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Proposal to reform Sweden's student loan system

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14:55 CET+01:00
A special parliamentary committee is expected to propose on Thursday that Sweden trim the standard number of years students can access publicly funded aid for higher education.

Currently, students in Sweden can apply for loans to help cover cost of living expenses for up to six years while they pursue an advanced degree.

But a committee of inquiry appointed by the Ministry of Education in 2007 to review Sweden's higher education financial aid system is expected to propose cutting the time period to four years, with an option for applying to receive conditional funding for an additional two years.

Green Party Riksdag member Lage Rahm is a member of the committee and skeptical towards the new proposal.

“You risk knocking people out of their course of study,” he told the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Oskar Öholm of the Moderate Party also sits on the committee and confirmed that the four-year plan is under discussion.

But he doesn't think it will worsen the situation for students.

“Everyone still has the right to six years of student loans, under the conditions that they complete their degree. In addition, any such proposal would also be complimented with the right for a seventh year for those enrolled in the longest programmes,” said Öholm.

“So it's both a sharpening and an improvement.”

The point of having conditional student loans after four years is to increase the pace at which students get through their studies.

“We have the world's oldest students in Sweden, both when they start studying and when they finish. It's an incentive for people to approach their studies,” said Öholm.

The committee is due to present its final report to the government on March 31st.'

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