Pen names Opiskelija (HS 21 January) and Kandidaatti (HS 22 January) criticised the quotas for first-time applicants with good reason. According to reports, only around 250 students actually benefited from the quotas for first-time applicants last year. This is a small number considering that the number of people who suffer from the quotas in the way described by Opiskelija and Kandidaatti has not been investigated.
The quotas for first-time applicants drive young people to make calculated choices and take unnecessary years off until they get a student place in the field of their dreams. Those who do not know what to study also face difficulties: why should they try something out if it takes away the chance to get the student place of their dreams later when they figure out what it is. The government intended for the quotas for first-time applicants to extend careers, but here in the real world they are having the opposite effect.
The quotas for first-time applicants unreasonably complicate not only the entrance to higher education studies but also changing fields of study and continuous learning. The possibility to try things out, make mistakes and try again in order to find your own place must have its place in youth and in life in general.
Student Union of the University of Helsinki