Alarming rise in student mental health problems shows new Higher Education Student Health Survey. As many as one in three students struggle with mental health problems. Financial difficulties and study stress are significant factors in this. SAMOK and SYL demand extensive and significant measures to increase student support services.
A committee investigating alternatives for increasing users’ freedom of choice and multichannel funding options for the social and health care (SOTE) reform in Finland published its final report today, 31 May. On the topic of student health care, the report recommends ensuring that the Finnish Student Health Services’ (FSHS) can continue as a service provider during the initial phase of the reform. The national higher education students’ unions of in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, welcome the mentioning of student health care in the report but do not accept making FSHS only a temporary, first phase solution.
We the national unions of students in the Nordic and Baltic countries (NOM, Nordiskt Ordförande Møte) condemn the rise of extreme right-wing movements and discrimination of international students in the Nordic and Baltic countries.
‘We ask only one thing of the budget negotiators: Give us back our belief in the future!’ The organisations will supervise the budgetary framework negotiations and organise a pop up restaurant with student food. Traditional student delicacies will be served to negotiators at 7:30am. The campaign is intended to remind budget negotiators about the consequences slashing student financial aid will have on student finances, which are already in a bad state.
The European students call on the Government of Finland to preserve the right and the opportunity to education for all, regardless of their background.
'No matter that economics professors keep repeating that the student loan is a sound investment, the message is hard to believe. The current Government offers young people very little to believe in for the future,’ states SAMOK President Jemi Heinilä.
From no other population group could the Government cut the group’s livelihood by 25% while having the nerve to call it a measure that increases societal justice,” says SAMOK’s President Jemi Heinilä.
The Government proposes mandatory tuition fees of at least 1,500 euro for students from outside the EU and the EEA. SAMOK and SYL fiercely oppose tuition fees and are concerned for the future of the internationalisation of higher education in Finland.
Student admissions are being announced and student organisations are worried about the transfers between upper secondary education and tertiary education as well as transfers between higher education institutions. Currently, transfer paths are not working well, which makes it harder for students to commence their studies and also affects the study flow.
“We do understand the need for adjustments in state finances, but we cannot accept such one-sided cuts. Research shows that those with a higher level of education are also those who have the longest and most productive work careers. What sense is there in cutting where the expected profit for state finances is excellent? This is preposterous!”
The Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences – SAMOK and The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) demand concrete action from the parliamentary candidates to save education.
"Wisdom, education and innovation do not only live within Europe. We should not close our doors to a truly global world. We say no thank you to tuition fees!", the Presidents state.
Build Finland’s education brand based on what we are famous for and good at. Education export has once again made headlines in Finland. And again the debate is stuck on introducing tuition fees for students from outside the EU and the EEA.
The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, demand more open decision-making and a reasonable, fact-based EU debate.
The final report shows that the implementation of tuition fees has not advanced internationalisation, has not improved the attractiveness of Finnish higher education nor has it enhanced the quality of higher education offered in other languages than Finnish or Swedish. These were the points the Ministry of Education and Culture wanted to examine during the trial. The trial also showed that charging tuition fees is not profitable nor does it bring about savings. The Union of Student in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences - SAMOK and the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) point out how this shows that there are neither financial nor qualitative grounds for Finland to charge tuition fees.