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Another bill bites the dust - student aid limit called off

Hundreds of students demonstrated in Helsinki city centre early Friday afternoon against an outline decision to limit student aid to only one degree. The crowds erupted in cheers when news reached them that the proposal had been binned after number of MPs withdrew support for the measure.

Opintotukileikkausten vastainen mielenosoitus eduskuntatalon edessä Kansalaistorilla Helsingissä 13. maaliskuuta 2015.
Students thronged Citizens' Square (Kansalaistori) earlier on Friday to protest the planned reform to limit student aid. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

Another of parliament's legal reforms has collapsed - this time a proposal to limit student aid to a single degree was binned after the National Coalition Party and the Swedish Peoples Party withdrew support for the measure in Parliament during Friday’s last full sitting.

National Coalition Party MPs Sanna Lauslahti and Pertti Salolainen tweeted that NCP does not support moving the law proposal forward.

According to news agency STT, the Swedish People’s Party has also withdrawn its support for the bill. SPP chair Carl Haglung says that his party will vote against the government law proposal on Saturday.

Later in the afternoon government party parliamentary group chairs announced that they had agreed to withdraw the bill from parliament. 

Gov't calculated 10 million in savings

Earlier this week lawmakers voted in favour of discontinuing student aid for a second third level degree, with 95 MPs for the motion and 91 against.

According to the proposed reform, an additional degree of the same level as the one already obtained would not be eligible for student aid, even if the student had not applied for aid for the first degree. Government had originally estimated that the measure would save more than 10 million euros.

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