January 27, 2023

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Norwegian Politics, Student Life | Student Jonas, 23, has maxed out his credit card: – He can’t starve to death

In October, the government announced that students would receive NOK 1,500 in grants this fall, to counteract the sharply rising cost of living. The government did the same in February, when the students received a payment of NOK 3,000.

– I don’t know if there will be anything else in the new year, but electricity prices are as high now as they were in February, so I think it’s strange that you get 3000 that semester, while you only get 1500 this semester. It’s a bad solution.

This is what Jonas Theodor Sletten (23), a sports management student at the University of Molde, told Netavien.

He says the news of the NOK 1,500 was not met with cheers and champagne in the student community.

– Many of my friends laughed at the amount, because it doesn’t help the big picture at all. It hardly helps this month. If they made a difference to the students, they should have paid $1,500 a month, he tells Netavien.

“Students must be given more priority,” is his clear message to Minister for Research and Higher Education Ola Borten Moe (Sp).

Students get student loans of about NOK 8,700 per month, with much larger amounts in August and January.

– The student grant per month is really very low because the rental prices have increased a lot. You will rarely find a dormitory or apartment for less than NOK 6,000 before electricity. And when you then get a high electricity bill in addition to that, you may have 2000 left for the rest of the month.

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The student says there will be a little food, a gym membership, and social evenings a month.

– There will be a domino effect and it can affect people’s mental health, he says.


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– He was about to get a loan

Jonas says he’s managed to keep his head above water after landing a job at Molde, but earlier this fall he had to pay off his credit card to keep the wheels turning.

I had difficulty finding a job at the beginning of the school year. When you are on the brink of bankruptcy when the month begins, after receiving the grant, you almost have to take out a loan with credit. I can’t starve to death, he says.

– I also have a car that needs maintenance, so when I get this subsidy, I immediately go bankrupt. Everything goes to fixed expenses, he says of Burton Moe’s electricity grant.


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Have you considered selling the car?

– Yes, I definitely did. But here in Molde the public transport is really bad and I’m a football coach so I go to and from matches and train all over the county so I literally have to have a car.

Sit inside with a jacket and freeze

to me Rent calculator for Norway statistics Dormitory rent, which was NOK 6,000 12 months ago, has increased by 6.5 percent. At 24 months, the increase was 11.9 percent. The calculator uses the consumer price index as a reference.

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The average rent for a room in 2021 was NOK 7,700 for the entire country. 8900 in Oslo, 6800 in Trondheim, 6150 kr in Bergen. Electricity bills usually come on top of student rent.

– In my line of study, I have a lot of time to work overtime, so it’s not me who has the biggest problem, he says and says he knows others who have big electricity bills, who suffer much more.

– It’s not nice to have students sitting around freezing and wearing a winter jacket in the winter. It’s stupid that we as students feel this way. Jonas says many students don’t get the chance to do a lot of work.

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– Not with salary or social security

Research and Higher Education Minister Ola Burton Moe received criticism from Jonas, but chose not to respond, according to the communicator.

Refers to what was said When introducing a new electricity grantand a new narration in print VGHe described the government policy as a “big push for students”.

“Higher electricity rates look good on the wallet. That’s why we’ve introduced additional energy subsidies to students in two instalments, to help them overcome difficulties here and now,” Burten Mo wrote, before noting that the NOK 1,500 comes on top of the 3,000 NOK offered Previously.

“Study support is not meant to be like a salary or social security, but rather support for living while you study,” the minister writes, and adds:

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“Students get a unique opportunity with free education and the best rights-based student support in the world. With a sober lifestyle, you can control it.”

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The government must still take action, writes Borten Moe, who notes that the government is increasing the student loan for the next academic year by NOK 9,000.

“It is the largest increase in student aid over a single budget year ever. Altogether, this is a seven percent increase. This is well above the price increase estimates for 2023,” concludes Burton-Mo.