The alliance's budget does not meet the students' wish list

At the time of writing, two weeks after the Alliance's budget was voted through in the Riksdag, the Education Committee is considering the part of the budget that deals with higher education. SFS is pleased that the students' housing shortage is made visible, but regrets that the government's investments in education quality have disappeared.

The housing shortage is made visible - but the financial responsibility is lacking
Unlike the government, which barely mentioned student housing in its budget, the Alliance proposes several measures to increase construction. Among other things, they want a special negotiator to ensure that more student housing is built on state land and that the real estate company Akademiska hus is able to build and own student housing. In total, the Alliance hopes that the investments will lead to 20 new student housing in 000.      

Unfortunately, several of the measures are only aimed at large cities. It seems that the bourgeois parties have not understood that the lack of student housing affects the whole country.

It is also ominous that the Alliance is prepared to ease accessibility and noise requirements. SFS 'firm view is that the housing crisis cannot be solved by allowing students to endure more noise. It is time for politicians to understand that students have different needs and that they cannot be expected to live worse than other people.

The large financial commitment that would be needed to ensure that more housing for students is built is missing in both the Alliance's and the government's budgets.    

1000 fewer education places than the government
The alliance also wants to increase the number of study places to 10 new students by 000. This will mean about 2018 places in 4000. This can be compared with the government in its budget proposed that the university should be expanded with about 2015 places in 5000 and just over 2015 places. until 14. The new places are in the teacher, midwifery and specialist nursing education.

When it comes to the distribution of places, it is clear that it is primarily the older universities that will have more new students. In relation to the size of the higher education institutions, on the other hand, it is the newer higher education institutions, both regional and city-affiliated universities as well as younger universities, that are growing the most. The distribution is also affected by where the educations to be expanded are located.

In other words, the trend that has existed in the past, where smaller and regional universities have often been disadvantaged, is not to be found in the Alliance's budget this year. SFS believes that the regional universities play an important role in ensuring access to education throughout the country.

Tuition fees for educational collaborations
During today's debate, the Education Committee also took a position on the amendment to the Higher Education Act, which means that fees may be charged for educations conducted in collaboration with foreign higher education institutions. Instead of abolishing the fees that already exist for non-European students, as a majority of the Riksdag has said they want, politicians choose to go in the opposite direction - for more fees. At the same time, the scholarships previously paid for by the development assistance budget will also be sharply reduced. SFS, together with a number of other student unions, is behind the call No to tuition fees and is concerned about this development. We question that both the government and the Alliance say they want to see an increased internationalization of higher education at the same time as they want to charge for both international students and international collaborations.  

Students must take increasing financial responsibility
It is good that the Alliance, like the government, realizes that the students' financial situation is unsustainable. The budget proposes that the student loan be increased by SEK 1000 per month. Already in the spring budget, the Alliance also announced that it wants to increase certain administrative costs that are linked to study grants, such as CSN's handling fees. Although these costs are small, it is important to see that together with the increase in the student loan, they are part of a larger change where more and more financial responsibility is placed on the students' shoulders. This is a very negative development. SFS believes that the grant part of the study grant should be increased and that Sweden should strive to find a balance between loans and grants.

Investments in quality do not materialize
Another consequence of the Alliance's budget being voted through is that the 125 million that the government wanted to invest in quality in the humanities and social sciences, as well as teacher and preschool teacher education, will now not be lost. Although this investment was more of a consolation prize for Sweden's higher education institutions whose resources have been eroded by SEK 7 billion, it was still a step in the right direction. In total, the Alliance invests 142 million less than the government in higher education.

In summary, SFS states that the Alliance's budget will not mean particularly large differences for the students. It is difficult to say that one budget was better than the other when both the Alliance and the government failed to take financial responsibility for the students' situation.