Support loans from the Icelandic Student Loans Fund are not set to increase and will remain around ISK 100,000 (USD 780) per month for individuals, according to Morgunbladid sources. A student body representative said that the unchanged loan figure will start forcing students out of studying and onto unemployment benefit because their additional revenue raising options are now few-to-none. The Minister for Education is on record describing the situation as “serious”.
Ingolfur Birgir Sigurgeirsson, a representative of the University of Iceland Student Council and a board member at the Icelandic Student Loans Fund, said the outlook is black. “Considering the ever-increasing prices, this means serious reductions to student purchasing power,” he said. “This increases the chances of students having to leave their studies and take unemployment benefit instead, because today’s employment market is not allowing many students to work part-time while they study. The way things are today, university education is on its way to becoming only for the rich.”
Morgunbladid also has information stating that the preliminary rules for this year will allow students to earn up to a million Kronur (USD 7,805) per year without having their loans docked. Students earning over a million have their student loan entitlement cut by 25 percent.
Individual unemployment benefit is ISK 149,523 and typical student room accommodation in Reykjavik costs in the region of ISK 50,000 per month.