Students need a home too

Cuts made by the government will further deepen the financial misery of students.

The Student Union of the University of Vaasa (VYY) is shocked by the Finnish government's decision to transfer students back to the housing supplement. The cut will significantly reduce students' income and deteriorate their financial situation. Students have been eligible for the general housing allowance since 2017. The decision to transfer students to the housing supplement is a step backwards to seven years ago and a new hit to students' faith in the future.

Students' income has already been punished enough during the past cuts. The new housing supplement will be set at a maximum of 260 euros per month. The maximum amount of the general housing allowance for students living in Vaasa has been 312,90 euros per month since 1.4.2024 and 357,60 euros per month before that. Soon, the monthly housing allowance for a student in Vaasa will therefore be 97,60 euros less than two years ago. As income collapses, students will be forced to work more and more.

“Recent cuts to students will reduce a student's housing allowance in Vaasa by up to 1952 euros per year. The amount is enormous. It forces students to rely more and more on student loans and to work while studying. Student's social security should guarantee the possibility of full-time study," says Emma Lehtonen, VYY's Chair of the Board.

With the transition to the housing supplement, the student's income is fully dependent on receiving student financial aid. Primarily, students do not receive financial aid during the summer, and therefore would not receive the housing supplement for that period. Students also need a home during the summer. Students are put in a situation where their access to the housing supplement depends on the progress of their studies. However, there are many reasons for the lack of progress in studies, and it is not always possible to study full-time while working, especially in the summer when there are less courses available. Uncertainty about their income contributes to student's struggles and affects their ability to study.

The government's decision is due to take effect on 1.8.2025. Before that, the reform is likely to be discussed by the working group on the student financial aid reform, which will decide on the form of the housing supplement.

Students' overall income must not be affected by the transfer to the student housing supplement. Cuts on students' income will not help the Finnish Government's objective of raising educational standards, but on the contrary. These decisions put students in an unequal position and increase economic insecurity in society. We demand that the level of the housing allowance and the number of months of aid will be reviewed in the light of the cost of living for current students. 


More information

Emma Lehtonen
Chair of the Board
044 324 8965

Maria Saita
Board Member
044 324 8977