Statement against austerity politics

The Finnish government must cancel the proposed budget cuts or resign

 

The current government of Finland intends to make cuts of three billion euros in total in the education sector during its time in power. These cuts are targeted at early childhood education and kindergartens, elementary and vocational schools, universities and universities of applied sciences. The idea behind budget cuts targeting the education sector is to increase economic  competitiveness, as opposed to seeing education as a driving factor in a better-educated, more equal society.

 

Budget cuts are political choices which can be replaced by other alternatives. Austerity is based on an economic theory in which people are assumed to primarily strive for their own benefit and to be independent of others. This kind of thinking dismisses the negative effects. Solutions that increase inequality aren’t seen as a problem. However, no one – not even the people that benefit from austerity – has reached their social status or wealth by themselves. The co-operation negotiations that are currently taking place in universities are a step towards a shift in the attitude towards educational equality. For example, since austerity politics were implemented in Britain, the country has seen an increase in suicide rates, poverty and homelessness. We do not want this kind of future!

 

Austerity widens the income gap and promotes inequality. The universities should not accept the demands for cuts. We, the  undersigned, oppose the budget cuts that target the educational system and also austerity in a broader sense. We do not want a university where only people who are well off or wealthy can study. We do not want a university which demands tuition fees. We want a university where  the education available is based on high quality research and is accessible to everyone, regardless of social status. We demand that universities be guided by educational and cultural policies, not by the demands of companies, product development and financial innovation.

 

Austerity politics are based on the Finnish government’s decisions, which go against the election promises that were given before the elections. We demand that the government either cancel the budget cuts or resign from office. We are ready for a general strike against austerity.

 

Signatories,

 

Elina Lahelma, professori, emerita, kasvatustieteet, Helsingin yliopisto; Yrjö Engenström, Aikuiskasvatustieteen professori, HY; Kristiina Brunila, professori, tenure track, AGORA for the Study of Social Justice and Equality in Education, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki; HIlle Janhonen-Abruquah, FT, yliopistonlehtori, Opettajankoulutuslaitos, Helsingin yliopisto; Saila Poulter, KT, yliopistonlehtori, Helsingin yliopisto; Hannu Simola, professori, Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos, Helsingin yliopisto; Päivi Palojoki, professori, Opettajankoulutuslaitos, Helsingin yliopisto; Anna-Leena Riitaoja, FT, tutkijatohtori, Käyttäytymistieteiden laitos, Helsingin yliopisto; Mari Viita-Aho, opiskelija, Helsingin yliopisto; Elina Vaahtera, tohtorikoulutettava, Helsingin yliopisto; Katarina Jungar, Lektor i socialt arbete, Svenska social och kommunalhögskolan, Helsingfors Universitet; Taina Riikonen, FT, taiteen tutkijatohtori, Helsingin yliopiston tutkijakollegium; Elina Oinas, professori, Helsingin yliopisto; Duygu Uygun Tunc, Doctoral student in Philosophy, University of Helsinki; Åsa Slotte, doktorand i filosofi, ÅA, gymnasielärare; Viveca Rabb, Filosofie doktor, Svenska, ÅA; Natan Elgabsi, doktorand i filosofi, ÅA; Ann-Helen Sund, doktorand i etnologi, ÅA; Carl Haikarainen, doktorand i värme- och strömningsteknik; Pasi Virtanen, docent, Teknisk kemi och reaktionsteknik, ÅA. Peik Ingman, doktoran i religionsvetenskap, ÅA; Jason Finch, FD, ÅA; Kim Berts, doktorand i filosofi, ÅA, gymnasielärare; Patrik Hagman, Docent, universitetslärare i systematisk teologi ÅA; Mari Lindman, Filosofie doktor; Tom Karlsson, Bibliotekarie, Åbo Akademis bibliotek; Aleksi Huhta, Jatko-opiskelija, yleinen historia, Turun yliopisto; Henrik Serup Christensen, Docent, akademiforskare; Samforsk, Åbo Akademi; Bodil Lindfors, FD, timlärare i psykologi, Åbo Akademi; Carina Saarela, Doktorand i psykologi, Åbo Akademi; Birgitta Wahlberg, PD, specialforskare, Åbo Akademi; Antony Fredriksson, FD, Åbo Akademi; Maria Lassén-Seger, FD Maria Lassén-Seger, Åbo Akademi; Mia Österlund, Docent, univesitetslärare, Åbo Akademi; Jukka J. Rintala, Opiskelija, Turun yliopisto; Peter Nynäs, Professor i religionsvetenskap, Åbo Akademi; Hanna Kuusela, yliopistonlehtori, Turun yliopisto; Kim Holmberg, Postdoc-forskare, Turun yliopisto; Salla Tuori, PD, Forskningsledare, Åbo Akademi; Stefan Ek, FD, Fakulteten för samhällsvetenskaper och ekonomi, Åbo Akademi; ledande informationsspecialist, Åbo Akademis bibliotek; Lars Hertzberg, Professor emeritus i filosofi, Åbo Akademi; Hugo Strandberg, Docent, universitetslärare i filosofi, Åbo Akademi; Birgit Schaffar-Kronqvist, Pedagogie doktor, universitetslärare, Åbo Akademi; Tero Järvinen, Assistant professor, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Junghyun Yoon, Doctoral candidate, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Marko Lähteenmäki, Doctoral candidate, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Raakel Plamper, Doctoral candidate, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Olli Suominen, Doctoral candidate, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Sonia Lempinen, Doctoral candidate, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Heikki Kinnari, Doctoral candidate, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Heikki Silvennoinen, Professor, sociology of education, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Arto Jauhiainen, Professor of education, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Risto Rinne, Professor, director, vice dean, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Joel Kivirauma, Professor of special education, Department of Education, Centre for Research on Lifelong Learning and Education, University of Turku; Saara Särmä, tutkijatohtori, Tampereen yliopisto / johtaja, Feministinen ajatushautomo Hattu; Jani Haapakoski, tohtoriopiskelija, Oulun Yliopisto; Riikka Palkki, jatko-opiskelija, Oulun yliopisto; Antti Teittinen, tutkimuspäällikkö, dosentti, Kehitysvammaliitto; Maija Lanas, tutkijatohtori, Oulun yliopisto, Suomen Akatemia; Mervi Kaukko, yliopisto-opettaja (globaalikasvatus), Oulun yliopisto; Marina Repina-Poutiainen, lastensuojelun psykologi, Helsinki; Lasse Kemppainen, lehtori, Oulun yliopisto; Rosa Meriläinen, Kirjailija, Tampere; Eila Jeronen, Dr. Adjunct professor, University of Oulu, Docent (Comparable with Adjunct professor), University of Lapland, Docent (Comparable with Adjunct professor), University of Helsinki; Juha Suoranta, Professor, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Tampere; Jörn Donner, professori, kirjailija, elokuvaohjaaja; Pauliina Hulkko, Teatterityön professori, CMT/University of Tampere; Marja-Liisa Trux, tutkija-opettaja, Vapaa yliopisto; Eero Turkka, musiikin maisteri, kansanmuusikko; Toni Ruuska, Väitöskirjatutkija, Aalto-yliopiston kauppakorkeakoulu; Esa Kirkkopelto, Taiteellisen tutkimuksen professori, Taideyliopisto.

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