Why are Finland's students so exhausted?

The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) triggered a fierce debate at the start of June with the assertion that students are the only segment of the population that doesn't get paid holidays. The Union initially came under fire for its claims but now more and more voices are siding with the students and complaining about the growing pressure they face.

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Kainuun Sanomat (FI) /

Far more pressure on students nowadays

There are plenty of reasons for students to be stressed out, Kainuun Sanomat explains:

“The cutbacks in funding for education, the limits on duration of studies, an increasingly hectic lifestyle financed by loans and uncertain prospects on the job market - these are all stress factors for students. Long-term students no longer exist in today's society because exams have to be taken within a specific period of time if you want to retain your study grant and the right to study. The phenomenon of exhausted students should not be played down because this issue is of key importance not just for individuals but also for Finland's future. ... Education Minister Li Andersson's promise to make additional funding available for student welfare has come at the right moment.”

Etelä-Saimaa (FI) /

Young people shouldn't suffer burnout

The state must protect its students against burnout, Etelä-Saimaa demands:

“Many students are tired and even completely exhausted. Studies show that one in three university students has mental health problems. ... The alarm bells should be ringing in many places. If studying is tied to such serious problems there has to be something wrong with our highly acclaimed education system. ... Finland doesn't have the money to pay for students to take holidays at the state's expense. ... But we should have enough money for a system that ensures that our young peole can study without stress. ... Stress and pressure are part of studying at university, but young people shouldn't reach the point where they're burnt out.”