Date: Oct 23rd, 2015
Motion: THB that foreigners need to pay term fees in Finland
Role: MP (gov.)
For a long time, foreigners have been able to study at their chosen university in Finland by just paying the cost of their lodging, food and transportation plus extracurriculars. This needs to stop from this government on. In the following, I’m going to present further reasons and reasoning why is the case societally speaking.
Foreigners who come here practise what you could term ”educational tourism”. Education is like an administrative Sun that shines here year in and year out, just like the sun may shine for real in those countries whence educational tourists come. Just like real-life tourists, these tourists do not leave after they’re gone more than, (figuratively speaking), dirty sheets, piles of trash and greasy napkins. You don’t remember their faces later on, as you don’t remember those of tourists of the travelling kind. They don’t remember having been here, either, after some time has passed, likely. Finland may linger on in their household or living space as photos in a photo collection.
My biggest reservation against edu-tourism is This: Finns could not go out into the World and expect similar treatment from any quarters, either. If we went outside of the EU without participating in any exchange program set up between two universities decades ago, free tuition would not be possible and accessible. We would need to pay dearly, and so we’ve done, at least in the past when it comes to the record on Finns studying abroad. Even today thousands of Finnish people study abroad in institutions of their choosing, but they pay for their studies out of their own or their parents’ pockets. Many Finnish dreams and careers have been financed and fulfilled in this way. For all that, it has come at a cost, which is a personal cost and a national cost. Often, those who acquire a degree abroad say goodbye to Finland for good and remain beyond its borders for reasons sometimes unknown, which often, yet, revolve around climate, love and work. And, vice versa, this same logic should apply to foreigners studying for a whole degree in Finland.
If semester or term fees were implemented, I’m sure that the numbers of Freeloaders would drop. Educational tourists would go someplace else or stay at home with their moms. Moreover, the quality of those coming in as the quantity dropped would improve. When the ”chaff” was gone, we could see the wheat. The wheat would be foreigners who come to Finland for their love of the country and/or the language (which is an Agglutinative beast, and therefore to the liking of a few with Acquired taste). Students of the Finnish vernacular. Tech-boom enthusiasts. Winter-sport aficionados. Nerds. Geeks. Wonks. Japanese looking for quiet and coniferous trees. Brits looking for thinness on the ground. Introverts with rich parents from India. The odds of these people staying after the completion of their degree would be much higher than the chances of educational tourists staying after the handing down of the diploma. We don’t need thumbs up from just anyone. We need handshakes from Fennophiles; those with a love or like for Finland for its own sake. Money is of immaterial importance here. Love is worth more than a few Ks on the bank account. Grands come and go.
Finland does not need educational tourism. It is paid for by those run-of-the-mill Finns who never venture outside of their native grounds, so in order to get a small dose of an international atmosphere, foreigners are imported instead. It turns out cheap to the foreigners but expensive to the nation. Real Finns inhale their whiff of exotica in going out themselves in all directions from the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
Say no to Edu-Tourism. Say no to imported foreigners. Say yes to exported natives.
Arvio: Puheessa yritetään kieli keskellä suuta saavuttaa sellainen kultainen keskitie, missä ulkomaalaisia voidaan arvostella mutta niin, että ei varsinaisesti hairahduta rasismin puolelle. Arvostelun kärki on raha-asioissa; ei ulkonäössä, uskonnossa, rodussa tai sukupuolessa. Tällaisenaan puhe valaa uskoa siihen, että voi olla myös Maahanmuuttokritiikkiä pelkän silkan Rasismin ohella. Väitellessä olisi hyvä, jos ulkomaalaisasioissa voitaisiin tehdä ”tiukka” aloite, sillä mikä olisi parempi lähtökohta kiinnostavalle debatille. Mielipiteidenkään ei tarvitse olla tarkasti ottaen omia vaan virikkeitä voi saada tutuilta, kaduilta tai internetistä.