We are a part of the academic community!
In universities, students are the younger colleagues of professors and lecturers – not their pupils. This means that students participate in making decisions that concern the University and developing teaching to make it even better than it is.
Students of the University of Helsinki have been able to participate in the University’s decision-making in accordance with the tripartite principle since 1991. The tripartite principle means that all internal groups of the University – students, professors, and other staff members – have representatives in the administrative bodies of University administration.
Student representatives in administration as the students’ voice
Student representatives in administration are the people who act as your voice in University administration. You can influence decision-making directly by turning to your own student representative. You can also make initiatives on how to develop activities independently to the faculty, degree programme or University Services.
Remember that you, as a student, are the expert in study affairs. Students sitting in administrative bodies are your representatives, and the purpose of University Services is – as per its name – to create services that support the University community. In other words, if you encounter problems with your studies or come up with ideas to develop the University, you can influence matters.
These are among the ways in which you can influence matters:
- Voice what you are thinking so that the University’s operation could be developed towards the right direction based on it.
- If there are any issues in your degree programme or faculty that students are wondering about, you can also get help from your own subject or faculty organisation. However, you can always turn to the Student Union with your problem, too.
- You can also start advancing your cause by becoming a student representative in administration yourself. Student representatives’ terms in administrative bodies usually last two years. Many student representative’s positions are also supplemented during this two-year term.
- In addition to the above, you can join various working groups and other administrative bodies that develop different sectors of the University’s operation. These include the Library’s advisory boards, the teaching development group of the Language Centre and the administrative committees of the University’s discipline-specific funds.
Up-to-date information on current student representatives is available from the faculty in question, and calls for applications for open positions will also be published here. You can also ask for further information from HYY’s specialist in charge of student representatives.
What does the Student Union do?
The Student Union participates in improving students’ status at the University and promotes issues that are important to students. HYY’s specialists’ work includes active discussions with University Services and University management as well as representing the Student Union in various working groups. HYY also annually sends its representatives to the national Opintoasiainpäivät event (academic affairs days) and many other events related to educational policy.
In addition to this, HYY provides training and peer support to both student representatives in administration and the study advisors of organisations operating under HYY. Training sessions organised for student representatives, study advisors and other interested people are announced in the training calendar (link will be published soon). Further information is also available from HYY’s specialist in charge of student representatives.
Everyone interested in educational policy and related matters is free to join the activities of HYY’s Studies Committee.