Annika Saarikko (Centre), the Minister of Science and Culture, has reminded that students are not the only group of people who could use a breather. (Laura Ukkonen – Lehtikuva)

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ANNIKA SAARIKKO (Centre), the Minister of Science and Culture, has shared her thoughts on the debate surrounding students’ livelihood in the summer in an interview with YLE.

Saarikko on Thursday underscored that she recognises the need of students for rest but stopped well short of promising to grant students paid summer holidays, as was effectively demanded on 1 July by the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL).

“I understand it well,” she assured. “There are many in this country who need the same thing: the self-employed, gig workers and students. They’ve all earned it and should all have it. But I see working during studies not only as a source of income but also as part of your journey to grow into a member of the labour force.”

“Experience in working life also has value. Few of us have gotten our jobs only with degrees,” she added.

Saarikko also reminded that the current system of student financial aid is the result of work by numerous governments, admitting that the system is consequently complicated and includes income limits that do not incentivise students to work.

Minister of Education Li Andersson (Left Alliance) revealed yesterday that the government has decided to increase the funding of pupil and student services by 29 million euros.

“The goal is to strengthen psychological support services for young people and, thereby, also improve the low-threshold services provided by schools,” she wrote in a guest contribution to Helsingin Sanomat.

Andersson told MTV one day earlier that making major investments in improving the position and financial aid of students is impossible in the prevalent economic situation.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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