Suomen ylioppilaskuntien liitto


  • 2 October 2015

    Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen has already reminded us of asylum seekers’ right to pre-primary and basic education in Finland. The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) hopes that also secondary and tertiary education is remembered and resources increased for education for asylum seekers.

    It is important to ensure that asylum seekers become a part of Finnish society as quickly as possible. Education plays a crucial role in this. Our aim must be that all who have been granted asylum complete at least secondary education. Many of the Syrian refugees were enrolled at higher education institutions in their home country but prevented from graduating due to the conflict. We must support them and promote their way to finishing their higher education in their new home country.

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  • 25th September 2015

    All around Finland this autumn, university students elect their representatives for the highest decision-making bodies of the student unions – the student parliaments or representative councils. Student parliament elections are held on Monday and Tuesday 3–4 November in 13 student unions, i.e. all student unions except the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY). HYY also arranges elections every other year, but with a different rhythm. All student unions have student parliament elections every other year, with the exception of the annual elections at the Student Union of Hanken School of Economics.

    The nomination of candidates is taking place now. We will also be providing a candidate matcher to help students find a suitable candidate to vote for. The hashtag used for the elections is #edarivaalit (in Swedish #kårval).

  • 150828_Frank_logo_boksi_musta (ID 7495)28.8.2015

    In July, the student discount company Frank got a new CEO when Master of Social Sciences Tiia Lehtola, 28, took over. Lehtola previously worked at Groupon and was responsible for the results management of strategic sales.

    – Frank has succeeded in creating a win-win service, through which it is easy for companies to effectively reach the consumers who will have the greatest purchasing power in the future, all students in Finland. I am very excited to work on developing and expanding Frank together with our owners, says Lehtola.

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  • 150828_SYL_kuva_Sanna_Juutinen_Turkka_Sinisalo_540x352px_web (ID 7498)28.8.2015

    In August, two new members of staff joined SYL: Sanna Juutinen as Administrative Secretary and Turkka Sinisalo as Social Policy Officer. Who are they and what does their work include, in general and this autumn?

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  • Comment 14th August 2015

    Education cuts put Finland out of the frying pan into the fire #highered #budgetcuts

    The Finnish Ministry of Finance on Friday 14 August published its budget proposal for 2016. The list of cuts planned for the education sector is gruesome. Already for 2016, education cuts total 210 million euro, and the education sector is one of those hit the hardest by the budget proposal. The planned cuts endanger the Finnish education system as a whole and its foundation of providing everyone equal opportunities for education regardless of background. If realised, these massive cuts threaten to break down the Finland of education and know-how we depend on.

    –Students are not alone in worrying about the immense cuts aimed at education. Also the Confederation of Finnish Industries and trade unions have criticised the cuts, worried parents have contacted the media, citizens have protested, and many others have expressed their astonishment over the choices the Finnish government has made, comments President Jari Järvenpää from the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL).

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  • Student admissions are being announced and student organisations are worried about the transfers between upper secondary education and tertiary education as well as transfers between higher education institutions. Currently, transfer paths are not working well, which makes it harder for students to commence their studies and also affects the study flow.

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  • 9 June 2015

    I participated in the Second Annual Seminar on the Internationalisation of Higher Education, which was co-organised by the Education for Diversities (E4D) research group of the University of Helsinki and Turku University of Applied Sciences. The event was titled ‘East Meets West in the Internationalisation of Higher Education’, and we discussed the role of cultural perceptions in academia, reconceptualising ‘the Other’, social imaginaries, western students moving to the East, Danish students moving to China and different tools to prepare students for international experiences. I got so much food for thought that I just had to give my five cents on the topic.

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  • 2.6.2015

    At international seminars, the message for Finland the last couple of years has been that Finland needs to come to a decision regarding the question of tuition fees for students from outside the EU and EEA countries. The previous Finnish Government could not reach a decision, but the new government staked out its view on the issue already in its Migration policy guidelines. During the Spring Forum for international affairs in higher education in Helsinki, participants could take part of the results presented from Sweden and Denmark on the impact of introducing tuition fees for foreigners. The results are not convincing. Let us, once again, remind ourselves why tuition fees are not a good idea from the perspective of higher education funding and internationalisation.

    Tuition fees for foreign students will not save Finnish higher education funding. In Sweden, state funding for higher education institution was cut by approximately 500 million SEK after fees were introduced. In 2013, only two Swedish universities ended up gaining from the reform after decreased state financing and income from tuition fees had been accounted for.  In total, the reform led to a deficit of around 150 million SEK. The argument that tuition fees broaden the base for higher education funding is not sustainable, since a steep decrease in the number of students will follow. This is what happened in Sweden and Denmark. Taking into account scholarship schemes, support services, expenses for marketing and recruitment, the deficit is even more substantial.

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  • Statement 27 May 2015

    The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SYL and SAMOK, are shocked, disappointed, and angry at the plans presented by the new government. The Government Programme published 27 May weakens students’ standing in many ways. Students’ livelihood, housing, free education – all the Finnish cornerstones of education are under fire.

    “We do understand the need for adjustments in state finances, but we cannot accept such one-sided cuts. Research shows that those with a higher level of education are also those who have the longest and most productive work careers. What sense is there in cutting where the expected profit for state finances is excellent? This is preposterous!” boom presidents Joonas Peltonen (SAMOK) and Jari Järvenpää (SYL).

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  • Comment 13.5.2015
    Free for publication

    As part of the government negotiations led by Juha Sipilä, the working group’s policies on the EU, immigration, foreign policy and security policy were published today. In the document on immigration, the working group proposes to introduce tuition fees for students who come from non-EU and non-EEA countries.

    The Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences – SAMOK and the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) are disappointed by the proposed tuition fees for students from non-EU and non-EEA countries. Free education is the basis of Finnish educational policy and the welfare state, and abolishing it is a serious mistake from the Finnish government.

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  • Student admissions are being announced and student organisations are worried about the transfers between upper secondary education and tertiary education as well as transfers between higher education institutions. Currently, transfer paths are not working well, which makes it harder for students to commence their studies and also affects the study flow.

    Of the age group finishing upper secondary education, 70 per cent apply to higher education – but only 32 per cent are successful in their first application.  Reasons for gap years between secondary and tertiary education include conscription, not being accepted to your study place of choice, and general insecurity about what to study. The quotas recently introduced in student admission may relieve the problem, although there is no evidence of their effect yet.

    In addition to transfers between secondary and tertiary education, there are also transfers between and within higher education institutions.  We should not punish students for having failed in their choice of education; instead we should offer them the opportunity to transfer to an education more to their liking.  The study path is to be continuous and students’ eligibility for continuing education is not to be weakened. Both the student and the educational institution are left idling when a student discontinues their studies. Flexible transfers ensure that it is possible for students to reorient themselves and smoothly continue their studies.

    Good student counselling at all stages of studying ensures the possibility of flexible transfers both between secondary and higher education, as well as within and between higher education institutions. Students need to have sufficient knowledge and a realistic view of education and their livelihood as students in order to make the right choices when applying. For students transferring within and between higher education institutions, flexible modes for applying to a new education should be made available. We call for higher education institutions to make sure the above is realised.

    Finland needs diversified knowledge both currently and in the future. We must make sure that each and every one has the opportunity for self-development, lifelong learning, and maintaining their relevance for the labour market relevance. The education system must make it possible for as many as possible to educate themselves, in different stages of their lives.

    Contact details:
    President Musa Jallow (SAKKI) tel. +358 44 082 4221,
    President Jari Järvenpää (SYL), tel. +358 44 906 5007,
    President Tatu Koivisto (SLL), tel. +358 50 431 4995,
    President Kimi Merikukka (OSKU), tel. +358 44 977 6356,
    President Joonas Peltonen (SAMOK), tel. +358 50 389 1000,


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