We students have our own places in the University’s arenas of power. Student representatives in these positions ensure that students’ interests are not trampled upon when making decisions that concern studies and student life. Anyone can become the voice of students – including you!
We regularly look for students for various working groups at the University and for student representative positions of student representative that become vacant during the term. Current information on all open calls for applications can be found at our application site. Stay tuned!
This is the best course at the University! Working as a student representative, you learn to deal with large issues and get to develop first-class cooperation skills for yourself.
There are different kinds of positions for student representatives, and the most important information on different administrative bodies is included in the calls for applications. If you are still unsure after reading them, however, you can also check out the ‘Student representatives’ guide or ask for more information from our specialist in charge of student representatives.
Read the call for applications carefully. In your application, write about the things that are mentioned in the call for applications. The application does not need to be long, though. You will receive a confirmation message after sending the application, and after this, it is just a matter of waiting for further information. Please send your application early enough as we generally cannot consider late applications! You can browse open and already filled positions for student representatives in the Halloped application system. The system also features details and application criteria for each student representative’s position as well as the number of positions available.
We will strive to process the applications as quickly as possible. Especially during the main application periods in the autumn, we will keep you updated at the different stages of the process. We will let you know when the application period has ended, what happens next and when you will be informed of the final selections. If you want to ask us anything about the selections, just contact our specialist in charge of student representatives.
We organise training for student representatives regularly to help you learn the basics of acting as a student representative, keep up on current affairs and to meet other student representatives. HYY’s Studies Committee is also a great place to acquaint other student advocates in a cross-disciplinary environment!
The method of selecting student representatives is defined in a regulation approved by our Representative Council. The selections are prepared by the Central Selection Committee, which operates under the Representative Council. In the autumn, the committee establishes the selection committees that prepare the selection of student representatives from each faculty and the Swedish School of Social Science.
In the case of faculty councils, the actual selections are made by HYY’s Board. HYY’s Board also appoints student representatives to the steering groups of degree programmes, with these appointments confirmed by the dean of each faculty. In the case of the University Collegium, the actual selections are made by HYY’s Representative Council.
You will learn many useful skills in the position of student representative, from looking at issues from a wider perspective to project management and group work. You will also get to know University personnel from professors to educational coordinators through the position.
Every year, HYY provides student representatives with free training on issues such as communications, influencing and meeting technique. The network of student representatives and HYY’s Studies Committee also provides you with peer support as well as new friends.
Credits are also given for acting as a student representative, and members of the University Collegium and the faculty councils are paid a small fee for attending the meetings.
We expect student representatives to attend the meetings of their administrative body, which last a couple of hours. Faculty councils, for instance, convene once a month during academic terms, whereas the executive groups of degree programmes might convene slightly more often. The schedule for the University Collegium varies more: there are fewer official meetings and decisions but more unofficial meetings.
Besides attending the meetings and preparing for them, you can pretty much determine how much time you want and are able to use for the position yourself. This could include informing students and organisations about current issues and participating in meetings and training sessions aimed at student representatives, for instance.
The vice members and actual members of administrative bodies can work out an arrangement on participating in the meetings and other matters related to the division of labour among themselves. Each administrative body decides for itself whether vice members have the right to be present in meetings when the actual member is present, so suggesting this at the beginning of the term is recommended.
Exchange plans do not prevent you from being selected. However, we generally do hope that you are able to commit to the position for the duration of the two-year term, at least for the most part.
You do not need to deal with your tasks alone! In most administrative bodies, there are several student representatives. Furthermore, at the faculty level and the level of the entire University, you will get peer support from many other student representatives, through HYY’s Studies Committee, for instance. HYY also regularly organises training sessions for student representatives, study advisors and others interested in study affairs. These training sessions are open to everyone, and we will inform student representatives about them by email, on HYY’s website and on Facebook. The specialist in charge of supporting student representatives is also at your disposal to help in difficult situations.
Any student who has registered for attendance at the University of Helsinki can apply to become a student representative. There are no qualifications for the position of student representative, and getting selected does not require long experience from subject or faculty organisations. First-year students can become student representatives perfectly well, too! The most important thing to have is motivation to serve in the position. Anything considered as advantages will always be announced in the call for applications, so we recommend reading it carefully. Check all criteria and information of the representative positions in Halloped-system.
Working at the University may affect your chances of acting as a student representative in the faculty councils, the University Collegium and the Board of the University. In these bodies, student representatives may generally be employed by the University only if their working hours are a maximum of 50 per cent of normal working hours and their contract lasts a maximum of 6 months. In other administrative bodies, such as the steering groups of degree programmes, being employed by the University has no effect on acting as a student representative.
Positions for student representatives open for applications in the Halloped application system. The details, application criteria and number of open positions are mentioned in the calls for applications in the application system. Always submit your application through the application system.
Your application does not need to be long! Each call for applications will state the things that are considered as advantages for the applicants. You should thus write your application by reflecting on these aspects. If, for instance, motivation is listed as an advantage, you should tell us why you are interested in acting as a student representative in your application.
The method of selecting student representatives depends on the administrative body and is determined by a regulation approved by our Representative Council. In the so-called main calls for applications in the autumn, when we are looking for representatives for an entirely new term, the selection proposals are made by selection committees, as they are the experts on their own faculties’ current affairs and needs.
Selection proposals are only proposals on the selections, not actual decisions. The selection committees each make justification memorandums containing their selection proposal, and HYY’s specialist in educational policy presents these memorandums to the administrative body in HYY that makes the actual decisions. In calls for applications outside the main ones, in other words, in supplementary calls for applications, the selection proposal, justification memorandum and presentation of the matter are done by HYY’s specialist in educational policy.
In the case of faculty councils and the steering groups of degree programmes, the actual decisions on selecting the student representatives are made by HYY’s Board. The dean additionally needs to confirm the selections for the steering groups of degree programmes. In the case of the University Collegium and the University Board, the actual selections are made by HYY’s Representative Council.
HYY occasionally receive direct requests from the University to seek student representatives for new or temporary working groups, for instance. In such cases, the selection proposals are made by HYY’s specialist in educational policy, while HYY’s Board is always in charge of the actual selections. From the applicant’s perspective, though, making a good, well-justified application is the most important thing!
Student representatives act as the voice of students in the University administration and influence the University’s decision-making directly – what kind of teaching is organised and how student feedback is processed, for instance. Members of HYY’s Representative Council, on the other hand, make decisions on the Student Union’s own affairs, such as the use of funds and facilities, as well as appoint the Board of the Student Union and the editor in chief of Ylioppilaslehti, for instance. Further information on the Representative Council’s operation is available here.
Most of the meeting time is usually reserved for discussion on one or two larger issues. These could include the faculty’s internal affairs or their views on issues concerning the entire University, such as the University’s Strategy, the internal allocation of funds or various development projects on teaching and research. The issues could also include communality at the faculty and its development, for instance – a theme students would be the best experts in.
In addition to the discussion items, issues processed in the meetings also include theses and docent matters, for instance. Decisions on the faculty’s operating plan, budget and other important matters at the faculty, which have usually already been discussed before, are also made in the meetings. As a student representative, you should be prepared to present students’ views on themes related to the discussion items in particular – careful preparation done early enough makes it easier to influence matters!
The University Collegium has representation from the entire University community: professors, other personnel and, of course, students, adding up to a total of 50 members. Its main duties include appointing the external members of the University Board, appointing the chancellor and university auditors and confirming the University’s financial statements and annual report.
The collegium only has a few meetings in an academic year – much fewer than the steering groups of degree programmes, for instance. The meetings last around two hours, and a lot of time in them is spent on debating, exchanging ideas and, if needed, voting. In addition to this, the collegium may get together to discuss matters outside actual meetings, too. The topic of such get-togethers could be the general trends of the entire University’s development, for instance. In this administrative body, a student could even serve as the chair of the entire collegium!
The meetings of the steering groups of degree programmes are usually fairly informal and deliberative. The frequency of the steering groups’ meetings varies from one degree programme to another. Depending on the time of the year, the issues discussed in the meetings deal with various aspects of the degree programme’s operation: the selection and orientation of new students, degree requirements and the organisation of the next year’s teaching. Members of the steering group work together on concrete planning and preparatory work that helps define what courses are taught in the schedule, which studies are compulsory for everyone, how much optional studies can be included in degrees, what kind of study material and teaching methods are used on courses and what kind of methods to complete courses each course has.
higher education policy, student representatives, students' legal protection