Finnish government to ban unsuitable students

violenceThe Finnish government is investigating ways in which to weed out what it determines are “unfit” students from educational areas where they could be considered harmful to fellow students or the profession.

A new report has recommended that educational institutions be allowed to revoke students’ study privileges in instances of drug abuse, demonstrations of violent behaviour or mental instability.

The recommendations come from a Ministry of Education working group, and consist of proposals aimed at the prevention of allowing mentally ill or violent people into fields where child safety could be compromised. Plans have also been mooted for extended such legislation into other areas such as traffic, customer and patient safety.

“The problem is that educational institutions have not had the means in these situations, in situations where a student is in a field for which they are unfit, there have not been ways to interrupt their education or intervene,” said Henna Virkkunen, the education minister. These fields would primarily be around health and education, where students with prior convictions for aggressive behaviour or drug abuse may be prohibited from study.

The prohibition would not be permanent, meaning students may re-apply once their circumstances have been addressed and appropriately improved.

The proposals are being circulated across the Finnish government with implementation forecast as early as next year.