According to the SHoT survey in 2018, 22 % of the students in Agder said they have a fragile economy. Nationally, SHoT says that 30 % of all students “sometimes” or “often” struggles to handle regular payments, and 38 % of Norway’s students would have problems facing an unexpected payment of 5000 NOK.
Being a student often involves one of two options; you’re either overworked being a full-time student and work part-time, or you’re under constant financial stress because you’re trying to live on your stipend alone and live near the minimum existence level with a significantly lower quality of life than the average population.
Students are supposed to gain knowledge useful to both individuals and for society as a whole. When 3 out of 10 says their finances are affecting their studies, which came out in the student survey in 2018, this is a huge problem. We know that the social has a big impact on learning and learning environment. It is very costly for students to meet at social venues. Norway is a high cost country, and even though this ensures good welfare solutions for people with jobs, the students fall through. If this isn’t compensated for enough through student discounts, there’s a need that this is compensated for through student loans. Students has to either work a lot while studying, or rely on support from home to make ends meet. When students work while studying, they have less time to focus on their studies. This does not go over with the hope of the full-time student and affects learning and results in their studies.
To make up for these problems, Lånekassen’s offer for full-time students should sit at 1.5 G (the ground sum in the national insurance), adding to 145 324.50 NOK a year (2018), so that it will automatically inflate adjustably. The student loans have previously been at 1.5 G and even more up until the mid-90s, in 2019 it’s at about 1.2 G. This would let a lot more be able to be full-time students, and less would be dependant on working or receiving monetary support from home. The students would have more time for their studies, and we’d be closer to the principle of equal rights to education.
How can we help:
- Contribute to as cheap as possible welfare opportunities for students like housing, health, working out, food, culture, kindergarten and public transport.
- Present the connection between better finances, learning environment and mental health to decision makers.
- Let the public know about this problem through media.
- Contribute to more free events for Agder’s students.
- Work on getting discounts for students at local businesses in Agder.