Matters of the Icelandic Student Loan fund (LÍN)

THE SERVICES OF LÍN

The Icelandic Student Loan Fund (LÍN) does not serve its purpose as a social equalization fund and Röskva wants to change this.

Röskva wants improved services for students at LÍN, increased access to information and service representetives, especially for students to get paid at the right time.

Röskva believes LÍN must improve its level of service, for instance by conducting regular surveys to ensure quality service, which Röskva believes is extremely important when it comes to student loan issues.

LOAN FUND BILL – A NEW LOAN FUND

Röskva reiterates the importance of students continuing to have representation in the committee on the new loan fund bill.

Röskva wants the Student Council to reach out to students when the laws on the Icelandic Student Loan Fund are reconsidered. In that way the students can bring forth issues at the creation of the proposal for the loan fund bill.

Röskva would like to explore the possibility of the loan system incorporating positive incentives for students, for instance if studies are completed within a given time frame, or if part of a student’s loan debt is forgiven, e.g. upon completion of studies.

Röskva wants a better loan fund system which does not have adverse effects on the current loan takers at the University of Iceland. Röskva wants a grand system which supports the basic ideas of Röskva on equality of education, regardless of social standing.

Röskva emphasises that the income based payments could not be removed in the next student loan bill.

Röskva emphasises the importance of student loan not accumulatin interest until the course of the studies are over. Röskva wants an adaption period for the change to be implemented into the new loan system and that those students who are in the current system be given the option to remain in that system if they so wish.

Röskva wants the payments from LÍN to take place on a monthly basis. Banks should not be intermediaries in the granting of student loans.

ECTS CREDITS STANDARDS AND CREDITS ELIGIBLE FOR LOANS

Röskva demands that the number of ECTS credits eligible for loans be increased from 480 to 600.

Rösva wants parents who are in school to have the right to the assurance of their children’s support. This means that children of student’s do not have to depend on their parent/s completing 22 ECTS to avoid poverty

Rösva believes the study progress demand of LÍN to be too high. The study progress should be lowered to 18 ECTS as it was before.

BASIC SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS

Röskva believes LÍN’s basic support rate is entirely too low and must be raised immediately. It’s unacceptable for students’ basic support rate to be lower than the government’s set support rates for other groups.

The Icelandic Student Loan Fund (LÍN) should set basic support requirements to be at least 100% of the Ministry of Welfare’s minimum support requirements. In setting basic support requirements for students, LÍN should also take into account the evolution of the minimum wage and other income groups and payments such as unemployment benefits.

Röskva believes LÍN should not calculate basic support requirements based on the cost of student housing, as only about 10% of University of Iceland students are allotted space in student housing. It would be more logical to base calculations on the cost of renting on the open market.

PERSONAL INCOME LIMIT

Röskva demands that the personal income limit for student loans be raised in accordance with the national wage index.

Röskva demands that deductions from the student loan be proportional to how much a student’s income exceeds the personal income limit. It is absurd to deduct a full 45% of the student’s income from the loan amount as soon as the personal income limit is reached.

Students should have the option of increasing the personal income limit fivefold when resuming studies after a break, rather than the current option to triple the income limit.

Students who enter university directly after upper secondary school should also have the option of increasing the personal income limit fivefold.