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HYY and other student unions are reminding the Finnish government of its promise to move students from student financial aid to the general housing allowance as the government gathers to discuss the national budget today and tomorrow. HYY  strongly condems the government's planned budget cuts on student financial aid.

Students’ move to general housing allowance must be clinched

The undersigned student unions thank the Government for its plans to have general housing allowance cover students. This move would give students a more equal status with other population groups and significantly improve many students’ subsistence.

Sipilä’s Government decided to begin preparations in the spring for having general housing allowance cover students. The discussion still continues, and decisions on students’ subsistence will now be made again in the autumn budget session.

The student unions consider the move to general housing allowance as a necessary reform. At its current level, the housing supplement of the student financial aid is completely inadequate for covering the ever-increasing rental costs students face. As many as one sixth of students getting student aid spend their entire study grant towards housing costs. The situation is the most challenging in large cities with a high rental level. Rents have gone up, while the housing supplement of the student aid, amounting to a maximum of €201.60 per month, has not been increased since 2005.

It is of utmost importance that the move occurs at the same time as the massive cuts to student aid come into force. When around 80 euros per month is cut from student aid in autumn 2017, the need for a reform of the housing benefit system is massive. The amount of general housing allowance granted to a household depends on their home municipality, with €406.40 being the maximum.

However, the general housing allowance is not without its problems. Whereas the housing supplement of the student aid is personal, general housing allowance is granted to the entire household. Improving general housing allowance so that it is granted to the individual would put an end to internal dependencies in families and improve the situation of many low-income individuals in other population groups too.

Nonetheless, general housing allowance improves the situation for those who have it the worst: those living in expensive apartments because of the housing shortage and those who have no other income apart from student aid.

When other students move to general housing allowance, the subsistence of students with a family will, however, worsen. This is due to the fact that receiving student aid does not currently decrease the amount of general housing allowance. In case this concession for students with a family is not kept in effect after the student aid reform, it would finally be time to make a parent’s increase to student aid.

The move to general housing allowance is a big structural change that has a decisive effect on students’ subsistence. The transitional period may be difficult for many: while student aid increases for some, it decreases for others. As a whole, general housing allowance is still a step in the right direction as it directs aid towards those that need it the most, it is paid all year round and it has a better correspondence to actual rental costs.


Milja Asikainen
Chair of the Board, Aalto University Student Union

Susanna Jokimies
Chair of the Board, Student Union of the University of Helsinki

Lasse Heikkilä
Chair of the Board, Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä

Kati Hannila
Chair of the Board, Student Union of the University of Oulu

Mikael Malkamäki
Chair of the Board, Student Union of the University of Tampere

Riina Lumme,
Chair of the Board, Student Union of the University of Turku

For further information, please contact the chairs of the student unions’ boards.

At HYY, please contact the following people for any further information:

Chair of the HYY board Susanna Jokimies

susanna.jokimies@hyy.fi, 050 543 9610

Board member responsible for subsistence Timo Jääskeläinen

timo.jaaskelainen@hyy.fi, 050 325 9175

Specialist (subsistence) Aino Jones

aino.jones@hyy.fi, 050 543 9608

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) is looking for candidates to be presented to the board of SYL for a maximum of two participants for the European Students’ Convention seminar 29.9. - 3.10.2016 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The seminar is the 32nd European Students’ Convention (ESC), and its title is Education and Skills for the Future of Europe.

European Students’ Convention is a seminar organised by the European umbrella organisation for national student organisations of students in higher education, European Students’ Union (ESU). The seminar brings together representatives of the various national student organisations to discusshigher education policy. Finnish members of ESU are SYL for university students, and Samok for students of universities of applied science.

This year SYL is sending to the seminar as one of its representatives one representative chosen based on candidates presented to its board by its member student unions. For selection, an applicant must first send an application to the board of his or her own student union, which then chooses a maximum of two people to be presented to the SYL board. SYL will cover the travel costs and travel insurance to this Convention. The Convention organizer will cover the accommodation costs, and provide most of the meals.

An application addressed to the HYY board should be written according to the SYL instructions and criteria. A CV may be attached to the application. HYY will choose the participant to be presented to the SYL board according to the SYL instructions and criteria. Information and instructions on wrting the application, as well as selection criteria can be found below. In addition to these criteria HYY expects the chosen candidate to report to HYY on the trip, and use HYY's communication channels to communicate about the event.

An application addressed to the HYY board should be sent to kirjaamo@hyy.fi by Monday, August 22 at 23.59.

The applicant must be a member of the student union. The student union encourages people from different backgrounds and of different genders to apply.

For more information on the HYY selection, and the HYY instructions and criteria, please contact  HYY specialist Aino Jones (aino.jones@hyy.fi, 050 543 9608).

For more information on the seminar itself, as well as the SYL instructions and criteria, please contact SYL board member Alviina Alamets (alviina.alametsa@syl.fi, +358449065003).

SYL application information and criteria

Motivation letter should be written in English. It must answer at least the following questions: 1) Why would the applicant be the best participant for this event? 2) How would the applicant communicate about the seminar, for example in social media?

Criteria for participants:
1. Excellent oral and written English language skills
2. Experience and / or motivation of international education advocacy
3. Obligation to write a short report on the trip SYL's Board of Directors
4. Active use of social media and other methods of communication during the trip
5. Willingness to commit to the promotion of the objectives of the SYL policy paper
6. The obligation to participate in the entire event program
7. Readiness to participate in a training before the trip in 26/09/2016.

Questions? Contact Alviina Alametsä (alviina.alametsa@syl.fi, +358449065003)

More information and material:

More information on ESU, and the international advocacy work of SYL:
    http://www.esu-online.org/
    http://www.syl.fi/

More information on the event:

The event we will work on different modes of learning, the recognition of such and as well on the newest developments Regarding the Skills Agenda in Europe.

On the first day the event will focus on formal, nonformal and informal learning, and how they can comple-ment each other and Contribute to key competences for active citizenship.The second day will be dedicated for Recognition of Prior Learning. Participants will be looking into recognition challenges in higher education, the Lisbon Recognition Convention and the European Qualifications Framework, as well as discussing the recognition process for third-country Nationals.

The last day will gather the attention is employability and skills, discussing the New Skills Agenda and follow-ing Implementation in member states, next steps of Modernisation Agenda review, as well as tackle the cur-rent challenges Regarding youth employability.

The supporters of Tomorrow without fear – Organised racism into the criminal law campaign demand Finnish members of parliament to act upon banning organised racism and outlawing participating in it. The signatory organisations encourage all Finns to sign the campaign’s petition in order to outlaw organised racism.

 “We want a tomorrow without fear. We want a tomorrow where fear and bigotism do not control attitudes in our society. A tomorrow where organised racist mobs can be unequivocally refused and government officials can intervene in their activities. We must not give up an inch to racism”, demand the chairpersons of the organisations that support the campaign.

 European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has criticised Finland, where racial discrimination charges have led to very few convictions and cases get taken to the court too rarely. The campaign has also received support from legal experts, who have pointed out that the current law is unclear and should be fixed to be in accordance with the international duties of Finland.

 “When the current law is too ambiguous and does not work in practice, it is our duty as political actors to demand for the law to be clarified. Finland ratified the agreement against racial discrimination already 46 years ago. Now is the time to finally make the duties set out by the agreement a part of the Finnish law”, the chair persons of the supporter organisations continue.

 Tomorrow without fear – organised racism into the criminal law is a non-partisan civil campaign. The aim of the campaign is to outlaw organised racism by a legal initiative signed by a minimum of 100 members of parliament. The campaign is now collecting signatures to a petition that can be signed on the campaign website and will be handed over to members of parliament in October. Already now over 5000 people have signed the petition.

Sign the petition: www.rasismirikoslakiin.fi

More information: 

Susanna Jokimies
Chair of the Board
p. 050 543 9610

Campaign founders: 
Jaakko Mustakallio, p. 045 652 0589
Saara Ilvessalo, p. 040 050 4089

The National Theatre offers members of HYY tickets for 10 euros for the show held on 16 September 7pm.

Tickets can be booked by calling the National Theatre ticket office number: 010 7331 331. When booking, please mention the booking code: HYY yliopisto. Tickets can be collected from the National Theatre ticket office and you must present your student card which proves HYY's membership.

Further information about the play (in Finnish): http://www.kansallisteatteri.fi/esitykset/sumu/

Trailer: https://youtu.be/mWNUqc2u4as

The streets and corridors at the City Centre campus fill up with lunch karaoke, cake, glitter, a pop-up spex, street sitsit, overall badges and the stands of (almost) all student organisation.

The Opening Carnival is held on Monday 5 September from 2 pm to 6 pm, in the Main Building, in Porthania and on the streets near the buildings!

Programme:

2 pm–6 pm: Explore organisations at their stands in the Main Building, in Porthania and in the surrounding area – check out the map of the area!

2 pm–6 pm: HYY’s stand in front of Porthania; glittered HYY tattoos and overall badges on offer every hour!

2 pm–5 pm: Lunch karaoke of the Committee for Cultural Affairs (at the Main Building UniCafe)

2.15 pm–5 pm: Street sitsit of the Committee for Organisational Affairs: an academic dinner party open for everyone. Sign up on the spot from 1.45 pm onwards (in front of the Main Building on Fabianinkatu)

3 pm–4.30 pm: Salty snacks served at the Main Building UniCafe

4 pm–5 pm: Cake served at the Porthania UniCafe

2.15 pm–2.45 pm: The Humanistispeksi and Käyttäytymistieteellinen speksi spexes (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

3 pm–3.50 pm: Budo exhibition – daitoryu, haidong gumdo, judo, karate, kendo, taekwon-do, taido, tai shin mun (at the end of Yliopistonkatu near Helsinki Cathedral)

3 pm–3.15 pm: Häkki ry (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

3.15 pm–3.30 pm: Akademiska Sångföreningen (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

3.30 pm–4 pm: Ylioppilasteatteri (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

4 pm–4.15 pm: HOL, Hämäläis-Osakunnan Laulajat (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

4.15 pm–4.30 pm: SOL, Savolaisen Osakunnan Laulajat (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

4.30 pm–5 pm SOSSu, Savolaisen Osakunnan Soitannollinen Seura (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

5 pm–5.15 pm WiOL, Wiipurilaisen Osakunnan Laulajat (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

5.15 pm–5.45 pm HOT, Hämäläis-Osakunnan Tanssikerho (on UniCafe Porthania’s terrace stage)

Are you passionate about organising parties? Do you want to be a part of creating a glorious anniversary party in a grand environment? If so, join HYY’s anniversary team!

HYY’s 148th anniversary is held on Saturday 26 November 2016 at the Old Student House. After an elegant dinner party, the evening continues in the same building with a brilliant open after-party that lasts until the early hours. Besides glitter, glamour and general bedazzlement, you can expect the most breath-taking party of the autumn – and you could be a part of making it happen.

We are looking for two song masters and two heralds to join the anniversary team. As a song master, you will be key to creating the atmosphere of the party. Additionally, you will get to influence which songs will be sung at the party. If you are good at performing and have experience of acting as a song master, join the team! You can also apply for the position as a pair.

As a herald, you will get to handle diverse tasks both before and during the party. The most important thing is that you are excited and willing to take on various different tasks from decoration to picking up flowers and directing guests at the party.

Song masters and heralds get to be a part of a fantastic anniversary team and enjoy the anniversary party for free – not to mention the wonderful experience of organising a large anniversary party. We will also organise an appreciation night for the anniversary team after the party.

Are you interested? Cool! Send an email to elina.nieminen@hyy.fi (by 14 September at the latest!)

Further information:

Elina Nieminen, anniversary master, tel. 040 736 4331, elina.nieminen@hyy.fi