Student of Agriculture and Forestry, Student of Science Johanna Riitakorpi and Bachelor of Laws, Student of Science in Economics and Business Administration, Student of Theology Antti Kähkönen have been selected as the new student representatives to the Board of the University of Helsinki in the Representative Council’s meeting on 10 October 2017. The new student representatives begin their two-year term in the University Board on 1 January 2018.
Riitakorpi has been a member of the University Board since September 2015 and member of the Board’s Audit Committee in 2016–2017. Besides the University Board, she has broad experience of university administration from department councils (2009–2010, 2014–2015) as well as from the University level: the Jubilee Fund, the Board of the Centre for Facilities and Properties, the working group on human resources policy, the coordinating working group on social responsibility and a review panel for the Teachers’ Academy during 2014–2015. Riitakorpi has also been a member of HYY’s Representative Council in 2012–2016 and acted in HYY’s Board as the member in charge of educational policy in 2014.
Kähkönen has previously acted as a student representative in positions such as the Faculty Council of the Faculty of Law (2013–2015), the University Collegium (2013–2015) and the University’s Quality Management Steering Group (2017). Kähkönen has also been a member of HYY’s Representative Council in 2011–2013. He has also worked as the Secretary General of the Student Union of Hanken School of Economics (2014–2015) and been a member of HYY Group’s Board since 2016.
In their speeches in the Representative Council meeting, both Kähkönen and Riitakorpi emphasised strengthening the internationality, communality, social responsibility and societal impact of the University. They also highlighted the need to strengthen internal trust at the University as well as cooperation between the students and staff. Both agree that one of the most important decisions awaiting the Board during its upcoming term is the selection of the new Rector for the following five-year term.
The Board of the University of Helsinki is the highest decision-making body of the University. The Board makes decisions on the University’s Strategy, operating and financial plans, budget, University Statutes, the operational structure of the University and the number of students accepted into the University. It also controls the University’s asset management and use, organises accounting and asset management monitoring, approves the University’s performance agreement with the Ministry of Education and Culture as well as any other significant or principled agreements, and issues the University’s statements on major matters of principle.