HYY has once again awarded prizes to distinguished teachers and instructors!


What is it about?

Every year, HYY collects nominations from students all around the University community on the best teachers and instructors at the University of Helsinki. The recipients of the prizes are then selected from among the nominated individuals in three different categories: the Magister Bonus prize is awarded to a good teacher teaching in Finnish or Swedish, the Best International Teacher prize to the best teacher teaching in English and the Good Instructor prize to a member of the University staff providing students with instruction.

The pre-set criteria for the Magister Bonus and Best International Teacher prizes were student friendliness, expertise, active attitude towards development and giving and receiving constructive feedback. The criteria for the Good Instructor prize were commitment, support for study planning, encountering students and helping students integrate into the University and academic community.

The Magister Bonus nominations have always been very popular, but the number of nominations in 2022 exceeded all our expectations: we received a record-breaking 121 nominations! This shows how many committed, skilled and student-friendly teachers and instructors there are at the University of Helsinki. At the same time, it also shows how highly students value their teachers’ work, as most of the nominations came from individual students. The nominations in all categories emphasised expertise, passion towards the nominee’s own field and duties and student friendliness. The recipients of the awards were presented with their certificates at HYY’s Anniversary on 26 November 2022.

Recipients of the awards

The Magister Bonus prize was awarded to University Lecturer Jari Salminen from the Faculty of Educational Sciences. His teaching was described as interesting and of extremely high quality as well as inspiring in the way it challenges students’ ways of thinking. Salminen’s lectures are dialogic in nature, and he always has time to answer students’ questions. According to the proposals, Salminen is student-friendly and easily approachable.

The Best International Teacher prize was awarded to Senior University Lecturer Leena Hanski. Hanski teaches students in the brand-new international Master’s Programme in Pharmaceutical Research, Development and Safety, operating under the Faculty of Pharmacy. She is also the director of the degree programme. In several proposals, Hanski was said to put a lot of effort into treating students individually. She was stated to be very open to developmental suggestions and excited about the new degree programme, which, in turn, generates enthusiasm among students, too. In addition to all this, the quality of Hanski’s teaching is praised in the proposals.

This year’s Good Instructor prize was awarded to Professor of Area and Cultural Studies Anu Korhonen from the Faculty of Arts. The proposals recommending Korhonen’s selection especially emphasise her commitment to the instruction relationship. She is described as an encouraging, understanding and warm instructor who treats the students she instructs individually.

The jubilee year for teacherhood continues

During the current jubilee year for teacherhood, we have found the prizes even more valuable than usual. Even though the three individuals mentioned above were the ones receiving the prize in their categories, we would also like to give massive thanks to all the teachers and instructors at the University of Helsinki – your daily work is important and invaluable to students. Without teachers and instructors, we would not have high-quality teaching, diverse and meaningful study paths and students graduating with comprehensive skillsets. We would also like to thank everyone who submitted a proposal – we appreciate each proposal you made. Your proposals provide us with information on how students view their teachers and instructors. We hope you all continue to have a rewarding jubilee year for teacherhood!