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The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) says it paid student financial aid to 273,000 students in the academic year of 2017–2018. Almost two-thirds, or 171,000, of the recipients were higher education students. (Credit: Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)
The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) says it paid student financial aid to 273,000 students in the academic year of 2017–2018. Almost two-thirds, or 171,000, of the recipients were higher education students. (Credit: Emmi Korhonen – Lehtikuva)

 

The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) has reported that the number of student financial aid recipients decreased by approximately five per cent year-on-year to 276,000 in the academic year of 2017–2018.

The number of students receiving student financial aid for studies overseas, on the other hand, increased by five per cent to roughly 9,600.

Kela on Friday revealed that the vast majority (85%) of those receiving student financial aid overseas were studying in the European Union: Sweden, the United Kingdom and Estonia, for example, together accounted for almost 60 per cent of those receiving student financial aid overseas.

Almost two-thirds, or 171,000, of all student financial aid recipients were in higher education and the remaining 102,000 in upper secondary education.

Consisting of the study grant, housing supplement and government guarantee for student loan, the average student financial aid was 736 euros in December 2017. Students in universities received an average of 883 euros, those in universities of applied sciences 876 euros, those in vocational schools 497 euros and those in general upper-secondary schools 213 euros in student financial aid.

The number of students receiving the housing supplement fell by 90 per cent to 19,400 in 2017–2018, after students were transferred under the general housing allowance on 1 August 2017.

Kela also reported that the number of students who took out a government-guaranteed student loan increased by 12 per cent year-on-year to over 151,000 in the academic year of 2017–2018, bringing the total number of people with outstanding student loan debt to 408,500 and the value of outstanding student loans to 3.1 billion euros.

The average student loan debt burden was 7,630 euros.

The number of students taking out a student loan has roughly doubled over the past 10 years, from less than 80,000 in 2007–2008 to 151,000 in 2017–2018, according to statistics compiled by Kela.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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