The National Theatre offers HYY members tickets for 10 euros for the shows held on 10 March 7pm, 15 March 7pm and 31 March 7pm.

Tickets can be booked by calling the National Theatre ticket office number: 010 7331 331. When booking, please mention the booking code: HYY yliopisto. Tickets can be collected from the National Theatre ticket office and you must present your student card which proves HYY's membership.

Further information about the play (in Finnish): http://www.kansallisteatteri.fi/esitykset/nummisuutarit/

Student financial aid offered to students by the Finnish has been revised over and over again over the past couple of years. The number of months one can receive aid on has been limited, requirements on how many credits must be gained has been increased, and the general terms and conditions have been made worse and worse from the point of view of students. The only improvement, from the point of view of students, the binding of the aid to the cost-of-living index, has been cancelled by the current Finnish government, who has also introduced both tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students, and massive cuts to the education budget, leading to redundancy for 980 University of Helsinki employees.

The government has decided the student financial aid will be revised again in 2016. Revision as the preferred term, however, is misleading - the word is only used to avoid mentioning budget cuts. In its government programme the government decided to cut costs for financial aid for students by 70 million euros within 2019. In the long term the proposed budget cuts will amount to 150 million euros.

The proposed cuts are massive. Students in higher education received approximately 350 million euros in study grants in 2014. An additional 250 million euros was spent on housing supplements. With the proposed budget cuts, 70 and 150 million euros, student financial aid is under threat. While Finnish students, unlike future non-EU/EEA students, do not, for the time being have to pay tuition fees, the current government is certainly making sure that all students, whether domestic or international, are feeling pressured under the yoke of the budget cuts hostile to both students and education.

The government invited Professor Roope Uusitalo, a professor of economics at the University of Jyväskylä, to undertake the task of finding ways to revise student financial aid taking into account the budget cuts the government has set as the framework of the new system for student financial aid. Professor Uusitalo has lately, lastly in January, been actively involved with proposing tuition fees for all students in Finnish higher education institutions, voicing a strong belief in a student bearing the risks and costs of his or her own higher education as he or she will also receive the benefits thereof. This point of view, however, ignores the benefits of a highly educated workforce for the state in terms of both higher tax revenues and growing consumption, as well as the importance of a highly educated population in fostering innovation and economic growth. Saddling the individual with both the costs and the risks of his or her own education will also create a further obstacle for students with low socio-economic background entering higher education, as we will see with fee-paying non-EU/EEA students.

The government has imposed on the revision of student financial aid a clear framework, by which the revised system must ensure that the cuts will not affect the XXXX, and that the new system will not decline the entering in higher education of students with low socio-economic background. It is hard to imagine how a revision, which very clearly is done with euros first and foremost in mind, can fullfil the afore-mentioned criteria. The cuts will most likely mean a either a direct cut to the monthly student grant - which at present is hardly sufficient for living in the capital region - or a significant increase in the number of months a student is eligible for financial aid from the state.

Professor Uusitalo will leave his report on the 'revision' of student financial aid to the Minister for Culture and Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen in February.

The current student financial system, while not perfect, does exactly as it says, financially aids and supports students. After February, this statement might not seem to ring true anymore, and it could instead fall upon students to show their support to the current system.

Information on the proposed budget cuts clarified on 18.2.

If you receive student financial aid from the Finnish state, check your yearly exempt amount of other income for 2015, and return any extra aid by the end of May.

For each month during which you receive study grant or housing supplement, the exempt amount is on average €660, and for each aid-free month €1,970. Assuming that you received aid for 9 months, you would be allowed to have up to €11,850 a year in other income. The income may be earned at any time during the calendar year. Remember also that you’ll have gain at least 5 credits for every month you receive financial aid, and at least 20 credits for each semester you receive financial aid for, even if you only receive one month’s worth of financial aid.

You can raise your annual income limit by voluntarily repaying financial aid by the end of May the year following the year when the aid was paid out. Voluntary repayment of financial aid is a financially more favourable alternative than recovery. By repaying aid voluntarily, you will not have to pay the 15% repayment penalty that is added to the recoverable amount if, following the income check, overpaid aid is recovered from you.

If you receive student financial aid from the Finnish state, and have in 2014 earned more than annual exempt amount, you will be required to pay back some or all of the financial aid you have received. If this is the case, you will have received a letter from Kela with a draft decision on how much of the financial aid you have received you should return. For income received before or after studies is exempt from the income check. Any appeal on the draft decision must be made by 17.3.2016.

For more information please see Kela’s website:
http://www.kela.fi/web/en/student-s-own-income
http://www.kela.fi/web/en/have-you-started-studies-or-graduated-

Become a student representative (Steering Groups of the Big Wheel Bachelor Programmes)

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki is looking to fill the following positions of student representatives in university administration:

Steering Groups of the Big Wheel Bachelor Programmes

Student representation in university administration is an important principle of the Finnish higher education institutions. In all administrative bodies professors, other staff and students are all equally represented, which ensures decision-making that takes into account the points of view of all instances involved in the issues being discussed.

Student representatives do not receive a salary, but work on a voluntary basis. Depending on the body in question, meetings can be held from a few times a year to monthly. In addition to attending the meetings, student representatives are expected to familiarise themselves with the documents beforehand, and keep in touch with the students they represent, as well as the other student representatives through personal contacts or student organisations. The student representatives themselves gain important experience of university administration. Also, having acted as a student representative in university administration can also be an advantage when seeking employment.

Most university administrative bodies currently work in Finnish. English may be accepted as a working language, but most documents will be in Finnish, so a basic command of the language is advisable.

More information about open positions: specialist (university administration and higher education policy) Janne Lardot, phone 050 543 8460, email: janne.lardot(at)hyy.fi.

HYY gave today, together with the World Student Capital Network (WSC) a statement to the Helsinki City Board on the draft target program for housing and associated land use for 2016 (AM program) (link goes to a page in Finnish). The production goal of student and youth housing is the same in the draft as in the previous program, that is 300 homes in a year. In its statement the WSC network reminds the city that adequate supply of student housing is proved to have a significant impact on the attractiveness of Helsinki for students coming from other parts of the country and from abroad. The network therefore requires that solely student housing should have a yearly production goal of at least 300 homes and that a separate target for youth housing be defined on the basis of the needs of its target group. Moreover the network proposes that parking space standards in housing construction should be reduced considerably in case of student housing. A reasonable standard would be 1/1000 k-m2.

Read the full statement (in Finnish).

Would you like to be employed in the security field in the summer or on weekends or are you otherwise interested in security duties? HYY offers a 32-hour basic course of security officer at a very inexpensive price of EUR 50. The course is in Finnish.
 
After completing the course you will get a security officer card, which entitles you to act as a security officer throughout the country. In addition, you will also receive general information about events, as well as tools for the maintenance of personal safety, self-defense and first aid.
 
The course will be held at Otaniemi as follows:  

4 Mar 5pm–10pm
5 Mar 9am–8pm
6 Mar 9am–8pm
7 Mar 5pm–10pm
 
You will pay only about a quarter of the normal price for this HYY's course, and in return for this, participants commit themselves to act as security officers in three HYY events 2016–2017, such as the Opening Carnival (29 Aug), torchlight procession of university students (6 Dec) and May Day (1 May).  
 
The first 10 registrants may participate in the course, so act quickly!
 
Registration form: http://goo.gl/forms/uGwcKiWlQi

Additional information:

Hanna Hynynen
specialist-producer
hanna.hynynen(a)hyy.fi
+358 (0) 50 537 2831