Reader opinion Working with a study grant does not slow down your studies

Rising income support thresholds beyond the official poverty line is a welcome reform and will make life easier for many students.

Government decided to raise the income limits for student grants from 50% of the previous level from 2023 onwards. The reform will enable students to work better summer jobs and moderate employment in addition to their studies.

There are many different ways to work while studying. At their best, jobs relevant to their field of study deepen their skills and, after graduation, help them to find employment in their own field, sometimes even in the same job.

Tarmo Valkonen raised the Business Research Institute (Etla) in his column (etla.fi) raised concerns that raising income limits could extend degree periods and thus weaken public finances. Concerns about longer studies are justified, as well under a third of students are already completing their university studies within the five-year target period. According to statistics, about 40 per cent of students have not graduated eight years after starting their studies (Statistics Finland’s Statistics Service Vipunen).

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Raising the income limits for study grants is unlikely to have a significant effect on this, as 5 credits per month must be completed in order to be eligible for a study grant, regardless of income limits. In total, the study grant can be increased from 48 months, ie the target period for five years of nip button studies. Compared to other forms of social security, study support is and will continue to be severely remunerated. Study support is not available if the studies are not progressing at the target pace and this requirement is not affected in any way by the income limits of the study support.

In addition, students have strong incentives to graduate on time, as there is an opportunity to repay a student loan of up to EUR 6,200. On these grounds, students will continue to have a very good reason to promote their studies in the target time and, in addition to their studies, with the increase in income limits for study support, to develop more skills in working life. Rising income support thresholds beyond the official poverty line is a welcome reform and will make life easier for many students.

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Arvi Tolvanen

Member of the Board, Student Union of the University of Turku

The reader’s opinions are the speeches written by HS’s readers, selected and delivered by HS’s editorial staff. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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