Today, the Education Committee announced that it supports the previous government's proposal to increase the interest rate on CSN loans taken out after 30 December 1988. The background to this is that the previous government gave CSN the task of drawing up a proposal on how credit losses on student loans could be financed within the student aid system - instead of by the state. The Riksdag will debate and decide on the issue on 20 December.
Uppsala Student Union calls on all MPs to vote against the proposal to increase student loan interest rates.
The proposal will create an unfair and costly model for financing studies where students who pay their student debt are made responsible for those who do not. Like several consultees who have spoken out against the proposal, Uppsala Student Union fears that raising interest rates on student loans will discourage young people from seeking post-secondary education. The group most likely to be affected are those who come from a background where higher education is not a given.
A higher cost of education also risks streamlining the courses that students apply for. In a system where all students pay for the unpaid student debts of others, the burden becomes heavier for those whose education offers poorer prospects in terms of job security or wages - professions that in many cases are socially important and in high demand.
That society should bear the cost of providing student loans is both obvious and reasonable. Higher education is a vital social benefit and a prerequisite for Sweden's economic prosperity and democracy. Shifting the cost of state funding of student loans to students makes higher education appear burdensome and a special interest among those who choose to study. Few things could be further from the truth.