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HYY: Quality of teaching must be ensured despite the University's saving programme

18.09.2015

Yesterday, the University of Helsinki published the effects of the Government programme cuts on the University's finances. https://www.helsinki.fi/fi/uutiset/helsingin-yliopisto-kaynnistaa-muutosohjelman-taloutensa-sopeuttamiseksi

The figures are shocking. According to the University's estimation, the cuts targeted at the University of Helsinki are 106 million euro by 2020. The University Board is aiming to save a total of 86 million euros, which means that the number of personnel will be reduced by 1,200 –  meaning every seventh employee.

Since more than half of the University of Helsinki employees work in teaching and research positions, the personnel cuts will also concern them. This will inevitably affect the possibilities of faculties and departments to organise teaching, ensure that studies progress smoothly and engage in high-quality research.

When the extent of the cuts was revealed, Jaana Husu-Kallio, Chair of the Board of the University of Helsinki, immediately asserted that the University's key objective is to maintain high-quality teaching and research. Student representatives in university administration – in the Board, Collegium, faculties and departments – now have an extremely important duty to be involved in decision-making and ensure that the savings will not hit the students and teaching the hardest. Transparency in decision-making and the informing of the entire academic community must not be neglected.

The Student Union and the University must together ensure that students can study efficiently in all faculties and subjects, despite the savings. The student community and the Student Union must actively discuss and build cooperation.  

In addition to the development of fundraising, the University aims at increasing the amount of international research funding and corporate cooperation. The main future projects of the Ministry of Education and Culture have reserved funding for the development of digital learning environments: http://goo.gl/tvJt5p. In order to patch the savings targeted at teaching, the main project funding would be necessary for the University of Helsinki. 

– When implementing the cuts, we must ensure that the quality of teaching is not compromised and studies are not hindered. Only in this way, we can ensure that in five years time Masters students who are needed in the working life and who can have a career in the scientific community, will graduate from the University of Helsinki, comments Hanna Piitulainen, HYY Board Member in charge of academic affairs.

Hanna Piitulainen, HYY Board Member 

Tel. 050 576 5073

hanna.piitulainen (at) hyy.fi

Mari Lehtoruusu, Chair of HYY Board 

Tel. 050 543 9610

mari.lehtoruusu (at) hyy.fi