SAMOK and SYL: No sense in slashing student financial aid

 

Statement

For release 9.3.2016

The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, together with their member unions and second-level student organisations organise a protest against the cutbacks to student financial aid. Thousands from all over Finland are expected to take part.

‘Cutting the student financial aid equals cutting from the poorest group in society and from Finland’s future. Increasing the loan ratio in student financial aid and violent cutbacks combined with the instability in the economy and on the labour market paints a very dark future for young people contemplating higher education studies. No matter that economics professors keep repeating that the student loan is a sound investment, the message is hard to believe. The current Government offers young people very little to believe in for the future,’ states SAMOK President Jemi Heinilä.

‘We cannot but wonder at the way the decisions about the slashing of student financial aid were made during the negotiations about the government programme. The proposed cutbacks and the schedule for them included in the Government Programme are based on proposals from the Ministry of Finance, whose calculations and scheduling are incorrect.  Now that also decision makers have seen the true nature of the “reform” of student financial aid, we expect them to reconsider the cutbacks,’ says SYL President Heikki Koponen.

Finnish higher education students demand a far-reaching discussion on the social security for students, a discussion where students are included. The current situation is entirely unacceptable for both students and the student financial aid system, with changes to student financial aid at every turn – government programme, budget framework, and budget negotiations.

Contact details:

President Jemi Heinilä, SAMOK        President Heikki Koponen, SYL

jemi.heinilä@samok.fi                         heikki.koponen@syl.fi

050 389 1000                                           044 906 5007