University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland (SAMOK), and the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) appeal to the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), the Tax Administration and the Ministry of Education and Culture to make permanent the temporary right of students to buy two portions of subsidised school lunches at a time. This right was introduced as a temporary measure at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in spring 2020, and is due to expire at the end of July 2022.
This exceptional measure for the sale of student lunches has been widely perceived as an excellent contribution to relieving the financial burden on students, and there is broad support among students for making it a permanent benefit. Higher education has changed in the wake of the pandemic, and new approaches that have proven themselves to be beneficial and tested are worth maintaining. The two-meal right is a good way of promoting students’ wellbeing by making healthy meals more affordable, which is something students have hoped for.
The turnover of student restaurants has fallen drastically to less than half of its level prior to the pandemic, and they are also affected by the large rises in inflation and production costs caused by the war in Ukraine. If students were able to buy takeaway lunches in the future also, this would be greatly benefit student restaurants. Some student restaurants are owned by student collectives, and many are run by independently operating companies that vary considerably in size.
SYL and SAMOK believe that there are compelling reasons for continuing these measures that were introduced in response to the pandemic on a permanent basis. It is clear by now that they have had a considerable positive contribution to students’ wellbeing and ability to focus on their studies, as well as financially benefiting student canteens.
University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland – SAMOK
050 389 1000
National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL)
044 906 5007