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The FinELib consortium of Finnish higher education institutions, research institutes and public libraries has been negotiating with two academic publishers on contracts that would enable university researchers and students to have access to academic publications. The negotiations with the publisher Taylor & Francis ended unsuccessfully on 28 January 2019. The failed negotiations mean that access to the electronic journals of Taylor & Francis at the University of Helsinki will end on 1 February 2019. The negotiations between FinELib and Wiley are still ongoing.

If you use the e-journals of Taylor & Francis or Wiley in your thesis, we recommend that you download and save the material you need without delay. Access to the materials will remain open until the end of January.

Even though access to most new issues of the aforementioned publishers’ journals will end as the negotiations break down, the Helsinki University Library has agreements with some of the journals that guarantee access to their pre-2019 volumes. The available older volumes vary between journals and organisations. In addition to this, the Library has compiled and will continue to update an Alternative Access page (only in Finnish for the present) on its website for researchers and students. The page contains instructions on how to act when you do not have access to the material you need. The Library does its best to provide alternative ways to get access to articles.

In problem situations, you can contact the Helsinki University Library at

Further information on the negotiations can be found on the FinELib consortium's website.

Pen names Opiskelija (HS 21 January) and Kandidaatti (HS 22 January) criticised the quotas for first-time applicants with good reason. According to reports, only around 250 students actually benefited from the quotas for first-time applicants last year. This is a small number considering that the number of people who suffer from the quotas in the way described by Opiskelija and Kandidaatti has not been investigated.

The quotas for first-time applicants drive young people to make calculated choices and take unnecessary years off until they get a student place in the field of their dreams. Those who do not know what to study also face difficulties: why should they try something out if it takes away the chance to get the student place of their dreams later when they figure out what it is. The government intended for the quotas for first-time applicants to extend careers, but here in the real world they are having the opposite effect.

The quotas for first-time applicants unreasonably complicate not only the entrance to higher education studies but also changing fields of study and continuous learning. The possibility to try things out, make mistakes and try again in order to find your own place must have its place in youth and in life in general.

Paula Karhunen

Student Union of the University of Helsinki

As a tutor, you play a key role in welcoming new students to the university and ensuring they develop a strong commitment to the university community and their studies. As a tutor, you will act as a group leader and you will be part of the university’s guidance and counselling system along with university personnel. Tutors receive a small financial compensation for their service.

First-time tutors also receive academic credits for their initial training.

The ideal tutor is an enthusiastic, responsible and enterprising student with an interest in leadership. A tutor should be familiar with the general way things work at the university. However, you don’t have to know everything before you begin — the faculties provide training for all new tutors.

The application period for August 2019 tutoring is open until 12.2.2019 (3 pm). Apply to become a tutor through the Aava application system.

Tutor Adventure 2019

HYY and Student services will organize together tutor training to all the tutors. Training will be held in the form of Tutor Adventure on Thursday 4th of April 2019 in the afternoon in the center campus area. The duration of the Adventure is 3 hours and it will take place between 13-19am. Please reserve the date to your calendar!

The event is compulsory for all new Tutors.

You can use the skills and knowledge you learn in the Tutor Adventure in the autumn as you guide freshers through the wonders of student life!

Read more here!

The editorial of Helsingin Sanomat on 17 January included the claim that it is easy to identify the positives of the tuition fees set for students from outside the EU and EEA countries two years ago. The text referred to the numbers of applicants for the international master’s programmes at the University of Helsinki. The claim made in the text is incorrect, and some remarks must be made on it.

After the tuition fees were set, both the number of applicants and the number of new international students in Finland decreased. This happened at the University of Helsinki, too. Fewer new students arrived in Finland from outside the EU and EEA countries, while the share of European students did not increase significantly. The universities recovered from the drop in the number of applicants, but it is more relevant to examine the number of people who actually arrived in Finland to study and are paying tuition fees than just the number of applicants.

Many students who were accepted to study do not accept their student place, and even some of the students who received a grant rejected the student place they had received. Currently, only 50 students at the University of Helsinki pay the entire tuition fee themselves. This is a very modest number considering the level of the University of Helsinki and the study opportunities it has available. Tuition fees are not a guarantee for the quality of education or the regard for it.

The higher education institutions have not received much of a profit from the tuition fees, which has also been noted in the interim report of a working group set by the Ministry of Education and Culture to monitor and evaluate the implementation of tuition fees in higher education institutions. On the other hand, the administration related to the fees, the grant system and the strong marketing efforts for the degree programmes have caused considerable costs.

Free education is the cornerstone and pride of Finnish society and must be highly valued. Education is still strongly inherited in Finland, but we must actively strive to change this. Even a small tuition fee affects the entrance to studies of those with limited means. Higher education must remain free, and the current tuition fees must be removed.

Laura Wathén
Chair of the Board
Student Union of the University of Helsinki

Last autumn, HYY, the Aalto University Student Union and the Research Foundation for Studies and Education Otus conducted a survey on students’ subsistence. A release event for the study is organised at 2–4 pm on 5 February in the Think Corner. The event is open to everyone. Join us at the event to hear about the results and discuss students’ subsistence as a theme for the election spring! Unfortunately, the programme is in Finnish, but information on the study will be made available in Swedish and English, too.

Further information:

Hannele Kirveskoski

Specialist (subsistence, international affairs)
050 543 9608

Do you have a desire to influence the society around you? Are the issues of students and young people close to your heart? Are you interested in politics and perhaps already an experienced influencer yourself? Can you manage projects as well as work independently and with determination? If you answered yes to the questions above, you could be the person we are looking for. We are currently looking for


to support the Student Union’s election advocacy work. The most important task of the person we are seeking is to coordinate the practical matters of HYY’s election advocacy work in relation to the parliamentary elections. In your work, you will get to organise advocacy work, cooperate with various interest groups, contact candidates and decision-makers as well as plan and implement communications. The position is fixed term until 30 April 2019, and the working hours are 30 hours per week unless otherwise agreed.

We expect you to have

·         Project management skills: planning, scheduling, managing yourself, successfully furthering projects, finalisation measures and reporting, etc.

·         The ability to work independently but also to act in groups and to motivate and inspire others

·         Communication skills

·         Systematic approach to work

·         Strong command of Finnish

We also consider the following as advantages:

·         Good command of Swedish and English

·         Familiarity with the student movement

·         Understanding of the political sphere in Finland and interest in politics

We are

A student union serving around 27,000 students of the University of Helsinki

An encouraging and inspiring work community, consisting of, among others, 8 specialists and a board with 12 student members


We are offering you the opportunity to be involved in the creation of an election campaign in the largest student union in Finland, in cooperation with the rest of the student movement. In HYY, you will get to learn new things, develop yourself and use your expertise diversely as a part of an election team consisting of HYY’s specialists and board. In addition to this, we are offering you a salary that is in accordance with the student unions’ collective agreement with potential bonuses for education and experience as well as good employee benefits. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you became interested in the available job opportunity!

You can apply for the election coordinator’s position by sending your application and CV as PDF files to by 28 January 2019. The position may be filled earlier if we find a suitable candidate – so act fast! We hope that the selected person could start in the position as soon as possible.

For further information on the position, please contact Secretary General Aaro Riitakorpi (040 0816 426).

HYY emphasises diversity and equality in its activities. We hope to receive as many applications as possible from people with diverse backgrounds. A probationary period with a maximum length of half of the duration of the fixed-term contract is used for the position.