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Universities Face Cuts in Art and Cultural Study Spots

Fewer students in Finland may be granted university study spots in humanities and cultural fields. For example, by 2012 the number of students majoring in culture and arts is to be reduced by 50 percent.

The Ministry of Education is currently working on the plan. The decision to slash study spots is due to a number of factors. For example, a smaller than average number of people are leaving jobs in cultural fields. This is because the majority of workers are between the ages of 30 and 44, and has led to difficulties in finding jobs for new graduates.

The ministry also wants to ensure that people who begin studying finish their degrees. Currently about 65 percent of the students complete their degrees.

Some people see the cuts as a threat to quality research and education. Hannu Salmi, Professor of Cultural History at the University of Turku, said he thinks the plan is inconsistent.

"There are great expectations that cultural and creative fields will build Finland's future. I see the decision to slash student spots as contradictory, because we are also expected to step up to challenges," he said.

YLE Radio Cultural News

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