Student sports must be taken into account in university funding
Korkeakouluopiskelijoiden hyvinvointi on viime vuosina kriisiytynyt, minkä vuoksi korkeakoulujen liikunnan rahoitukseen tulisi panostaa enemmän, kirjoittaa Opiskelijoiden Liikuntaliiton puheenjohtaja Emilia Junnila. Suurempien kriisien ja liikkumattomuuden kustannusten ehkäisemiseksi tulee panostukset tehdä nyt.
In the past few years, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the wellbeing of university students. We are facing a mental health crisis, and we are in urgent need of solutions which will allow those who require care to receive the help they need, and which put prevention on the pedestal it deserves.
Exercise allows us to combine physical and mental wellbeing, and it can be turned into a social activity which strengthens the sense of community.
As a method of prevention, exercise is an excellent way of maintaining and developing a person’s holistic wellbeing. Exercise allows us to combine physical and mental wellbeing, and it can be turned into a social activity which strengthens the sense of community.
University sports services work to get university students moving, and this is something that must now be invested in. Exercise helps with learning and coping with everyday life, which is why it also supports a good ability to study. And as we know, a good ability to study builds the foundation for the ability to work.
At the moment, universities must offer sports services, but the quality and quantity of these vary from city to city and from one university to another. This cannot continue.
Incentives would make the different sports services more equal.
The Finnish Student Sports Federation wants to see a financial incentive put in place which will make it affordable for universities to organise sports services. These incentives would make the different services more equal, and students would be able to use the university sports services in different cities more flexibly than now. It is important to encourage students to exercise both in their own university city and in other university cities when travelling, for example.
The national recommendations for university sports state that each university should invest at least 30 euros per student into sports services every year. There are almost 300,000 university students in Finland, which would mean an annual total of approximately 9 million euros. In terms of money, the lack of exercise costs billions – the UKK Institute estimates the sum to be around 3 billion euros per year.
Is it not time to start focusing on prevention and invest in the wellbeing of university students by putting money into funding university sports? That would be an extremely sustainable investment, with an impact reaching far into the future.
The article is part of the blog series Worth moving for, where we explain the background to the Finnish Student Sports Federation’s goals for the parliamentary election.
Part 1: Student sports must be taken into account in university funding
Part 2: Higher Education on the Move supports long-lasting and overall well-being
Part 3: We will include students in the promotion of exercise
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Page last updated 3.4.2023