BM 68 – Resolution against “turbo grants” for Norwegian students
In Norway, the government recently formed a governmental productivity commission, whose mandate is to raise “proposals that could enhance productivity and growth potential of the Norwegian economy”. As a result, the commission suggests introducing so-called “turbo
grants” (turbostipend) for students that complete their degree within the prescribed time.
This is in spite of the fact that almost half of the Norwegian student population is dependent on economic support from their families while studying. The turbo-grant is a proposal whereby the current balance between grants and loans will be changed in favor of a higher grant content for those students who finish their degree within the prescribed time. NSO does not want to increase the pressure on students further and believes turbo grants are an expensive and ineffective measure. Nor will it improve students’ financial situation in academic life, but be an additional bonus after the degree is finished.
NSO believes this is a misuse of public money. In addition, such a turbo grant will favor wealthier students, whileat the same time,will systematically discriminateagainst students who are already struggling for various reasons to complete their studies on time. We believe it is an attack on the principle of equal opportunities in higher education. NSO believes the best way to get more people to complete education in prescribed time is by raising the study financing to all students through increasing the level of support to 1.5 times the basic national insurance amount (G). It would give all students the equal opportunity to spend more time on their studies. The European Students’ Union offers its full support to NSO’s campaign against the turbo grant, and urges the government of Norway, and particularly Minister of Education and Science Torbjørn Røe Isaksen, to reject this proposal of the Productivity Commission.