Results mainly positive - a big thank you to all participants!
The Finnish Government gathered for the spending limits discussion on Thursday, 21 March and
reached agreement on an adjustment package that currently seems to be mainly in favour of students. Indexing of student financial aid and the revision of financial aid for upper secondary education, which were previously promised and entered in the government programme, will be implemented in accordance with the spending limits decision. In the discussion, Minister of Culture and Sport Arhinmäki, who is in charge of student financial aid, introduced a scheme where student financial aid is developed on the basis of the current study grant-based model. From the beginning, this was also the goal of student organisations. In addition, the current student loan deduction was replaced with clearer student loan reimbursement. The State agrees to directly pay part of the student loan to the bank for those students who begin their studies either on, or after, 1 Aug 2014, and graduate within the normative time limit. It was decided that a criterion for minimum studies will be introduced as a new criterion for study monitoring. In the future, students must achieve at least 20 credits per academic year in order to be eligible for financial aid.
The amendments will enter into force on 1 Aug 2014.
Näpit irti opintotuesta! Mass demonstration, organised on Wednesday before the spending limits discussion, reminded the decision makers that the stick approach does not help students. Various schemes restricting the duration of student financial aid and loan-based models that were in the public debate at the beginning of the year were firmly rejected by students. According to various estimates, there were 5000?7000 demonstrators, some of whom had come a long way to express their opinions to decision-makers.
Numerous organisations and associations within HYY participated in the demonstration with joint departures and organisation symbols. HYY believes that the demonstration and the strong public pressure played a key role in the results of the spending limits discussion. Näpit irti campaign has been one of the most major individual advocacy projects for a long time. A thank you for the successful campaign belongs to the whole student community and to all who were involved in the action in one way or another. Thank you!