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HYY: Printing quotas must not be reduced without improving electronic options


Statement, 7 Oct 2013

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) opposes the plans of the University of Helsinki IT Center to restrict the students' printing quotas. In accordance with the plan of the University's IT Center, the so-called printing quota would be reduced to one quarter of the present. At the same time, the printing quota would apply to the entire study time instead of the current academic year system. For a student who studies for five years, the amount of free printing would be reduced to about five percent of the current situation. If printing quotas enter into force at the beginning of 2014 in accordance with the current proposal, HYY requires that the electronic submission of study-related assignments should be possible at that time.

- If free printing is restricted, it must be possible to submit assignments electronically in all faculties, all departments, all subjects and every single course. As long as this is not the case, students cannot be made to pay for printing costs, summarises HYY's Board Member Pirre Seppänen.

If the change will take place as planned, the annual printing costs of IT Center would be reduced to about ten per cent of the current. HYY recognises the saving needs in the current financial situation, particularly when there is much pressure to develop IT systems. At the same time, however, it is important to consider the wider impact of decisions at the university, also from the student's point of view.

- It seems that the university is reluctant to make decisions that obligate faculties and, ultimately, individual teachers. At transition stages, in particular, we should pay more attention to the standardisation of practices. When it comes to electronic submission, for example, giving orders on the university level should not be avoided, says HYY's Board Member Elisa Tuomi.

HYY encourages the university to reduce paper use and increase the electronic attainment  opportunities. Reducing the use of paper conserves the environment and wider digitalisation, in turn, is a necessity for a modern university.

- As such, the reduction of printing quotas serves good purposes. However, we are concerned about the approach in which the service costs are first transferred from faculties to central administration, and after some time the services are completely run down. If study attainment and graduation are made more difficult, however, the consequences of reduced services will also concern the faculties, concludes Chair of HYY Board Lauri Koskentausta.

Lauri Koskentausta, Chair of HYY Board          
Katri Korolainen, HYY's Secretary General

Furher information:
Elisa Tuomi, Board Member – university administration, legal protection
+358 50 5439612