A goal-oriented, united university community is the philosopher’s stone we need at a time when the world is losing itself over geopolitical squabbles. With Turkey attacking Rojava, the Amazon rainforest burning and polarisation increasing, people may forget themselves, losing their empathy and the importance of the connections between minds. In times like these, we need university education and research – we need bold universities that fight for the truth. At universities, we learn how to understand other people and the world; how to escape negative societal patterns.
A new ten-year period in the long lifespan of the University of Helsinki will begin next year. This year, the University is creating its new ten-year strategy, and all of us students are needed. The strategy is the highest guiding document of the University, and it defines the major policies of the upcoming years. The new values of the University are culture and education, truth, community and collegiality and freedom. We need to ensure that the formulation of the new strategy reflects these values.
The university community is capable of change. We have survived through the great revolutions of history, through wars, modernisation, digitalisation and globalisation. We have provided solutions that have helped societies grow and develop – from the individual level to the level of society.
To build something new, we need to cooperate. The University now needs you and your experience. Empathy is an important part of the strategy process: by commenting on the draft, we are helping the rest of the University community look at the University through students’ eyes. We are able to see the University and the world through the rustling of the overalls of a fresher who will start their studies at the University ten years from now.
Do you want to see changes in teaching, the status of students at the University, science or the measures taken to help with the fight against climate change? The right time and place to influence these matters is here and now.
What is your ideal university like? Comment on the draft by 5 November! You can do so easily using your University user account.
Our community has a lot of power. Let’s show it.
The writer is in charge of educational policy on HYY’s Board.
Here are some questions discussed by the University’s working groups to inspire you to comment:
- Teaching and learning: How will our University foster critical and ethical experts of the future who will go on to change the world?
- Science and information infrastructures: How will we promote open, long-term, high-quality and responsible science?
- Science for all: How will we strengthen the University’s role as an open learning and research environment as well as an internationally attractive partner that anticipates social changes and delivers high-impact knowledge and skills for decision-making?
- Culture of work and learning: How will we strengthen the University’s diversity, enhance the wellbeing of the University community and provide everyone with the opportunity to find meaning in their work and studies so as to achieve our common goals?
- Cooperation: How will we boost research impact and innovation activities on a global scale and increase the University’s competitiveness through strategic cooperation?