3,000 People Rally Against Proposed Cuts in Student Aid
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Proposed changes to education expenditure saw approximately 3,000 supporters march from Senaatintori, down Aleksanterinkatu, on to Mannerheimentie, and finally gather at Kansalaistori (Citizens’ Square) to listen to a number of speakers, including members of political parties.
Further estimated cutbacks specifically targeting education, and totaling 150 million euros, were subjected to the ire of demonstrators in Helsinki today. The cut constitutes one-fifth of the entire budget for student financial aid in higher eduction, with the majority of students envisioning an increase in inequality amongst students as a result of the proposed changes. How these cuts will exactly be implemented will be decided upon in the spring, and is still under debate in the Finnish Parliament.
The protest was organised by a broad array of student and education unions, which included participants from as far away as Oulu. Students expect the changes to increase the burden of their student loan by the end of their studies, and decrease the amount of student support per month.
Organised by: Aalto University Student Union AYY, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki HYY, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences Student Union HELGA, Laurea University of Applied Sciences Student Union LAUREAMKO, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences Student Union METKA, the national unions for vocational students in Finland SAKKI and OSKU, the Union of Finnish Upper Secondary School Students SLL, University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland SAMOK, and the National Union of University Students in Finland SYL.