heyde, secretary-general of Germany’s National Association for Student Affairs – DSW.

The international session was followed by a discussion with US-based student loan experts, who explored how international insights could be applied to the US setting. Panelists included Matthew Chingos, senior fellow at the Urban Institute; Rohit Chopra, former student loan ombudsman and special adviser to the US Department of Education; Jason Delisle, director of the Federal Education Budget Project at New America Foundation; Susan Dynarski, professor of education, public policy, and economics at the University of Michigan; and Kevin James of the Jain Family Institute.