In 2023, students in higher education are living through unfortunately historical times. Times of COVID-19 intensified the mental health crisis already ingrained in our midst, the climate crisis is happening right in front of our eyes, and Russia’s aggressive war in Ukraine has raised inflation levels to dizzying heights. In the midst of all this, students are trying to live off of a 250€ study grant, to grow and develop academically, and to plan their future in all this uncertainty. The parliamentary election of 2023 is at a turning point in what happens to higher education institutions and students during the remainder of the decade. Vote.
TREY’s 2023 most important parliamentary election goals
Raise students above the poverty line! 100€ increase to the study grant
Sufficient and secure income is the basis for a student’s wellbeing and for their studies advancing. Income challenges slow down studies and the stock of student loans has more than doubled since 2017. Student income must grant the chance to study full-time. Students are living below the poverty line in the 2020’s.
- The study grant must be increased by 100€ per month
- An interest rate ceiling set on student loans
- Increasing the maximum period of eligibility for and dismantling the two-tier system in student financial aid.
Free education’s lit fam
Free degree education is a corner stone of our welfare state. It prevents students becoming unequal and ensures that the possibility of achieving a degree in higher education doesn’t hinge on wealth. According to research, education and, with it, social and financial prosperity are highly hereditary. Tuition fees are quite the factor in this equation in increasing inequality and ending social mobility. Free higher education is not self-evident, and it needs to be defended in these parliamentary elections! Finland needs highly educated specialists in all areas of society. In the future, degree education must be free for everyone.
- Education leading to a degree must be free
- Tuition fees for students from outside of EU and EEA countries must be waived
- Student intake must be resourced in full, and institutions of higher education must receive better core funding
Fix the FSHS
The queue situation and lack of resources at FSHS have been the topic of many discussions among students and in the media for several years. A notable issue is access to treatment: you tend to have to wait a very long time for an appointment and students may sometimes feel like they’re only hearing ‘no-can-dos’.
The FSHS is funded by government funding (77% of funding) and by healthcare fees paid by students, aka FSHS fees (23% of funding). In its current state, the funding doesn’t consider demand at all. Even if the demand for services explodes, as happened during COVID-19 times, the FSHS has to offer its services with the same resources they had before. This leads to congestion in available services, a growing burden and added stress on the FSHS staff, and excessively long waiting times.
Our hope is that the FSHS law be processed and heard, and the funding be adapted and improved to better consider demand. The increase in funding cannot, however, be paid for from the pockets of students. Students deserve timely and high-quality care.