Aurum's occupation continues – Students' concerns about livelihood and mental health are real

Student occupations at the University of Turku and other Finnish universities continue. The goals of the occupiers of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University are in line with those of the Student Union's political policy paper: TYY does not approve of the cuts in housing allowance for students or the full coverage of tuition fees from outside the EU/EEA. Sufficient resources for student mental health services must be secured so that every student receives help and support in time.

Cuts to student benefits are the wrong direction if we want to raise Finland's level of education. The growing trend of mental health challenges and problems caused by scarce income are stretching study times. The ability to study will not improve by cutting back, and the cuts will be especially difficult for those who are already unwell.  Therefore, the university and the Finnish government should also be concerned about the current situation.

It would therefore be essential to have a more constructive debate on changing the structures of the current system. The concern about cuts to students is justified, which is why TYY is also working for better livelihoods for students, the availability of student housing, and adequately resourced services. At TYY, we promote students' mental health together with the university, FSHS and other parties, especially by investing in preventive activities.

Last week, we addressed the government on housing benefit cuts and  the freezing of the student financial aid index. TYY will also make a statement on increasing the loan-based nature of student financial aid: Student loans should be a form of financial aid that complements student financial aid and should not form the main part of a student's livelihood (TYY's policy paper).

The Student Union and the University will continue their close cooperation to improve students' everyday lives and develop the University. The question of students' livelihood and the promotion of well-being will continue to be discussed in many different contexts. Solutions must be found together because the university community is nothing without well-being students.

The takeovers of universities around Finland show that students' concerns are genuine. Decision-makers must listen to students' concerns and make policies that support their ability to study. To achieve this goal, TYY will also continue its advocacy work. A humane student life belongs to everyone, and well-being students are a prerequisite for a thriving Finland.


More info on:

Akseli Tiitta
Chairperson of the Board of TYY
tel. +358 45 3205125