The Government’s new rules for student loans will be introduced from this autumn. Now students must complete the degree in order to have parts of the student loan turned into scholarships.
Previously, 40 per cent of the basic support from the State Loan Fund has been converted into scholarships as long as you have not lived with your parents or had too high an income, social security or wealth.
Now tougher demands are placed on the students taking higher education. From the academic year 2019-2020, students must complete the study they have started in order to be fully converted into scholarships.
Students will be able to get 25 per cent of the loan converted the year after passing the exam, while 15 per cent will be converted only for those who actually complete the degree at the bachelor’s or master’s level.
The exceptions are practical-pedagogical education (PPU) and some continuing education for nurses, which will still be fully reversed even if the education does not lead to a degree.
Less than half completes
The new student loan rules have been met with major protests from students and student organisations. A call from the Norwegian Student Organisation (NSO) against the proposal received over 20,000 signatures and support from nearly 30 organisations, including KrFU.
Nevertheless, the ruling parties Høyre, Frp, Venstre and KrF agreed to introduce the rules.
Minister of Higher Education, Iselin Nybø (V), believes the new rules will give students greater higher motivation to complete the program. Half of the undergraduate students do not complete on time, according to Statistics Norway.
In the period 2008–2012, about 167,000 students started on a bachelor’s program for the first time. Three years after the start of the study, 50 % of the female students had completed their bachelor’s degree, while 43 % of the male students had done the same.
Requests increased student support
Head of NSO, Håkon Rangaard Mikalsen, has previously stated that the core of the problem is that students do not have time to actually be students. He believes that the most important measure to get more students through the studies is to increase student support.
For the academic year 2019-2020, students can receive up to NOK 110,200 in basic support. In addition, full-time students can receive four extra weeks of support in June 2020. This gives total basic support of NOK 121,220.
At the same time, there are limits to how much students can earn in addition to their studies in order to have the loan turned into a scholarship. The income limit is NOK 182,575 in 2019 and NOK 188,509 in 2020.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today