Can we afford this?

Studies not going as planned and credits not accumulating. Maybe studying doesn’t seem so important and you’re no longer motivated. Haven’t found any mates, worried about earning enough, and there doesn’t seem to be a change in sight. You’re actually working more than studying, and you’ve run out of months for which you will receive student financial aid. Nobody cares whether you will complete your degree.

Many kinds of people drop out of higher education. There is very little information about the reasons for this. Dropouts also include students who are making very slow progress or have ground to a halt. By supporting these people we would be helping those who have been left alone long before the pandemic.

The percentage of dropouts among university students is relatively low, but depending on the location and study field, it was more than 10 per cent during the 2019–2020 academic year. The latest results are actually from the early days of the pandemic. We have no information on how the pandemic will affect the equation. We can’t afford to have any higher education dropouts if we want to reach our target of 50 per cent higher education rate.

There are multiple reasons for students to drop out of higher education, and that is why we need solutions that lower the threshold for continuing studies and providing support for this. Universities have done good work during the pandemic to reach out for students in danger of dropping out. We want this work to continue and in the future be in touch with everyone in the risk zone.

We need solutions. The government has the keys to the solution, the decision just has to be made to use them.

What do we need?

  • A report of the reasons for students dropping out.
  • More student psychologists and counsellors in higher education.
  • Lowering the requirement for granting discretionary extra months of student support so that a reasonably argued explanation on the slow progress and a plan for completing the studies would be enough for a positive decision.
  • With regard to university studies, scrapping the two-tier system for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.
  • Lowering the threshold for regaining eligibility for student financial aid to 10 credits.

We hope the decision-makers will make wise budget decisions. Help us to restore faith in the future and a welfare society where everyone is supported.


Konstantin Kouzmitchev
President, National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL)
044 906 5007

Latest news

See all news
SYL contact us SYL logo
Questions? Contact us!
We are the experts in student life, at your service. We are happy to answer any and all topical questions pertaining to students and higher education.