The budget for 2015 - a cold shower for Sweden's students

Both the Social Democrats and the Green Party gave many promises to the students before the election. But in their budget for 2015, most of the promised investments are missing. The Swedish National Union of Students (SFS) believes that the budget is a betrayal of the students.

Insufficient investments in housing for students
Ahead of the election, the Social Democrats promised a billion in construction bonuses for small rental apartments and student housing, but in the budget for 2015, only 20 million is set aside for innovative construction for young people. The shortage of housing for students is a national crisis that is growing with each passing year. In SFS 'latest housing report, eleven places were red-listed because they could not guarantee new students a home within six months. The initiatives that are now being proposed are a small consolation for all of Sweden's homeless students. It is sad that the government, in its first budget, does not take the responsibility needed to resolve the crisis.      

Raised student loans are not a long-term solution
The fact that the government wants to increase the loan part of the study grant by approximately SEK 1000 indicates that it is aware that many students have an unsustainable financial situation. But increasing students' debt burden is not a long-term solution. Instead, the government should strive for a balance between grants and loans, which has also been a stated ambition. This year's budget unfortunately points in a completely different direction. There are no traces in the budget of the Green Party's previous promise that the study grant will be increased by SEK 300.   

The university does not get a place in the promotion of knowledge
Higher education receives only a very small share of the government's mentioned increase in knowledge. A total of 5000 new university places will be allocated in 2015, which will then be gradually increased to just over 14 places until 000. Given that the demand for higher education has grown in recent years, a much larger investment would have been needed to make it possible for even more to study.

125 million in quality is a consolation prize
It is important to combine the expansion of the university combined with investments in quality. What the government is now proposing, ie a supplement of 125 million in 2015 and a further 125 million from 2016 for education in the humanities and social sciences as well as teacher and preschool teacher education, are far from sufficient to meet the great needs. It is also only half as much as the Social Democrats promised to set aside before the election. The Swedish Association of University and University Teachers, SULF, has previously said that the erosion of the university's resources amounts to SEK 7 billion. That being said, 125 million is a consolation prize rather than an investment.
The Government also announces that the principles for the quality-based resource allocation will be reviewed. The starting point here should be that resources should be distributed in a long-term way and that it should not be possible to redistribute money between educations based on quality.  

The government deviates from the principle of fee exemption

The Government also confirms that educations conducted in collaboration with foreign universities must be able to charge tuition fees for Swedish students as well. It is serious that the government chooses to proceed with a criticized proposal that opens up to deviate from the principle of fee exemption that is enshrined in the Higher Education Act. The decision seems even worse in relation to the fact that both the Green Party and the Social Democrats have previously said they want to abolish the fees for non-European students.