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Earlier this month, the Finnish Government published the public finance plan for 2022-2025. The Minister of Education and Culture announced its plans to cut science budget by EUR 35 million from 2023 on, as part of the EUR 370 million cutback campaign announced by the government. According to the EUA Public Funding Observatory, public funding of Finnish universities was in decline since 2013 until it saw a slight increase in 2019. Despite this largely stagnating public funding trend, the new Government’s plan shows that Finnish universities will see a steadily reduction of their funds from 2023 onwards.
The Minister of Science and Education, Annika Saarikko, stated that no cuts will be made to education or social student benefits. However, Finnish universities have expressed their disappointment with the decision, warning that it could undermine the global credibility of Finnish research. Furthermore, it contradicts the objectives set out in the Government Program, the National Roadmap for Research, Development and Innovation, where the Government committed itself to raise investment in this domain to a level of 4% of GDP by 2030. The Academy of Finland, the public funding body for scientific research in Finland, has also expressed its concerns about this decision.