New letter to the government: The need for support for student influence

Jacob Färnert, SFS chairman.
Jacob Färnert, SFS chairman. Photo: Maria Cruseman

SFS, together with Sweden's university and college association, SUHF, has sent in a joint letter to the government about the need for support for student influence. This is because of the announced cuts that are pending in the state's grants to the country's student unions and SFS.

In a letter to the government, SFS and SUHF warn of the harmful effects that will result from the government's proposed budget cuts in support for student influence. The government has previously announced cuts of SEK 20 million starting in 2026. In the letter, we also propose that the government should proceed with the University Chancellor's proposal to implement a three- or four-fold increase in the support.

Since the union requirement was removed in 2010, government support for student influence is paid to the country's universities and colleges, which is to finance the student unions' work with student influence. The idea was that the support would ensure that the student unions can participate in the universities
quality work even though the number of members and member income decreased. When the reform was implemented, the support was cut to a third of what had previously been proposed.

The letter points out that levels of financial support were already insufficient to cover the actual costs of effective student advocacy, something also highlighted in previous UKÄ evaluations. SFS and SUHF are now calling on the government not only to cancel the planned cuts, but also to increase funding to strengthen student influence.

Jacob Färnert, SFS chairman, on the need for funds for student influence:

"It is crucial that the government reconsiders this decision, which risks weakening student influence. Student influence is a central part of the higher education institutions' quality work and contributes to the improvement of operations. A strong financial foundation is necessary for student unions to continue to play an active role in the development of higher education in Sweden."

Read the full letter below.