What has this spring looked like for HYY’s educational policy sector? What have we done and what have we managed to influence? In this text, we will tell you what Aku Houttu and Nea Hakala, the members of our Board in charge of educational policy, and Marianna Suokas and Mathilda Timmer, our specialists in educational policy, have been up to.
Requests for comments and statements
Early in the year, we submitted a comment on the University’s draft for its parliamentary election objectives. The University’s ideas for its goals for next year’s parliamentary elections were similar to ours on many issues, such as increasing the funding for education and making investments in student wellbeing. At the beginning of April, we gave the University a statement on the principles of the examination of academic performance, with the Rector making a decision on the matter later.
Student representation matters
At the end of January, the Board of the University of Helsinki made a historic decision to have the University Collegium adopt the tripartite principle with equal representation. This meant that students of the Faculty of Educational Sciences received an additional seat on the collegium, and we organised a call for applications for the position. We also organised two major supplementary calls for applications for unfilled positions for student representatives. Positions in the University’s independent institutes also became open for applications for a new term.
We have actively participated in meetings and met with various interest groups. We continued our regular meetings with Susanna Niinistö-Sivuranta, the director of development on the teaching sector. The themes in these discussions have included the return to the campuses and related challenges as well as problems related to individual arrangements. Teaching in the post-coronavirus era has also been discussed with the Teachers’ Academy. We have further participated in HYY’s May Day cocktail party and in SYL’s spring seminar and educational policy sector meetings. In addition to this, we have discussed the effects that Russia’s war on Ukraine has had on the University’s operation with the University.
We have also represented HYY in various administrative bodies and working groups at the University, such as the Academic Affairs Council, the Societal Interaction Council, the Guidance and Student Wellbeing Development Project and the working group on developing the technical process of master’s theses. We have also met with the management of the development project on universities’ student admissions.
Our new specialist in educational policy, Mathilda, started in her work at the turn of the year. Selection coordinator Timo Kalliokoski started working in our sector in May. Member of the Board Nea, who is in charge of educational policy, participated in a panel discussion on the results of the University audit. We have also prepared a miniguide on HYY and study advocacy work to support people involved in study advocacy work in organisations. At the beginning of the third period, Aku and Nea published a blog post on returning to the campuses.
We have further planned and started faculty tours in which we meet the student organisations and personnel at faculties. During HYY’s Tuning Day, we organised a training session on advocacy work for persons in charge of academic affairs.
In addition to the above, we have lobbied for increasing the number of quiet spaces at the University to make participation in remote lectures easier. Preparation of HYY’s Parliamentary Election Programme has been taking place during the spring, and we prepared a draft for its objectives related to educational policy.
Wishing you all a happy spring,
Aku Houttu and Nea Hakala
Members of the Board in charge of educational policy
Marianna Suokas and Mathilda Timmer
Specialists in educational policy