New "hooky" rules felt by high schools
The number of Swedish secondary college students who have their study grants withdrawn for failing to attend class has increased following new rules introduced this year.
Around five thousand high-school students had their student grants withdrawn in the first quarter of 2012, the daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter reported on Friday. The number is a 20 percent increase on the same figure from last year.
Student grants are paid to students aged 16 and older and amount to $US 150 every month.
Stricter rules against skipping school have brought about the increase. Until this year, student grants were not withdrawn until a student was absent from 20 percent of all classes.
As of 2012, only a few hours' undue absence is required for the education grant agency CSN to withdraw a student's funds.
Klas Elfving, press secretary at CSN, noted that higher attendance rates accompanied the larger number of pupils whose funds had been withdrawn.
"Since the start of 2012 we have been received indications that attendance is generally increasing in schools. This has been shown in our administrators' contacts with school staff," Klas Elfving said in a press release.
Two thirds of pupils who have had their funds withdrawn in the past have had to repay the grants they received while failing to attend class.