Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education and Culture, was presented a report on the reform of student financial aid on 1 March, 2016.A report commissioned by Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education and Culture, has drawn heavy criticism for proposing that student financial aid be reduced by 25 per cent, equivalent to 87 euros per month. 

Paavo Arhinmäki, the chairperson of the Left Alliance, for example argues on his personal blog that the cuts will force more and more students to resort to food aid.

Matti Virén, a professor of economics at the University of Turku, disagrees.

Virén points out in a blog entry that gaining admission to a higher education institution provides a notable boost to the lifetime earnings of an individual. “The lifetime earnings of someone who has been admitted to a university will grow by an average of half-a-million euros after taxes […] in comparison to their worse-off peers who must transition to the working life,” he writes.

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“For lawyers and other high earners, a study place translates to additional [lifetime] earnings of more than one million euros.”

He estimates that the average cost of free education is 40,000 euros per completed degree, while the wide variety of income transfers – such as housing allowance, student financial aid, meal subsidy, student loan subvention and various discounts – amount to another 40,000 euros.

“Those left without a study place get nothing; well, they do get to pay for the free education and support provided to the highly educated. Money from the poor to the rich. That is fair game à la Finland,” he states.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi