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Thursday's papers: Foreigners' tuition fees, presidential intentions and a burden of dreams

Finland elects a new president in 2024.

Pekka Haavisto.
Pekka Haavisto (Green) has been a leading contender for president, despite not yet declaring his candidacy. Image: SPA / Pelle T Nilsson
Yle News

Helsingin Sanomat reports a new leak from government formation talks, with the news that the incoming government could radically increase the size of the tuition fees it charges students from outside the European Economic Area.

The four parties engaged in talks have reached an initial agreement to write into law that the costs charged to foreign students should cover the cost of their tuition. That would eliminate the 'stipends' that refund a large chunk of the tuition fees many foreign students pay.

This would mean a significant increase in cost for many foreign students at universities, but not universities of applied sciences.

The paper also reports that the four parties are targeting a pension reform worth some two billion euros.

Initial information is, according to HS, that the parties will ask employers' organisations and trade unions to come up with a reform to save money. If they fail to agree, then the government would implement its own reforms to save a similar sum.

Presidential ambitions?

Iltalehti and most other media carry news that Pekka Haavisto (Green) is holding a press conference on Thursday morning regarding the presidential election in 2024.

Haavisto is widely expected to run for president again, having been runner-up to Sauli Niinistö in 2012 and 2018. He has been a frontrunner in polling for the election, even though neither he nor any other candidate have officially declared their intentions to run.

Other possible contenders include Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn and foreign policy expert Mika Aaltola.

Burden of dreams

Ilta-Sanomat has a look at an extreme climb in Loviisa, through the prism of a YouTube video. Will Bosi, a Scottish climber, arrived in the southern Finland town to scale a rock known as the "Burden of Dreams".

It's an extremely difficult 8-move climb that has one of the highest difficulty ratings in the world. Bosi said he had practised for the climb on a copy of the rock, and then headed to Loviisa.

The rock only offers a few spots where a climber can get a grip, just one or two centimetre wide ledges or footholds. Nalle Hukkataival was the first to climb the rock, and the project took him three years of intense training and planning.

Bosi found it similarly challenging, needing to take rest days in between attempts to recover strength in his fingers. But he managed it, even though he said he was sure he would fall in the final stages.

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A political historian told Uutissuomalainen that men in Finland tend to be more right-leaning politically.