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The Board of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) has in its festive meeting awarded several honours for work benefiting the Student Union. The honours are awarded at HYY's 148th Anniversary at the Old Student House in the evening of 26 November.

The Student Union's badge of honour in the wide blue ribbon is annually awarded to a person or persons who have significantly promoted the Student Union's aspirations or to whom the Student Union wishes to pay homage.

This year, the badge of honour in the wide blue ribbon is awarded to Director, Doctor of Education Kirsti Lonka for notable and meritorious work as a proponent of participatory learning and to FSHS’ Managing Director Katariina Poskiparta for notable and meritorious work for students’ healthcare.

In accordance with Section 4 of the Student Union's badge regulation, the Student Union standard may be granted to a community that has promoted the Student Union's aspirations.

The Student Union's standard is awarded to the Finnish League for Human Rights for valuable work promoting and monitoring basic and human rights and to Humanisticum for valuable work for humanism and humanists.

The badge of honour in a narrow blue ribbon for notable and meritorious activities benefiting the Student Union is awarded to Master of Education Anu Aarnio, Master of Science, Master of Science in Technology and Master of Social Sciences Risto Karinkanta, Shift Supervisor Tiina Käyhkö, Master of Science Elina Mattero-Meronen, Communications and Marketing Coordinator Petri Minni, Customer Service Person Pirjo Mäkinen, Pantry Chef Jonna Laiho, Bachelor of Education Marina Lampinen, Cashier–waitress Heidi Lottonen, Bachelor of Education Iiris Niinikoski, Bachelor of Science Vesa Piilola, HR Coordinator Olli Rossi and Master of Arts Anna Ylitalo.

The Good Teacher – Magister Bonus prize is awarded to University Instructor Arto Hellas from Computer Science. Criteria for the prize were student-friendliness, expertise, active attitude towards development and giving and receiving constructive feedback. In addition to these criteria, special consideration when awarding the 2016 prize was given on how the candidates encourage students to lifelong learning, self-development and developing their own skills. Hellas was nominated for the prize with two separate proposals, one of which was signed by a group consisting of students, lecturers, directors and administrative personnel.

The Best International Teacher prize was awarded to Lecturer in Chinese Language Haixia Wang. She teaches Chinese as a native speaker and takes cultural differences well into account in teaching situations. She utilises a wide variety of different methods and digital applications in her teaching as well as creates her own material. She also actively asks for feedback from students, reacts well to it and develops her teaching based on feedback as well as gives students lots of constructive feedback on their assignments. Her teaching highlights multicultural teaching methods by taking students’ different backgrounds into account, respecting cultural differences and supporting students coming from different cultures. Her courses often involve discussions on the different backgrounds of students.

Negotiations to form the board of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) started Monday 7th November. As a result of the board negotiations the representative groups HYAL, the Greens of HYY, the Independent Left , Social Democratic Students (OSY) and Student Nations are ready to form the 2017 board.

The representative groups in question suggest to the representative council Laura Luoto (HYAL) as the former of the board. In addition, it was agreed in the negotiations that the board will nominate Ada Saarinen (Greens of HYY) as the vice chair and Lauri Linna (the Independent Left) as the chair of the Financial Committee.

Suggestion for the board members:

Hanna-Maria Häkkilä (Osakuntalaiset)
Mikko Kymäläinen (OSY)
Joel Lindqvist (SitVas)
Elina Nieminen (HYAL)
Matias Nurmi (HYAL)
Elli Saari (HYAL)
Minna Silvennoinen (HyVi)
Minna Suorsa (HYAL)
Riikka Tähkävuori (HyVi)

HYY's Representative Council will elect the former of the Board and the Board for the year of 2017 at its meeting on 1 Dec.

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki’s (HYY) Representative Council’s power relations were reshaped in the first electronic Representative Council elections in HYY’s history, held on 26–28 October and 31 October–2 November. Voter turnout in the elections was 31.61%, which is 0.06 percentage points lower than in the previous Representative Council elections in 2014. Voter turnout has remained at around the same level during the 2000s.

Political groups rolled into the council in force

The biggest winner of the elections was the Maailmanpyörä + Tsemppi electoral alliance, consisting of the Helsinki University Greens, the Independent Left and international students. The alliance received 17 seats on the council. Within the alliance, the Independent Left increased its number of seats in the council the most, from five to eight seats. The Helsinki University Greens, however, remains the largest political group, going from eight up to nine seats. The Greens and the Independent Left cooperate widely in the Representative Council, which means that their combined number of seats holds great significance.

Another winner in this year’s elections is the Edistykselliset group, which includes students from the National Coalition Party and the Centre Party. They increased their number of seats from three to six. The final political group to receive seats in the council, the Social Democratic Students’ Association (OSY), retained their two seats.

Independent groups suffer defeat

The largest group in the Representative Council is still the independent subject organisations’ group HYAL with its 18 seats, which is, however, two fewer than during the previous term. The biggest defeat in the elections befell the electoral alliance of student nations, which lost three seats, going down from eight to five.
HELP, the group for students of dentistry, veterinary medicine, medicine and law, retained their nine seats. SNÄf, the group for Swedish speakers, also retained their previous number of seats, three seats.

One group fell out of the Representative Council, no new groups got in

The international students’ group, Tsemppi, fell out of the council completely. They entered the Representative Council with two seats in the last elections but now lost both their seats.
Three groups with no seats in the previous Representative Council took part in the elections. These groups were the Pirate Party, the Liberal electoral coalition and the Finns Party’s electoral coalition. However, none of these groups succeeded in getting into the Representative Council.

Candidates with the most votes come from political groups

The candidates that received the most votes in the elections came from political groups: Tarik Ahsanullah from Edistykselliset with 155 votes and Amanda Pasanen from HYY’s Greens with 139 votes. They were the only candidates to receive over 100 votes. Ahsanullah has been a member of the Representative Council during the previous term, whereas Pasanen got into the council as an entirely new member.


HYAL: 18 (-2)
Maailmanpyörä 17 (+4)
Tsemppi 0 (-2)
HELP 9 (-)
Osakuntalainen rengas 5 (-3)
Edistykselliset 6 (+3)
Svenska Nationer och Ämnesföreningar 3 (-)
OSY 2 (-)

The election result as well as the results from previous years can be found at

The Academic Affairs Council is the highest expert body processing academic affairs, as stipulated by the University Statutes. Specialist Aaro Häkkinen (Educational Policy) took part in the council’s meeting. The agenda of the meeting included Bachelors’ feedback, the timing of pedagogical studies, the grant system for tuition fees, the standardisation of administrative practices for internships and the situation of foreign-language and multilingual Master’s programmes.

Bachelors’ feedback

In the future, only one survey will exist. This means that Bachelors’ feedback will be merged into the HowULearn feedback survey and the system supplier will be changed to CSC, owned by the universities. Giving feedback on the feedback given by the student will be possible in the new system too. Anonymity will be removed from Bachelors’ feedback, which means that the answers can be connected with study progress and other relevant information for research purposes. In general, the University is now compiling a Big Data databank of all internal statistics collected by the University in order to better know what happens in our University.

Administrative practices for internships at the University of Helsinki

As a result of the centralisation of administration and the staff lay-offs, internship practices must be standardised so that resources will continue to cover the costs of calls for internship applications. In the future, internship administration will be centralised into Career Services with the exceptions of the so called clinical practices and teacher trainings, which will remain separate in the faculties. The new system will already be taken into use in the next calls for applications and it will largely follow the model of the Faculty of Social Sciences. However, the aim is to renew and develop the model further in the spring.

Grant system for tuition fees

The University will have common criteria for awarding grants. The process must be both fast and efficient as it is possible that people will not accept their study place in case they do not receive a grant. The grants will have three categories: 100% of the tuition fee, 50% of the tuition fee and 100% of the tuition fee plus 10,000 euros per year as support for living costs.

HYY was interested in hearing why a grant awarded on social grounds is not planned. However, implementing such a grant could be possible in the future, after seeing the countries and social conditions from which applicants arrive. We know that foreign students have difficulties in opening a bank account in Finland, which could still affect the plans for the grant system.

Timing of pedagogical studies

The timing remains the same, that is, studies begin in the autumn and end in the spring. It will still be possible to do the autumn and spring separately by having a year’s break from your pedagogical studies in between, for instance.

Situation of foreign-language and multilingual Master’s programmes

The Master’s Programme in Philosophy launches with domestic languages as it cannot organise enough English-language teaching. The Big Wheel group will also consult two problematic Master’s programmes separately. Otherwise, the majority of planned programmes will launch according to schedule in 2017, but some only in 2018.

Selection policies for doctoral education

All programmes will have common application periods four times per year at the University, but the dates have not yet been decided. In the future, it will be possible to accept only one study place for doctoral education too. For this reason, students must have the possibility to decline the study place. The study right for postgraduate studies and hiring someone as a doctoral student are separate processes. This means that, in the future, students can be hired as doctoral students for a trial period before the recruited person has been granted a study right for postgraduate studies.

Epic program, interdisciplinary partying and sparkling wine for a student friendly price. Your and your friends celebrating the 148-year-old Student Union of Helsinki University. YES, the most dazzling party of the year is here!

Bring your friends and spend an unforgettable evening at the Old Student House: birthdays only happen once a year, so we went all out in the planning of the program for the evening. Among other things you’ll find a glitter bar, an awesome party band, DJ Louise and bombastic surprise program that we’ll keep a secret for now. 

Dress code: Fabulous, dazzling and your own style, the little black dress, a cool jacket or suit.

Tickets in advance (31 Oct - 20 Nov) 6 €/ticket or a ticket package with 8 tickets 40 €
During the event week (21 - 26 Nov) tickets 7,5 €

NB! The price includes the use of the cloakroom (3,5 €) and a magnificent overall badge.!/events/97b49a84-971e-420a-95b8-a79d473416cd
You don’t need the buy a separate ticket for the after party if you’ve registered for the anniversary dinner.

In cooperation with:

Academic Work
HYY Yhtymä