HYY Influences

Influencing at University

Student representatives

Student representatives – defending students at the University

Why can all exams not be taken in electronic exam rooms or online?
Are there never enough set books?
Is there too little contact teaching?
Do you sometimes feel like you cannot get guidance for your studies?

One of the best things about Finnish university democracy is that students have power at the University, too. Students have their own representatives everywhere in the University’s decision-making: in degree programmes, faculties and both the Board and the Collegium of the entire University.

Student representatives ensure that students’ interests are not trampled upon when making decisions that concern studies and student life. They voice students’ opinions in meetings, advance and defend issues that are important to students and develop the University to look increasingly like its students.

Anyone can become a voice for students. There are only two requirements: applicants must be registered students at the University of Helsinki and not employed full-time by the University.

In autumn 2019, the Student Union will recruit new student representatives for all faculty councils and the University Collegium for the term 2020-2021. Check out the calls for applications for your own faculty’s positions of student representative on the ‘Open positions’ page.

Faculty councils are multi-member administrative bodies of faculties and they are chaired by the Dean. The council is responsible for developing teaching and research at the faculty, controlling quality management of research and teaching, deciding on issues such as degree requirements, the curriculum and student selection criteria as well as processing far-reaching plans and other important matters of principle at the faculty.

University Collegium is an administrative body for the entire university. They appoint members from outside the University community to the University Board, appoint the Chancellor of the University and university auditors and confirm the university's financial statements and annual report. Members include professors, personnel and students from all the University’s faculties.

As a member of a faculty council you will get to influence the future of your subject and field of science, in the Collegium that of the entire University. While making the collective voice of students heard, you can build substantial networks for yourself. You can also get credits for acting in the executive group.

Further information on positions of student representative open in autumn 2019 is available in the calls for applications.

If you have any questions on the selection process for student representatives, check out the frequently asked questions first for a quick answer. The selection process is described in more detail here. The regulation on the selection of student representatives also has more information on the tasks and selection process. If this does not help you, either, you can always contact HYY’s specialist in charge of student representatives.

HYY has also put together a guide on working as a student representative for international students. The guide is a useful info package for all student representatives and anyone considering applying!