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Family matters

A third of Icelandic students are parents. Vaka places special emphasis on their interests and struggles. It is important that people's different situations are taken into account and that way it is ensured that students who have children and/or are expecting a child/children are not discriminated against or denied study. Vaka wants the attendance of those studying during pregnancy to be flexible and also in the first year after the birth of a child. It is also important that parents are shown consideration regarding children's sick days. Vaka wants FS kindergartens to have a more flexible summer vacation for kindergartens, and for the University to take into account the working days of FS kindergartens and elementary schools' winter holidays.


Vaka places a lot of emphasis on the fact that the birth allowance for students will be greatly increased, so that parents' studies do not harm their children and put families in a poverty trap. 

Here you can see Jóna Guðbjargar Ágústsdóttir's proposal, which was approved by the Student Council in December 2022, regarding the increase in maternity allowance for students.

Family friendly timetables

Vaka wants parents to be able to register as such on Uglu. When creating a time table, the number of times that parents have to pick up after 4 pm should be minimized. The long-term goal is to stop teaching after that time. Then there should be no obligation to attend classes after 16:00 and all lectures after that time should be recorded and made available during the semester, this should also apply to exams and practical classes.

Obligation to attend

Parents must be shown consideration and flexibility when appropriate. Vaka requests that the attendance obligation for parents be abolished except in exceptional cases. Teachers could then only estimate 10% in the attendance grade or use attendance for promotion. Vaka also requires that the available option, to meet with a study counselor and receive specific resources, be advertised.

Kindergartens of the Student Association

When Vaka was in the majority in the Student Council, the opening hours at the Student Association's preschools were extended over the exam period to give parents more flexibility when placing their children. The number of kindergarten places was also increased, so the waiting time for a place has been reduced rapidly. The road trip is not over, however, and Vaka will continue to fight for compensation in the kindergartens of the Students' Association.

Maternity allowance and maternity leave

If students have a child, they can choose between the student maternity allowance or maternity leave for their job. Students' jobs are usually low-paid part-time jobs as well as summer jobs. Vaka believes that students who make satisfactory academic progress and work alongside their studies should be able to receive both a maternity grant and maternity leave. 

Switchboards in all buildings

Vaka wants changing tables to be available for parents in all buildings of the university. It is important that they are not only located in toilets marked for a specific gender, but are accessible to everyone. It should also be obvious whether there are changing tables in the toilets or not.

High chairs for all buildings

Vaka wants highchairs to be accessible in all buildings and that their availability should be increased to make it easier for parents in education to eat with their children at meal times. It is not enough to have only one high chair in each area. On the occasion of Vaka's 85th birthday last year, the Society of the University of Iceland donated several children's chairs that will be put to good use.

Play corner for children

Vaka wants to create a play corner for children at certain study areas where parents can bring their children to school and learn while the children enjoy being close to their parents.

Gift and exchange facilities

It is important that students who have children have good facilities at the university. Vaka wants donation and exchange rooms to be accessible in all university buildings where parents can donate and exchange their children in a quiet and pleasant environment.

Increased availability of family apartments

Many families living in Stúdentagårður live in housing that is far too small due to the small supply of larger family apartments. Vaka demands that the Student Association increase the supply of apartments for families.

More vacation facts for parents

When a student is expecting a child and lives in Stúdentagörður, the person receives one semester of leave and does not have to return credits for the semester he chooses, but must return 20 credits in order to keep the housing throughout the year. If vacation is chosen in the fall, 20 units are needed in the spring to keep an apartment. Vaka demands that parents in education get two days off or that the unit requirement be reduced so that parents can enjoy being with their children like people in the labor market.

The birth allowance for students will be increased

Vaka wants the birth allowance for students to be greatly increased. Students should not receive lower payments during maternity leave than those working in the labor market. In addition, Vaka does not think it is fair that, as a student on maternity leave, a parent does not have the option of spreading their maternity leave payments over more months than the maximum maternity leave period. This therefore cuts into children's time with their parents simply because they are students. Vaka believes that this may refer to a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which stipulates that children may not be discriminated against based on their status. Parents' education should not affect their children and put families in a poverty trap.

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