Student aid is not a tool for regional policy


The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) opposes the idea of a regional student loan compensation. Student aid must be seen as part of students’ social security – not a tool for regional policy.


The Ministry of Education and Culture has launched a project on regional student loan compensation, supported by a preliminary report commissioned by Spatia – Centre for Regional Research, which operates under the University of Eastern Finland. The report proposes a model where people with a student loan could get part of their debt cancelled every year if they live in a sparsely populated area.

We do not believe that introducing the regional student loan compensation is advisable. ‘The ultimate aim of student aid is to secure students’ subsistence and make it possible to study full-time. Changes made to the student aid should primarily improve the level of students’ subsistence, and student aid should not be used as a tool for regional policy’, Chair of HYY’s Board Aleksi Tujunen states.

According to the preliminary report, a regional student loan compensation has achieved positive results in Norway, where a similar model is already in use. According to Norwegian experts, however, the student loan compensation is only one part of a wide array of supportive measures for sparsely populated areas.

‘The regional student loan compensation would place students’ in unequal positions, as jobs on many fields simply do not exist in sparsely populated areas. The student loan compensation should treat everyone with a student loan equally’, Member of HYY’s Board Jenny Kasongo emphasises.

Instead of the regional student loan compensation, the focus should be on improving students’ subsistence by raising the level of the study grant. This would improve both student wellbeing and the level of students’ subsistence in an equal manner.


Further information:

Aleksi Tujunen
Chair of the Board
050 475 1280