The campaign to increase the meal subsidy
As you may have seen on our social media, on the 6th of April we participated in SYLs (The National Union of Finnish University Students) campaign for raising the higher education student’s lunch subsidy. A proposal has been made to increase the cost of student lunches by 0,46 €, even though the subsidised amount has been the same since 2013 regardless of an increase in production costs. Sadly the campaign did not work, and the Government overlooked the possibility to raise the higher education students’ lunch subsidy. The students will now end up paying for the planned increase in the cost of student lunches, which has direct effects on the already scarce livelihood of students. We hope that in the future the meal subsidy is increased in line with the maximum price of student meals.
Project for study success and well-being
A team of people consisting of professors, teachers, staff, students and Student Union representatives, with the goal of providing an overview of the situation at ÅA concerning study success and well-being among students. The project is financed by Rector Moira von Wright.
The team had their first meeting on the 15th of January where Rector Moira presented her vision for the project, whereafter the team began brainstorming and collecting ideas about what already works and what needs improvement concerning the study success and well-being among students. The team is split up into three subgroups which concern staff training, study environment and support network.
The team held discussions with employees such as heads of education and also interviewed a number of students. The team continues its work with the ultimate goal of securing the study success and well-being among students at ÅAU.
The team’s work is still in its beginning but will continue to work for improved study success and well-being among all students.
Student healthcare services for students in higher education from January 2021
Starting from January 2021, the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) will provide student healthcare services for all higher education students. Students who are entitled to use the services of FSHS are students who have registered as attending and who are completing a bachelor’s or master’s level degree in a university or a university of applied sciences. Exchange students, students in open university and students in tailor-made, customer-specific training programmes are not entitled to use the services of FSHS. Exchange students’ health services will be provided by the city’s health-care, and they will be expected to have a valid health insurance (as before). More information on student healthcare services is available on the website of the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS).
Starting in 2021, students who are entitled to use the services of FSHS will pay a healthcare fee directly to Kela. No bill will be sent on the healthcare fee, and thus the student has to pay the fee on his or her own initiative. Kela will begin to collect the healthcare fee in the spring term of 2021. The healthcare fee can be paid via Kela’s e-service starting from December 2020. The healthcare fee for the autumn term of 2020 will be paid normally to the Student Union (when registering). In Turku the FSHS will remain in its current location at Kirkkotie 13, while in Vaasa it will move to the same location as Vaasa University of Applied Sciences and Novia at Wolffintie 27-31. Up-to-date information on the healthcare fee for higher education students and payment of the fee is available on Kela’s website and we at the Student Union will continue to inform our members when new information about the changes comes to light.
The current situation in International Affairs
We have worked together with the other Student Unions and SYL (National Union of University Student in Finland) to investigate how the Corona-virus has affected the international and exchange students in Finland, and how we can help in this matter. We have tried to figure out what kind of problems have arisen, what the support network looks like, and how the students financial status is ensured. Many things are still unclear, but some matters have worked out to a certain degree. Migri is working on developing flexible methods for the residence permit applications, and SYL is investigating options for alternative financial support for the most vulnerable.
We understand that many of you are struggling financially at this time. The biggest costs are usually rent and food, and we encourage you to contact your landlord about the possibility of prolonging the due date for your rent . We are looking into the situation regarding next year’s tuition fee (for non-EU/EEA students), but have no new information as of yet . If you haven’t noticed, our student restaurant Café Kåren provides Take-away lunch on weekdays 11-13.30. The lunch is the usual 2,60 euros for students, and it is possible to buy two lunches at once, as well as buying some for your friends also (by showing their student card). This is a very good way of getting a cheap and nutritious lunch! Furthermore, ÅAU has put together an information package about financial support options at this moment. It can be found on the ÅAU intranet under “Financial support for students during the Corona pandemic”
(https://abofi.sharepoint.com/sites/intra-en-study/SitePages/Support-during-the-Corona-pandemic.aspx log in and scroll further down)
We understand that many of you have lost your jobs due to the situation, which you (and your studies) might have been completely financially reliant on. We have therefore gathered some useful websites where you can find other jobs for the moment, for instance, there is a huge need for seasonal workers on farms etc, since many of them usually come from abroad. More information in the link below:
- ÅA Career services https://www.abo.fi/en/career-services/
- Seasonal work: https://seasonwork.fi
- Public Employment and Business Services in Varsinais Suomi and Osaamispiste are looking for farm workers
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 040 6818795 (Persian, Dari, Finnish, English)
email@example.com, tel. 040 6818795 (Kurdish, Persian, Finnish, Arabic)
firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 040-6841986 (Russian, Finnish, English)
email@example.com, tel. 040-6206724 (Finnish, English)
- Public Employment and Business Services:
- Töitä Suomesta: https://www.töitäsuomesta.fi/
- Or work in food delivery (Foodora, Wolt, shops’ own)
Non-EU/EEA students, remember, during study time, the residence permit allows 25 h/week. More info about residence permits, and the corona situation, can be found on the website https://migri.fi/en/home.
Regarding the newly accepted international students, there are at the moment three different scenarios for the fall. Either you can, if possible, start your studies normally; start studies remotely, come when possible; or be forced to postpone your studies for 2021. This is hugely affected by the residence permit situation. However, the university will be in contact with you as soon as any information regarding this is available. This is something that will be decided on a national level, not only by the university itself.