Finns are among the world's leading users of digital services. According to the recent Digital Skills Report, 79% of Finns have good digital skills, and as many as 84% feel that they will keep up to date with digitalisation in the coming years. In other words, our society has a good foundation for building digital services. Nonetheless, even skilled people often need support in using digital devices and services. The crucial question is how well one can apply and develop their own skills.

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LEHTIKUVA

The amounts of child support and child maintenance allowance payments will increase on 1 January 2023 in response to the rise in the Cost-of-Living Index.

Child support payments and child maintenance allowances are linked to the Cost-of-Living Index, which will rise by about 8.33 % on 1 January 2023. Starting from that date, the full child maintenance allowance will be EUR 186.97 per month per child. The full amount is currently EUR 172.59 per month, which means that the monthly allowance will increase by EUR 14.38.

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A border official looked at the site of an upcoming fence on the border between Finland and Russia in Imatra, Southeast Finland, on 18 November 2022. YLE on Tuesday reported that many Russians are believed to have overstayed their visa after fleeing military call-ups to the Schengen Area. (Lauri Heino – Str / Lehtikuva)

SOME OF THE THOUSANDS of Russians who rushed into Finland as rumours of a military call-up became reality earlier this autumn have stayed unlawfully in the Schengen Area, writes YLE.

Matti Pitkäniitty, the director of international affairs at the Finnish Border Guard, on Tuesday stated to the public broadcasting company that he believes “thousands” of Russians remain in the Schengen Area.

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A child at home in Helsinki in September 2017. Rising consumer prices have resulted in some 30,000 more children living in poverty in Finland, according to an expert interviewed on YLE Radio Suomi. (Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

THE SURGE in consumer prices has increased the number of children living in poverty and families who rely on food aid, according to experts who discussed the issue on YLE Radio Suomi on Monday.

“Price increases have indeed had a radical impact on families with children,” said Tiina Ristikari, the development director at the Itla Children’s Foundation.

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White-tailed deer fawns in Kirkkonummi, Southern Finland, on 15 July 2022. Environmental groups have voiced their exasperation with the last-minute revisions introduced to the new nature conservation act at the insistence of the Centre Party. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

JARI LUUKKONEN, a conservation director at WWF Finland, has expressed his disappointment with the watering down of the new nature conservation act in an interview with Helsingin Sanomat.

The Centre Party made a widely criticised turnaround on the issue by allying with the opposition parties in order to remove two central provisions in the bill in the Parliament’s Environment Committee.

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LEHTIKUVA

Students who have registered as attending a traditional university or a university of applied sciences must pay a healthcare fee to Kela each term. The 2023 rate of the student healthcare fee is EUR 36.80 per term. Students can pay the fee starting now.

In 2023, the student healthcare fee in higher education is 36.80 euros per term.

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Anne Kalmari (Centre), the chairperson of the Parliament’s Agriculture and Forest Committee, attended a panel discussion in Helsinki on 9 November 2022. Information obtained by Helsingin Sanomat suggests Kalmari was the key architect of the revisions introduced to the government bill for a new nature conservation act, a bill the agrarian centre-right party had previously approved. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE CENTRE PARTY has continued its campaign to resuscitate its ailing popularity by shooting down legislative proposals it had signed off on as part of the ruling coalition, frustrating its coalition partners.

Members of the Centre in the Parliament’s Environment Committee on Tuesday sided with the opposition parties in opposing a government bill for a new nature conservation act, one of the most important legislative projects of the election cycle for the Ministry of the Environment.

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Representatives of the Centre Party met with the public at the market square in Kuopio on 26 November 2022. The Centre sparked controversy earlier this week by allying with opposition parties to effectively force revisions to a government bill it had earlier approved for a new nature conservation act. (Lassi Lapintie – Lehtikuva)

THE CENTRE PARTY insisted on revising the government bill for a new nature conservation act partly because of a calculation sketched during a meeting by an official at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, reveals Helsingin Sanomat.

The newspaper discovered in trying to verify the calculation that no digital or physical copies of it exist.

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The extension from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti includes five new stations. The photo is from Espoonlahti. Photo: City of Espoo

The new metro extension from Matinkylä to Kivenlahti opens on Saturday 3 December. The metro brings many new opportunities to Espoo and ensures that the city will maintain its vitality.

The metro serves residents by improving transport connections and attracts housing, services, jobs and innovation clusters to areas close to the tracks.

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A clear majority (70 %) of Finns say that they have not considered the environmental effects of their internet use at all. Changing internet subscriptions or limiting one’s use of the internet for environmental reasons is also rare, and the advantages of different network connections are not yet known very well, according to a survey published today by Valokuitunen Oy.

In many respects, Finns are environmentally aware, but few have considered the environmental burden of different internet connections.

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Snowless detritus in Bodom, Espoo, in January 2020. The Finnish Parliament’s Grand Committee on Wednesday confirmed that Finland will insist on revisions to the European Commission’s proposal for a nature restoration law. (Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE GRAND COMMITTEE of the Finnish Parliament finalised its statement on the nature restoration law proposed by the European Commission.

The committee concluded that the law cannot be approved unless it is amended substantially, national forest policy interests are taken into consideration and national costs are made substantially more reasonable.

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Garden of Lapinlahti Hospital. Photo by Yiping Feng and Ling Ouyang. Helsinki Partners

The City of Helsinki continues to plan the future use of the Lapinlahti Hospital area in interaction with city residents and the users of the area. The aim of the planning is to find a sustainable solution for the renovation of the culturally and historically significant property in cooperation with NREP. The intention is to keep the current size of the park area, and there will be no new construction in the area.

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Accommodation in a Finnish Immigration Service reception centre in Helsinki. LEHTIKUVA

The Finnish Immigration Service is preparing to set up new reception centres due to the increased need to provide accommodation for people fleeing Ukraine. By 28 November 2022, those fleeing Ukraine due to the Russian military attack had submitted 45,267 applications for temporary protection.

At present, Finland has altogether 92 reception centres, their secondary branches and service points for people in private accommodation, as well as eight reception units for minors.

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Power lines, street signs, trees and blocks of flats in Vantaa in October 2020. Latest statistics on property sales and housing loan drawdowns indicate that the house market has continued to contract sharply in Finland. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)

THE PROPERTY MARKET in Finland has continued to cool down rapidly.

Statistics Finland on Wednesday reported that the number of old dwellings in blocks of flats and terraced houses sold with the help of real estate agencies decreased by 29 per cent year-on-year in October.

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Black Friday kicked off the Christmas season in e-commerce. Posti delivered over 1.4 parcels during last week.

Even though Black Friday was officially on November 25, sales campaigns took place throughout the week. Many stores started their campaigns already on the pervious Friday.

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Students at the Kaisa House, the Helsinki University main library, in Helsinki, Finland, on December 18, 2019. LEHTIKUVA

Congratulations on your admission! You can apply for student financial aid and general housing allowance when you start a new course of study. If you are in upper secondary education, you can also apply for school transport subsidy. If you begin studying in a Finnish higher education institution, you must pay a student healthcare fee.

You can apply for financial aid in OmaKela as soon as you accept your offer of admission. You can apply for financial aid even if you do not yet know where and how you will live while in school.

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