Statement: Students’ wellbeing must be considered when funding universities!

23.3.2021 | Wellness

Distance studying has been the norm for many students for over a year now. As the change to more freedom in studying has brought upon a better way of studying for some, it has however increased unwellness in the majority of students which can be seen for example as stress. According to a study conducted last fall by the Students of Business and Technology, 35% of the responding students felt that the abnormal times have affected their wellbeing negatively and as much as 18% said it has affected them extremely negatively. These numbers are truly concerning and require concrete actions from all parties. 

The current funding model for Universities of Applied Sciences favors fast graduation.

Simply said, for every graduated student the UAS will receive a certain sum of money. In some cases, this could’ve led to a situation where the concern for students’ wellbeing has become secondary. However, at this moment it is important not to forget that a healthy student will most probably graduate on time, hence the support services offered by the UAS become a big part of the equation. However, according to the previously mentioned survey, 6,6% of the responding students believe that their UAS does not pay any attention to the wellbeing of students and almost 10% don’t even know if any attention has been paid to the matter. Even if the UAS’s do receive money by pushing unwell graduates out, it will not be healthy in the long run. 

The UAS’s have not been leaving the support services for less attention on purpose but the reason seems to be the lack of funding. The funding of UAS’s have been tremendously cut during the past few years and it is self-evident that the negative effects of the cutting have been only expanded during the abnormal times. 

So, the real problem seems to be hiding in the scarcity of money and the funding model. The simplest solution for the matter would be to increase the total sum given for the Universities of Applied Sciences. A bigger number of resources enables a more abundant and better-quality support for students. As another possible solution, the renewal of the allocation of funds such as returning to the “old” model in which UAS’s get funding based on the credits completed could work. In this case, the pressure to only push students to graduate would be decreased and meanwhile the pressure towards students would lighten.  

Today’s students are the future’s workers and decision-makers. Hence, an investment in students is an investment in the future of Finland.

Jere Liitiäinen
The chairperson of Students of Business and Technology

Jere Liitiäinen

Chairperson

040 843 0886

jere.liitiainen@tradenomiopiskelijat.fi

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