Declaration of solidarity with SYL & SAMOK Finland

The National Union of Students in Germany (freier zusammenschluss von studentInnenschaften – fzs) and the Federal Union of International Students in Germany (Bundesverband ausländischer Studierender – BAS) express their complete solidarity with our Finnish partner organisations Suomen Ylioppilaskuntien Liitto (SYL) and Suomen Ammattikorkeakouluopiskelijakuntien Liitto (SAMOK) in their fight against the planned introduction of tuition fees for international students.

In Germany various fees for international students have been already introduced. This visibly reduces the number of international students from less developed regions of the world. In Germany international students already face various kinds of discrimination in both society and Higher Education. Tuition fees increase discrimination against international students in a disastrous way by forming an exclusive Higher Education System.

The actual discussion in Finland shows a common policy of different European countries, which – on the one hand – close the Higher Education sector for students without proper financial means. On the other hand, mobility of students is a core goal of these countries. These policies contradict each other and prevent students from the basic right of education.

fzs and BAS are fundamentally opposing and actively fighting against tuition fees for all students. Our organisations believe that tuition fees are to be opposed based on social, educational and societal reasons. Tuition fees will not solve any of the current problems of our Higher Education Systems, but will instead intensify them while enforcing discrimination.

We urge all governments to reject and avoid any kind of tuition fees and to enable free access to Higher Education for all, independent of „race”, class, gender, religion, age or sexuality. We have to fight for a free, diverse and open society and Higher Education System.

Increasing the mobility of students and staff is a core issue and challenge to the European Higher Education reform. Mobility is a fundamental basis for an internationalised European Higher Education Area. Solidly united, we need to oppose and act against the current political trend of fortifying borders.

Mobility and education are not be birthright privileges that are unevenly distributed among persons and groups from different regions of the world.

For an equal right to mobility and free education for all!