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7,600 higher education students have received a request for information about academic progress
Students who do not meet the minimum credit requirement for financial aid have received a request for further information. The deadline for replying to the request is 25 October 2020. Students can for example use Kela’s e-service to send their reply.
The academic progress of students in higher education is assessed on the basis of financial aid data and information about the number of credits they have earned. The assessment focuses both on the academic year 2019-2020 and the entire time that a student has pursued higher education studies in Finland.
Kela assesses academic progress in accordance with the requirements set out in the legislation on student financial aid. The academic progress has been sufficient if the student has earned at least 20 credits in the previous academic year and on average at least 5 credits for each month of financial aid. The requirement of 20 credits earned does not apply to any academic year in which the student either completed a higher education degree or began a course of higher education during the spring term.
Kela responds to the impact of the coronavirus epidemic
Due to the exceptional circumstances arising from the coronavirus epidemic, and in line with changes to the Decree on Financial Aid, two months are deducted from the total number of months that students have used financial aid in the academic year 2019-2020 when assessing academic progress. For example, a student who received financial aid for nine months in 2019-2020 is considered to have only received it for seven months. In this case, the student would be considered to have made sufficient progress if they earned at least 35 credits.
Students who receive a request for information despite the two-month reduction, and who have not earned enough credits due to the circumstances created by the epidemic, should reply to the request and describe how the exceptional situation impacted their studies.
Students are advised to reply promptly to the request for information
The deadline for replying to the request is 25 October 2020. Students can use a form available on Kela’s e-service to send the reply.
Based on the reply, Kela will consider whether there are acceptable reasons for the unsatisfactory academic progress. Financial aid payments to students who do not reply or whose reasons are not accepted will be stopped effective 1 January 2021.
The assessment of academic progress takes into account all credits earned at Finnish institutions of higher education and the number of months financial aid since 1 August 2011. The academic progress of students who have graduated with a higher education degree and who continue studies in higher education is assessed for the period following the month of graduation.
If a student has credits from more than one institution of higher education, Kela will automatically include such credits in the assessment. Also incomplete studies are taken into account when assessing academic progress.
Fewer requests for further information sent out
Kela assesses the academic progress of higher education students on a yearly basis. The assessment has now been carried out for around 118,000 higher education students who received financial aid for at least three months in the academic year 2019-2020.
A request for information was sent to 4,100 university students and 3,500 students of universities of applied sciences. Last year, a total of 13,200 students received the request, 7,500 of whom attended a university and 5,700 a university of applied sciences.
Fewer requests for further information were sent out because the academic progress requirements were eased on account of the coronavirus epidemic.