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Student members in the University Board want a prosperous and diverse university

26.09.2013

There is really no need to persuade new student members of the University Board to praise the University of Helsinki.

- My time at the university has been great and I like our university very much. That is why I wanted to get to the so-called top and have influence, says Jussi Nuortimo.

- In my adult life, the University has provided me with everything that you can really get: a new home city, many friends, as well as a more open-minded worldview, describes Jannica Aalto.

HYY's Representative Council appointed Nuortimo and Aalto to the University Board for the years 2014-2015 at its meeting on 28 Aug.
The Board is the highest decision-making body in the University, which decides on the key objectives of the University's operations and finances, strategy and guidance principles. The duty of Geography Student Aalto and History Student Nuortimo is to represent all students of the university in the Board.  

Getting rid of rigidity

There is still time until the term of the Board, but new student members already have many issues on their mind, which they want to influence. Both want to get rid of unnecessary bureaucratic rigidity.

- It's not so much that there is too much administration, but administration is too rigid. We are too careful of making sure that nothing goes wrong and therefore we miss opportunities to do something new, Nuortimo says.

Aalto wants to improve the well-being of the entire academic community.

- We need to motivate everyone to learning, teaching and research, so that this would be a community where everyone is doing well. It is difficult to ask for top results if one does not feel good at the university.

Honouring diversity   

Student members consider diversity as one of the best aspects of the University of Helsinki.

- We have plenty of inspiring teaching and high-quality research. In some units, the University of Helsinki is right at the top in the development of teaching, for example, says Nuortimo. Aalto points out that interdisciplinary aspect also creates great opportunities to expand knowledge to various fields.

However, we cannot make the most of diversity when different units work alone, estimates Nuortimo.

- It feels like we consist of many small universities. A transition from one campus to another is like switching to another university. 

Good university for students, good university for all

Both Aalto and Nuortimo have acted in HYY Board and various elected offices at the University; Aalto in a department council, among other things, Nuortimo in the University Collegium and a faculty council. Nuortimo's own experiences of studying are mainly from the City Centre Campus, while Aalto has had the time to study in three different faculties and three universities.

However, Aalto emphasises that the purpose is not to represent only the viewpoints of two students in the Board. She hopes that students will contact their representatives and wishes to develop new forms of communications.

Nuortimo points out that the Board has to consider the interests of the entire university – not forgetting issues which are important for students. However, he does not think that these are two separate matters:

- Students are the largest group at the University. Therefore, if a decision is bad for students, it is also bad for the entire University.