Cutting from students is a bad investment in the future

In December, the parliament approved index freezing of the study grant for a period of 2024-2027. As prices continue to rise, index freezing weakens students’ livelihood already this year by approximately 5,9 %. Additionally, changes in the housing allowance coming to effect on 1.4.2024 will have a considerable effect on students’ livelihood. A total reform of the study grant is currently in preparation. However, the reform should be fully cost-neutral, meaning there would be no raises in the study grant. The study grant is meant to enable full-time study, thus it is necessary to raise it considerably rather than decrease when the amount is already insufficient.


The study grant being loan-based should not be the only option as it adds to the uncertainty and inequality of students’ livelihood. In Finland, students are the only group expected to live in debt. From 1.8.2024, the government-guaranteed student loan will be raised from 650 euros to 850 euros per month. The student loan should be reformed in more ways other than just raising the amount. Currently, the lack of interest rate protection in particular makes it unsafe to take out student loans. Lessening of government debt should not mean the debt burden is placed on the shoulders of students.


Studying should be students’ day job. Most students still have to work paid jobs in order to make ends meet, which leads to e.g. delayed graduation and increased mental health issues. Not all students are even able to find jobs even if they wanted to, and some lack the energy to work in addition to full-time study. Nearly 60 % of university students suffer from emotional stress, and the planned cuts on livelihood risk more decline in wellbeing. In the future, students graduating from university are already burnt-out and tired and in massive debt before even entering the workforce.


The government wants 50 % of young adults to have higher education degrees. To achieve this, considerable changes must be made in order to secure sufficient livelihood for students. The current actions are not encouraging people to become students. Students’ livelihood must be strengthened in order to ensure equal study opportunities for all.


More information:

Vilma Sippola, Vice Chair


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