The Student Union of the University of Helsinki HYY has nominated Ella Keski-Panula as its candidate for the Board of The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) for the year 2016.
Keski-Panula, 24, has been responsible for housing and subsistence on HYY’s Board in 2015. She majors in World Politics and has studied in the University of Helsinki for five years.
On HYY’s Board Keski-Panula has been particularly active in advocating improving the housing situation of students. Together with other student unions in the capital region and with SYL, she succeeded in saving the state subsidies, which are allocated to the construction of student apartments and which the Finnish government had planned to cut off completely.
– Saving from university education and cutting down student welfare are not the ways to improve competitiveness, to foster innovation or to educate professional and well-informed graduates to the job market, Keski-Panula states.
She considers SYL to be the right place to fight for equal access to high-quality academic education.
– SYL is the prime lobbyist in education policy in the country. I want to be able to secure the quality of Finnish education and see to it that everyone will have the chance to educate themselves regardless of socioeconomic background.
HYY Chair of the Board 2015 Mari Lehtoruusu trusts Keski-Panula fully.
– There’s no time when or place where Ella couldn’t lobby – she’s been sent to meet with members of parliament wearing pink rubber boots, for one. Not only is she fearless but also very savvy and immersed in her subject matters; she’s known to persuade anyone with her expertise, describes Lehtoruusu.
– Ella has an amazing ability to take on large and complex issues and to persistently see to it that set goals are met. Ella converses fluently, is supportive to her colleagues and welcomes critical feedback of her work, praises HYY’s Secretary General Jannica Aalto.
SYL elects its Board for the year 2016 in the General Assembly 20–21 November 2015 at Korpilampi, Espoo. SYL is an interest organisation defending and improving the educational, financial, and social benefits and rights of the students.
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