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Position: No empty promises – significant increase to the level of study grant needed!

Students currently face an extremely difficult situation with their subsistence. The study grant and the housing allowance are not enough to cover living costs in university cities. The cuts made during the previous government term have reduced the level of study grant to 250 euros per month, and the new government programme does nothing to improve students’ meagre subsistence – despite promises made before the elections. A significant increase to the level of study grant is the best way to improve students’ subsistence situation in the short term.

The cuts to the level of study grant have been made simultaneously with the requirements for completing studies being tightened. A large share of students work during their studies to secure their subsistence. This results in a situation where students must strike a balance between working and completing their studies quickly. Students are also the only group of people forced to take out a loan to secure their subsistence.

Delays in study progress and problems related to subsistence cause strain to mental wellbeing, too – stressing over subsistence slows down studies and makes it difficult to cope with them. Getting into debt because of student loans can also become a financial burden to some. The study grant must be raised back to the level before the cuts, as this would be a quick way to improve students’ subsistence in an equal manner.

Reasonable subsistence without fear of getting into debt encourages all kinds of people to study and to graduate in target time. Investments made in students’ subsistence will gradually increase the level of education among the entire population.

This position paper was first released by Student Union of the University of Helsinki.

Tapio Hautamäki
Chair of the Board
Aalto University Student Union

Laura Wathén
Chair of the Board
Student Union of the University of Helsinki

Aleksi Kinnunen
Chair of the Board
The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland

Topias Peltonen
Chair of the Board
The Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä

Jenni Tuomainen
Chair of the Board
Student Union of the University of Lapland

Miriam Putula
Chair of the Board
Student Union of the University of Oulu

Pia Etelävuori
Chair of the Board
Student Union of the Lappeenranta University of Technology

Andreas Lindén
Chair of the Board
The Student Union of Hanken School of Economics

Sofia Suomalainen
Chair of the Board
Student Union of the University of the Arts

Paula Sajaniemi
Chair of the Board
Student Union of Tampere University

Sini Saarinen
Chair of the Board
Student Union of the University of Turku

Hannes Torppa
Chair of the Board
The Student Union of the University of Vaasa

Anna Oksanen
Chair of the Board
Student Union of the Åbo Akademi University

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