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Students finances cannot stretch on indefinitely

Text: Statement Photo: Students in coveralls stretching

With the decisions made in the government’s session on spending limits, students are once again facing the pressure of self-sustainment. They are being returned from general housing allowance to housing supplement within financial aid for students starting from August 1, 2025. This deepens the financial difficulties for Haaga-Helia students, most of whom reside in the capital region where living costs are high. A direct calculation of how much the support will decrease has not yet been made, but the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) estimates that the housing support for a student living in Helsinki could decrease by over 130 euros per month.

Student Union Helga’s stance is clear; students’ finances cannot stretch on indefinitely.

These changes increase students’ financial uncertainty, which reflects on their mental well-being and heightened need for social assistance. In practice, as a student, you are forced to work alongside studies to meet your financial needs.
Community suffers, student culture suffers, and loneliness and marginalization risks increase when students’ sense of financial security wavers and their opportunities to participate in student life decrease.

The dependency of support on student financial aid puts particular pressure on summer months for employment. Summer vacation is often a time outside of studies, when there is no right to student financial aid and students seek employment. Housing supplement is also not paid to students for the period when student financial aid is not paid. However, some students have to apply for student financial aid for the summer due to financial reasons, resulting in a summer spent studying without the necessary recovery. Students should be given the opportunity to have vacation months. We do not want students exhausted from studies to enter the working life.

The government has previously decided to increase the state guarantee amount for student loans. This, combined with upcoming reforms, such as students being moved back to housing supplement within student financial aid and the increase in value-added tax from 24% ➡️ 25.5%, will increase students’ debt.

Previous cuts made by the current government have hit young people and students hard, making it unreasonable for them to be targeted for cuts again. Raising our country’s level of education requires wellbeing students who can focus on their studies. With current measures, more and more are at risk of falling into poorer livelihoods, the education-working life cycle, and losing their ability to work before graduation.

The government has chosen to invest in universities as institutions, but their existence and belief in them require students who have been given equal opportunities to complete their degrees without losing their well-being. Therefore, we strongly support measures that support students’ livelihoods and reduce financial uncertainty. In addition, we demand that the government chooses and invests in students so that skilled and wellbeing workers can enter the working life after their studies, with the ability and resilience to maintain and develop the welfare state.

On behalf of Student Union Helga,
Ilona Hirvonen

If you are studying in Haaga-Helia you can join your Student Union!

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