Economic insecurity contributes to inequality

Students continue to live in financial vulnerability. SFS annual student budget which was released yesterday shows that students who live on study grants go back 285 kronor every month. For students with children, it is often even more difficult to get the money to suffice.

Despite the fact that the student loan has been increased by SEK 1000, students go back SEK 285 the month. At the same time, students' debt burden has in many cases grown by almost one quarter in five years. A student who graduated in 2010 after three years of full-time study student aid had a student debt of SEK 155, while a student who takes degree in 2015 after the same length of time will have a student debt of SEK 195. For students who have children, the financial insecurity is often greater than for students who do not have children. Most vulnerable are parents who are young, single or living with a partner who has a low income.

According to a study by CSN, published last year, has a single student with a child spending on SEK 14751 a month, ie SEK 4517 more than students without children, according to SFS student budget. The biggest difference is that students who are parents must be able to pay for a larger home as well as costs for childcare and other things that children need. Although students with children often have housing allowance and in addition, receiving child and supplementary allowances, it is difficult to manage during the study period. CSN's survey also shows that men are at risk of opting out of studies due to the scarce economy. Men who have a partner with a low income seem to do the assessment that the family would not be able to cope financially if they were to change jobs against studies. 

There is probably reason to suspect that the low-paid partner, in turn, is often a woman working in a low-paid, female-dominated profession. Maybe even with a profession for which studies do not pay. In that case, there is another way in which the financial insecurity during the study period helps to maintain inequality between women and men. The majority of all students are women, while men opt out of studies because their partner, often a woman, cannot afford it to support the family during the study period.   

We are concerned that a larger share of the costs of higher education will be incurred students' shoulders, while society's shared responsibility diminishes. Same development is also found in other European countries and in the United States. For more people to dare to take stepped into the university and have the opportunity to complete their educations, we should instead go in the opposite direction, against a larger share of study grants. Higher education is an equal investment for society as for the individual, therefore it should be natural that The study grant consists of equal parts loans and grants. It would also be a step towards increased equality for students!