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Norwegian students protest against government work programme

“During the election campaign, all parties said they wanted to increase the study support coverage from 10 to 11 months. Now that the negotiations for the work programme for the next four years are finished, they didn’t fulfill this promise. The government has betrayed the students”, say the two Norwegian national unions of students, NSU and StL.

After the so-called quality reform of higher education in Norway in 2003, the academic year was extended. Today, students often have to take exams in late June, while the last monthly payment of the student loans is in mid May.

“We have repeatedly said that students cannot concentrate on their exams, because they have to work in order to make a living. When the study year lasts for more than ten months, the student support must follow”, say Ina Tandberg and Anne Karine Nymoen, presidents of StL and NSU respectively.

All the three parties in Norway’s coalition government had said that they wanted to extend the student support scheme from 10 to 11 months.  The coalition partners won a majority of the votes in September’s parliament election, and last week they presented the new plans for the government.  There was no reference to extending the student support.

“We thought our arguments had been heard and accepted, but were surprised and disappointed when we read the governments’ programme for the next period of government. This is an outright breach of trust,” say Nymoen and Tandberg.

This week, the Norwegian national budget for 2010 will also be presented.

“We hope the government continues its efforts on student housing. But we are very disappointed that the government has broken its promise on improving the student support.


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