We students are worried about the ongoing discussion related to tuition fees and we want to challenge you to participate in our campaign for free education! Share the story of your study path using the hashtag #mystudypath and tell us why free education is important for you! You can participate in the campaign by using the hashtag #freeEducation and telling why you support education being free for everyone. We also hope that you challenge other to join the campaign! Let’s defend free education together!
Comment: Education should not be tied to ones bank account
In the Finnish education system you must be provided an equal chance to apply for an university education regardless of ones previous study path, life situation or socio-economic background. Finland’s goal is to have every other young adult get an degree from an institution of higher education by the year 2030 and as such one of the selection criteria cannot be the size of someones wallet
Some students in Finland have to pay for their education. Students outside EU and ETA countries were set a tuition fee from the year 2017, which was minimium of 1500 euros. In practice some students are paying up to 18000 euros for their education, which proves that even a modest fee has the potential to rise steeply fast. Students with tuition fees have to follow a strict pace in their studies which leaves no time for learning the Finnish language or making contacts. This is little time for rest which is necessary for keeping up ones well-being and ability to perform in their studies. This overly tight pace combined with the price of the studies reduce the opportunities for students to engage with Finnish life and work in Finland. This is a shame since skilled international experts are just what Finland needs.
Setting up tuition fees was a significant opener in the paid studies discussion. For example Vihreälä’s working group and before that ETLA Economic Research have suggested expanding tuition fees to Finnish students. This has many potential adverse effects if the negative impacts of tuition fees are forgotten in public discussion. These include the immediate lessening of the equality and accessibility of studies. This would also lead to the quick fall of the level of education and ability to compete in Finland.
Continued learning has led to other forms of paid education such as open university to come to frame. The original purpose behind open university was to make it possible to study university courses even if the person wasn’t qualified to study in an institute of higher education or if they just wanted to supplement their know-how. In its original intent open university continues to serve the society excellently.
In addition to its original role the open university is seen more and more as an opportunity for young people applying to higher education with the means of paying for their education. This is partly due to decisions made about increasing the amount of students who get their place to study through open university studies in the future. It is justifiable for a small number of students to enter their studies through the open university path, if the amount of credits is reasonable. It does not chance the fact that this path would increase the inequality among students because of it costing money.
The diversity of students is one of the strengths of university education and community. In addition to this it is essential for making high quality science, the people researching a subject being too similar will lead to the research being one-sided. Different ideas or openers will not come about if students pursuing higher education all come from a similar background and are in a similar stage of their life. Diverse and accessible university community is the cornerstone of education and education should not be tied to ones bank account.
Chair of the Board
More information: TREY board member of Educational affairs Ville Jäppinen, phone: +358447568539, ville.jappinen(at)trey.fi