Emma Lehtonen and Jonni Kuortti

VYY made a statement on the changes to study-related fees

VYY issued an opinion on the draft decree of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The draft proposes an increase in the fees for open university studies and the re-registration fee for degree students. The draft also includes the introduction of a fee for applying for additional study time, which did not exist before.

The Ministry of Education and Culture proposes a substantial increase in the fees charged by the Open University. Currently, the maximum fee for participation in open university courses is €15 per credit, but in future it would be possible to charge up to €45 per credit. The proposal also proposes a fee of €50 for degree students applying for additional time and an increase in the fee for re-registration from €35 to €50. Students will have to pay a re-registration fee when registering late for a semester.

VYY is against the increase in open university fees. The proposal would mean that, for example, a five-credit course could cost up to €225 instead of the previous €75. The price of open universities must remain affordable in the future, and the open route must not become an even more expensive path to university. The increase in fees will reduce the opportunities especially for people of low-income backgrounds to participate in open university courses. This is the wrong direction to take if we want to advance access to education.

Additionally, we do not support the fee for applying for an extension to the right to study. The introduction of such a fee would not serve the principles of free education and would increase inequality between students. The justification for introducing the fee is that universities of applied sciences already have a similar fee. We believe that in the name of equality and equity, fees should also be abolished on the part of universities of applied sciences.

The increase in the fee for late registration has also been justified by the need to harmonise practices with universities of applied sciences. This argument is inadequate, since the fees charged by universities of applied sciences could equally be reduced in order to harmonise practices. We therefore do not support increasing the fee. Free higher education must be maintained in the future, and raising fees and introducing new fees is not the direction in which education should be developed.

VYY’s statement in Finnish is linked to our website and the request for statements can be found in Finnish and Swedish on the Statement service website maintained by the Finnish Ministry of Justice.

Emma Lehtonen
Chair of the Board

Jonni Kuortti
Board Member, educational affairs