BM 68 – Statement on the Government Negotiations in Finland
The National Unions of Students from all around Europe, who are convened for the bi-annual Board Meeting of European Students’ Union (ESU) in Yerevan, Armenia, want to express their concern for the future of higher education in Finland. Education is the key to the development of a democratic and functioning society that promotes social and economic well-being.
Therefore, decisions made on the financing of education and educational policy should not be justified by austerity measures that only cause negative effects on the long term. The European Students’ Union stresses that part of the Finnish success story has been tuitionfree education for both domestic and foreign students. The country managed to get out of an economic recession in the 1990s due to widened access to higher education. Keeping higher education free for all ensures the diversity of the Finnish society, contributing to the quality
of education and development of the labour market. Education policy should be a priority in the upcoming government programme, which will be finalised in the weeks to come. The parties involved in the government programme negotiations should invest in the future of Finland by keeping education tuition-free for all, and education should not be subjected to budgetary cuts.
Moreover, ESU supports extending the students’ healthcare system (FSHS) to students of universities of applied sciences. ESU considers free education, a productive educational system, and healthy students as the key to a prosperous society.