Student grant cuts signify alarming development

Statement 8.3.2016

The student grant reform has been a hot topic in the student community since Roope Uusitalo published his reform proposal last week. In the requested model, the student allowance would decrease by 25%, while the housing allowance would stay put. On the contrary, the amount of student loan would rise from 400 to 650 euros per month and many students would welcome the possibility for higher monthly overall cash flow. Another positive aspect is removing the division into BSc and MSc level grants that has caused problems amongst those whose Bachelor’s degree has been delayed. Nevertheless, it has to be noted that the proposed changes would make taking loan more of an essential, especially in the metropolitan area, where the cost of living is high.

Uusitalo’s model would also decrease the number of student allowance months and the amount of student loan compensation. We express our concern that the stricter progression requirements would add to the stress students experience during their studies. Forcing quicker graduation times would also limit the options BIZ students have in their studies and extracurricular activities. For a huge number of students, work experience during studies and the activities in the student community play a crucial role in developing into the difference makers of the future.

All in all, cuts on high-end education should not be the far-sighted vision to raise Finland from the recent recession. Cutting student grants is just a part of an alarming trend that goes against all the principles of investing in a brighter future.

Aalto University Student Union (AYY) has also released a statement on the reform.

Further information:

Henrik Kekarainen
Chairman of the Board

Juho Paavola
Member of the Board, Academic Affairs

Katariina Ollari
Member of the Board, Educational Affairs