26.03.2024 | Statements

Statement: The EU must set up a Students at Risk grant scheme

The National Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (SAMOK) and the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) call for the establishment of a Students at Risk grant scheme at European Union level. The purpose of the scheme would be to offer an opportunity to continue studies at an institute of higher education in an EU country to students who act as human rights defenders and who are for this reason denied the right to education in their own country.

In 2023, with project funding from the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, SAMOK and SYL established a Students at Risk Finland association, with the aim of creating a similar grant programme at national level. Other European countries are also creating national systems of this kind.

“An EU-wide Students at Risk system would significantly increase the scale and effectiveness of these support activities. This is exactly the sort of collaboration that should be coordinated at EU level,” says SAMOK President Lauri Kujala.

A natural choice would be to set up the Students at Risk scheme as part of a programme such as Erasmus+, which promotes mobility, particularly in the context of learning. SAMOK and SYL have estimated that setting up the programme will require around €100 million from the next EU multiannual financial framework for the 2028–2034 period. This would cover the education of 135 students per year in the EU as a whole, including tuition fees and a living allowance.

“One of our key objectives for the upcoming EU parliamentary elections is a European Union that promotes peace. Safeguarding the human rights of students through a Students at Risk system is one meaningful way to promote peace in the present unstable global climate,” says SYL President Akseli Tiitta.

Further information:

Lauri Kujala
President, SAMOK
[email protected]
+358 50 389 1000

Akseli Tiitta
President, SYL
[email protected]
+358 44 906 5004