Suomen ylioppilaskuntien liitto

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  • Press release
    For release 26.4.2016

    The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) responds to the challenge issued by the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 by initiating a project to build a global centre for learning in Finland. Yesterday, SYL submitted an application for projects with a social dimension aimed at strengthening Finland’s future.

    » Read more

  • SR0_9536-EditThe performance target negotiations between the universities and the Ministry of Education and Culture are held in gloomy circumstances. This spring, decisions are supposed to be made about the financing for higher education institutions and their internal work division. The negotiations are shadowed by the massive education cuts and the staff cutbacks at universities. Another addition is the discussion of work division. Universities have tried to find common ground on the issue for many years, most recently in field specific working groups. 

    » Read more

  • SR0_9422-EditI cannot even call to mind when the first time was that I heard how ‘technology will change everything’. What I do know is that after that first time, I have heard technology being hyped in different ways more than enough: the digital divide, digital natives, digital media, and even e-health. I have heard futurology researchers speak about how technology will so fundamentally change the world that we could even call it a greater societal revolution than the industrial revolution was.

    And that’s not all! According to Sitra, megatrends simultaneously shape the world: globalisation, the closer joining of world trade and power politics, and the sustainability gap. Our soon to be century old Finland will face quite a bit of challenges, but fortunately there is still a long time until then. Because all that will of course happen, y’know, in that mystical and distant ‘future’. Right?

    » Read more

  • SR0_9376-EditFor students, the budget framework negotiations held no great surprise. The most important decisions from our perspective were the ones on cutting student financial aid. The Government decided to continue much as outlined in the government programme. The long term objective for savings was nonetheless made slightly more reasonable by lowering it from 150 million euro to 122 million euro. In practice, the following changes will be implemented:

    • the level of the study grant will be slashed from 337 euro to 250 euro per month
    • the total number of aid months will be shortened from 64 months to 54 months
    • the degree specific number of aid months will be shortened from 50 months to 48 months
    • the student loan compensation will be further decreased to a still undefined level
    • the state guarantee for student loans will be increased to 650 euro per month
    • parents’ income will no longer affect the student financial aid for upper secondary level students of age living on their own
    • the government will start preparations to include students in the general housing benefit system

    » Read more

  • Press release 1 April 2016

     

    MA Eero Manninen, 31, has been appointed Secretary General for the National Union of University Students in Finland. Manninen is currently employed as Secretary General at the Student Union at the University of Oulu. They have had several positions at the student union and has diverse experience from different positions of trust and boards.  Manninen is known as an active and well liked person in the Finnish university student movement.

    ‘It will be great to continue to work for a better future for students together with the others at SYL,’ says Manninen. ‘SYL and the student movement are living through very challenging times. That’s why during the coming three years we have to develop our union and activities to gain even more influence. The work we do at SYL is important for all of Finland’s future. I want to work on it with a positive attitude together with all the student movement,’ Manninen continues.

    The application process was in several stages. Mercuri Urval was our partner in the suitability evaluation. SYL’s executive board decided on the appointment based on the interviews and evaluations.

    SYL’s secretary general together with the board forms the management of the union. The focus of the work of the secretary general is on advocacy, finances, strategic development, and being the manager of our eight person expert secretariat. The term of office is three years.

    The introduction period starts in May and in August Manninen formally takes over after our current Secretary General Juha Töyrylä.

    Additional information:

    President Heikki Koponen,  +358 44 906 5007, firstname.surname@syl.fi

    Eero Manninen, +358 45 631 7145, eero.manninen@oyy.fi

  • Press release

    Monday 4 April 2016

     

    The nonaligned student organisations in Finland are worried about the future of Finnish education. For the past year, education news have been depressing reading: The rise in the level of education level in Finland has stopped and we are now falling behind other OECD countries, the reading skills of Finnish youth has declined and young people are becoming more cynical towards education. Exhaustion and mental health problems have increased among students. The extensive education cuts cast a long shadow over our education system. Students fear that the education sector will suffer also during the upcoming negotiations on the state budget.

    » Read more

  • 18 March 2016

     

    SYL’s head office quietens for a week over Easter, 21–28.3.2016. Both the staff and the board are on holiday. We return Tuesday 29 March.

    In urgent matters, please contact President Heikki Koponen (firstname.surname@syl.fi, tel. +358 44 906 5007) and from Wednesday 23 March Vice-President Siiri Nousiainen (firstname.surname@syl.fi, tel. +358 44 906 5005).

    We wish you all a sunny and relaxing Easter!

  •  

    Statement

    For release 9.3.2016

    The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, together with their member unions and second-level student organisations organise a protest against the cutbacks to student financial aid. Thousands from all over Finland are expected to take part.

    ‘Cutting the student financial aid equals cutting from the poorest group in society and from Finland’s future. Increasing the loan ratio in student financial aid and violent cutbacks combined with the instability in the economy and on the labour market paints a very dark future for young people contemplating higher education studies. No matter that economics professors keep repeating that the student loan is a sound investment, the message is hard to believe. The current Government offers young people very little to believe in for the future,’ states SAMOK President Jemi Heinilä.

    » Read more

  • The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SYL and SAMOK, condemn the cut-backs to student financial aid as unreasonable.

    The report by Professor Roope Uusitalo’s on how the cuts are to be implemented was published today. The national student organisations see these cuts as adding an abominable chapter to the history of Finnish education policy. “The Government seems to have abandoned the idea that has governed Finnish societal policy for decades; investing in knowledge and education as the key to a prosperous and healthy society. The current system for student financial aid, which emphasises the study grant, was created in the 90s during a deep recession. At the time, decision makers wisely saw investing in higher education for the population as worthwhile. The current Government now imagines achieving similar results by employing the opposite methods. This is not just about money, this is an ideological choice.

    » Read more

  • Press release
    26 February 2016

     

    Higher education students were satisfied with the services provided by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS). FSHS is suitable also for providing healthcare for students at universities of applied sciences (UAS). These are some of the conclusions from the final report of the planning and implementation group for the FSHS pilot. Today the group submitted its final report to Juha Rehula, the Finnish Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services.

    The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, emphasise that already for years they have been prepared to extend FSHS’ high quality healthcare services to encompass all higher education students.

    » Read more

» Selaa uutisia

  • Press release

    Monday 4 April 2016

     

    The nonaligned student organisations in Finland are worried about the future of Finnish education. For the past year, education news have been depressing reading: The rise in the level of education level in Finland has stopped and we are now falling behind other OECD countries, the reading skills of Finnish youth has declined and young people are becoming more cynical towards education. Exhaustion and mental health problems have increased among students. The extensive education cuts cast a long shadow over our education system. Students fear that the education sector will suffer also during the upcoming negotiations on the state budget.

    » Jatka lukemista

  • 18 March 2016

     

    SYL’s head office quietens for a week over Easter, 21–28.3.2016. Both the staff and the board are on holiday. We return Tuesday 29 March.

    In urgent matters, please contact President Heikki Koponen (firstname.surname@syl.fi, tel. +358 44 906 5007) and from Wednesday 23 March Vice-President Siiri Nousiainen (firstname.surname@syl.fi, tel. +358 44 906 5005).

    We wish you all a sunny and relaxing Easter!

  •  

    Statement

    For release 9.3.2016

    The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, together with their member unions and second-level student organisations organise a protest against the cutbacks to student financial aid. Thousands from all over Finland are expected to take part.

    ‘Cutting the student financial aid equals cutting from the poorest group in society and from Finland’s future. Increasing the loan ratio in student financial aid and violent cutbacks combined with the instability in the economy and on the labour market paints a very dark future for young people contemplating higher education studies. No matter that economics professors keep repeating that the student loan is a sound investment, the message is hard to believe. The current Government offers young people very little to believe in for the future,’ states SAMOK President Jemi Heinilä.

    » Jatka lukemista

  • Press release
    26 February 2016

     

    Higher education students were satisfied with the services provided by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS). FSHS is suitable also for providing healthcare for students at universities of applied sciences (UAS). These are some of the conclusions from the final report of the planning and implementation group for the FSHS pilot. Today the group submitted its final report to Juha Rehula, the Finnish Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services.

    The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, emphasise that already for years they have been prepared to extend FSHS’ high quality healthcare services to encompass all higher education students.

    » Jatka lukemista

  • In what light do international students and youth see Finland? Racism is present every day and asylum seekers fear fire bomb strikes. To get even get an interview when applying for a job, you often need to be fluent in Finnish and have a Finnish-sounding name. The bureaucracy is difficult to master.
    Shuo Wang and Osama Alaloulou wrote well on the topic in the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in a letter to the Editor on 10 January 2016. International students would like to stay in Finland, but it has been made very difficult for them. In 2012, when the University of Helsinki conducted a study on international graduate employability and barriers to finding jobs, 86% of respondents perceived lacking skills in Finnish or Swedish to be a barrier. Other obstacles included the lack of networks (51%), discrimination based on ethnicity during recruitment (32%), and insufficient career counseling at the higher education institutions (26%).

    » Jatka lukemista

  • 151121_SYL_kuva_liittokokous_hallitus2016_540x343px_nettisivuille (ID 10194)

    7 January 2016

    The Executive Board 2016 of the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) has held its constitutive meeting and divided areas of responsibilities.

    The board also decided on the respective sponsored student unions (Fi. “kummi”). In adherence with good traditions, SYL has kept in touch on a regular basis with our member corporations, the university student unions.  Each board member is appointed sponsored member unions, for whom they serve as a sort of godparent. This makes it easier for officers of the student unions to contact their sponsor in the SYL executive board with whatever is on their mind.

    » Jatka lukemista

  • 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.

    » Jatka lukemista

  • Statement 2.8.2011

    The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) urges universities to pay attention to the integration of first-year students into the student community and to how they take on their studies.

    » Jatka lukemista

  • Statement 2.8.2011

    The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) urges universities to pay attention to the integration of first-year students into the student community and to how they take on their studies.

    » Jatka lukemista

  • “SYL: Ei pitene ilman nuoria”
    “FSF: Inte längre utan unga”

    Statement 12.7.2011 (suomeksi / på svenska)
    For immediate release

    SYL: No further without the young

    » Jatka lukemista

» Selaa uutisia

  • Press release
    For release 26.4.2016

    The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) responds to the challenge issued by the centenary of Finland’s independence in 2017 by initiating a project to build a global centre for learning in Finland. Yesterday, SYL submitted an application for projects with a social dimension aimed at strengthening Finland’s future.

    We have already begun assembling a team for the project and, among others, the labour market unions Akava, SAK, and STTK as well as the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) have expressed their support for the project. We want assemble the most diverse possible group of societal organisations for the project.

    “Finland is renowned globally as one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to knowhow and education. We want to see Finland keep its position as such and make Finland a place you come to learn about learning,” says SYL President Heikki Koponen. “Our first step will be to in autumn 2017 organise the world’s most diverse international learning event. The event will be realised in line with the theme of the centenary in collaboration with business life, civic society, and the public sector. We welcome everyone to participate in building a global learning centre in Finland!”

    We will continue building the global centre for learning long term for several years. For the project, we will establish an independent organisation, which will ensure continuity after the centenary. During 2016–2017, SYL will coordinate the project and the organising of the event together with our project partners. Come join us!

    More information:

    Heikki Koponen, President, (tel. +358 44 906 5007, firstname.surname@syl.fi)

     

  • Press release 1 April 2016

     

    MA Eero Manninen, 31, has been appointed Secretary General for the National Union of University Students in Finland. Manninen is currently employed as Secretary General at the Student Union at the University of Oulu. They have had several positions at the student union and has diverse experience from different positions of trust and boards.  Manninen is known as an active and well liked person in the Finnish university student movement.

    ‘It will be great to continue to work for a better future for students together with the others at SYL,’ says Manninen. ‘SYL and the student movement are living through very challenging times. That’s why during the coming three years we have to develop our union and activities to gain even more influence. The work we do at SYL is important for all of Finland’s future. I want to work on it with a positive attitude together with all the student movement,’ Manninen continues.

    The application process was in several stages. Mercuri Urval was our partner in the suitability evaluation. SYL’s executive board decided on the appointment based on the interviews and evaluations.

    SYL’s secretary general together with the board forms the management of the union. The focus of the work of the secretary general is on advocacy, finances, strategic development, and being the manager of our eight person expert secretariat. The term of office is three years.

    The introduction period starts in May and in August Manninen formally takes over after our current Secretary General Juha Töyrylä.

    Additional information:

    President Heikki Koponen,  +358 44 906 5007, firstname.surname@syl.fi

    Eero Manninen, +358 45 631 7145, eero.manninen@oyy.fi

  • Press release

    Monday 4 April 2016

     

    The nonaligned student organisations in Finland are worried about the future of Finnish education. For the past year, education news have been depressing reading: The rise in the level of education level in Finland has stopped and we are now falling behind other OECD countries, the reading skills of Finnish youth has declined and young people are becoming more cynical towards education. Exhaustion and mental health problems have increased among students. The extensive education cuts cast a long shadow over our education system. Students fear that the education sector will suffer also during the upcoming negotiations on the state budget.

    ‘Politicians often motivate cut-backs by saying that they do not want to leave a debt for their children to pay off. We, as representatives of the young generation, fear that the Government through its actions will leave a much heavier debt for us to pay in the form of an education debt.’ say the presidents of the organisations. Cuts at all levels of education, from early childhood care to higher education, will weaken the quality Finnish education is world-renowned for and nibble off future knowhow. For a teacher without a job or a student left to their own devices it does not matter how unpleasant politicians found the decisions to make.

    The earlier budget cuts in the education sector during both the current and the previous government have been hard on secondary and higher education institutions in the whole country. Those who supply education cannot reform the education system to better meet future demands when simultaneously new decision on cut-backs seem to be made in relation to every government programme and every budget negotiation. We cannot reform the education system without appropriate resources, professionals and researchers in education who are dedicated to their work, or without investing in the wellbeing of students as well as student finances.

    ‘We ask only one thing of the budget negotiators: Give us back our belief in the future!’ the presidents say.

    The organisations will supervise the budgetary framework negotiations and organise a pop up restaurant with student food. Traditional student delicacies will be served to negotiators at 7:30am. The campaign is intended to remind budget negotiators about the consequences slashing student financial aid will have on student finances, which are already in a bad state.

     

    Contact details:

    President Henna Hirvonen (Akavan opiskelijat) tel. 040 768 1365, firstname.lastname@akava.fi

    President Eero Rämö (Finnish Youth Co-Operation – Allianssi) tel. +358 40 539 2737, firstname.lastname@alli.fi

    President Nicholas Kujala (Finlands Svenska Skolungdomsförbund FSS rf) tel. 044 277 8669, firstname.lastname@skolungdom.fi

    President Bennie Wardi (Finnish Student Sports Federation OLL), tel. +358 44 780 0211, firstname.lastname@oll.fi

    President Jasmina Khabbal (Suomen Ammattiin Opiskelevien Liitto – SAKKI), tel. 045 139 3051, firstname.lastname@sakkinet.fi

    President Elli Luukkainen (The Union of Upper Secondary Students in Finland SLL), tel. +358 50 433 3171, firstname.lastname@lukio.fi

    President Rene Stolt (Suomen Opiskelija-Allianssi – OSKU Ry) tel. 044 977 6356,firstname.lastname@osku.info

    President Jemi Heinilä (University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland SAMOK), tel. +358 50 389 1000firstname.lastname@samok.fi

    President Heikki Koponen (National Union of University Students in Finland – SYL), tel. +358 44 906 5007, firstname.surname@syl.fi

    Ordförande Emma Koskimaa (STTK-Opiskelijat) tel. 0405487938,firstname.surname@sttk.fi

     

    1) http://www.hs.fi/kotimaa/a1448337176460

    2) http://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2015/09/07/nuorten-lukutaito-rapistuu-huono-osaisuus-selittava-tekija

     

  • 18 March 2016

     

    SYL’s head office quietens for a week over Easter, 21–28.3.2016. Both the staff and the board are on holiday. We return Tuesday 29 March.

    In urgent matters, please contact President Heikki Koponen (firstname.surname@syl.fi, tel. +358 44 906 5007) and from Wednesday 23 March Vice-President Siiri Nousiainen (firstname.surname@syl.fi, tel. +358 44 906 5005).

    We wish you all a sunny and relaxing Easter!

  •  

    Statement

    For release 9.3.2016

    The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, together with their member unions and second-level student organisations organise a protest against the cutbacks to student financial aid. Thousands from all over Finland are expected to take part.

    ‘Cutting the student financial aid equals cutting from the poorest group in society and from Finland’s future. Increasing the loan ratio in student financial aid and violent cutbacks combined with the instability in the economy and on the labour market paints a very dark future for young people contemplating higher education studies. No matter that economics professors keep repeating that the student loan is a sound investment, the message is hard to believe. The current Government offers young people very little to believe in for the future,’ states SAMOK President Jemi Heinilä.

    ‘We cannot but wonder at the way the decisions about the slashing of student financial aid were made during the negotiations about the government programme. The proposed cutbacks and the schedule for them included in the Government Programme are based on proposals from the Ministry of Finance, whose calculations and scheduling are incorrect.  Now that also decision makers have seen the true nature of the “reform” of student financial aid, we expect them to reconsider the cutbacks,’ says SYL President Heikki Koponen.

    Finnish higher education students demand a far-reaching discussion on the social security for students, a discussion where students are included. The current situation is entirely unacceptable for both students and the student financial aid system, with changes to student financial aid at every turn – government programme, budget framework, and budget negotiations.

    Contact details:

    President Jemi Heinilä, SAMOK        President Heikki Koponen, SYL

    jemi.heinilä@samok.fi                         heikki.koponen@syl.fi

    050 389 1000                                           044 906 5007

  • Press release
    26 February 2016

     

    Higher education students were satisfied with the services provided by the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS). FSHS is suitable also for providing healthcare for students at universities of applied sciences (UAS). These are some of the conclusions from the final report of the planning and implementation group for the FSHS pilot. Today the group submitted its final report to Juha Rehula, the Finnish Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services.

    The national unions of higher education students in Finland, SAMOK and SYL, emphasise that already for years they have been prepared to extend FSHS’ high quality healthcare services to encompass all higher education students.

    “The successful pilot must be the basis for ensuring FSHS’ future operations in the SOTE reform,” says SYL President Heikki Koponen. From the perspective of higher education students’ healthcare, it is of vital importance that the responsibility for implementing services is clearly defined to someone specialised in student healthcare who can operate nationwide as well as provide regionally equal services. FSHS is a pioneer in Finnish healthcare and showing the way for others in, for instance, digital services and developing self-care.

    Using FSHS to provide healthcare for higher education students would be a wise investment for the future. When students receive the preventive student healthcare services they need, they move on to working life in good health and have longer work careers. A well-functioning student healthcare saves government resources originating in more expensive specialised healthcare services, social expenses, and lost tax revenue.

    “FSHS can provide services for all higher education students in Finland. Now our politicians need to make the critical decisions.” says SAMOK President Jemi Heinilä.

    Contact details:

    Jemi Heinilä, SAMOK President, tel. +358 50 389 1000, jemi.heinila@samok.fi

    Jussi-Pekka Rode, SAMOK Adviser in Social Policy, tel. +358 50 389 1015, jussi-pekka.rode@samok.fi

    Heikki Koponen, SYL President, tel. +358 44 906 5007, heikki.koponen@syl.fi

    Turkka Sinisalo, SYL Social Policy Officer, tel. +358 41 515 2227, turkka.sinisalo@syl.fi

     

  • The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) is troubled by the legislative changes in preparation at the Ministry of the Interior regarding income limits for family reunions. The draft proposes that the income limits would be applied also to Finnish citizens. Current legislation on income limits does not apply to citizens of Finland.

    Every year, hundreds of Finnish students participate in studies or traineeships in countries outside the European Union. Studies show that many of these students find a long term partner abroad. “We do not see what the Government wants to accomplish through the proposed changes. If the bill were to be carried in its current form, the low income level of students would make it impossible for their spouse to move to Finland. This kind of legislation would also prevent highly educated couples and families to temporarily live in Finland as their income level would be too low. We worry that the legislation would force Finns with a higher education to move abroad in order to be with their loved ones. We cannot afford this kind of brain drain,” says SYL President Heikki Koponen.

    The proposed changes on family reunion are still being drafted, and a government bill has not yet been proposed. SYL appeals to the Ministry of the Interior and the Government: extending income limits to be applied also to Finnish citizens is a change for which we can see only negative consequences.

    Contact details:

    President Heikki Koponen, firstname.surname@syl.fi, +358 44 906 5007
    Social Policy Officer Silja Silvasti, firstname.surname@syl.fi, +358 41 515 2233

  • Opiskelijahinnat_VRFinnish student organisations and VR have reached an agreement on intensifying collaboration in order to increase students’ travel by train. As VR permanently lower prices also student tickets become more affordable.

    VR is lowering the long-distance fares on average 25%. The new pricing also applies to student tickets. Students will receive a 30% discount on the price for a Basic ticket at the time of purchase.

    The most affordable alternative for students as well as others will be the new Saver ticket. The fare for a Saver ticket is the same for everyone and no additional discounts apply. A limited number of Saver tickets are available for each departure.

    An example: A student travelling from Oulu to Tampere has previously paid 36.10 euro for their ticket. With the new discount, the student fare for is 31 euro, or for the most affordable ticket, the Saver ticket, 25.10 euro.

    The new pricing applies to domestic long-distance tickets and discounts. The student discount for local and zone traffic remains at 50%, since the fares for these are not lowered as for long-distance tickets. The new pricing does not affect the pricing of HSL tickets or HSL discounts.

    -   More affordable train tickets are welcome news from a student perspective. The amount of money students spend on travelling is a mandatory expense for many of them. Therefore, cheaper tickets means students have more money for other costs of living, say the chairpersons of the student organisations Elli Luukkainen (SLL), Heikki Koponen (SYL), Jemi Heinilä (SAMOK), and Musa Jallow (SAKKI).

    -   Students travel a lot, and we see them as an important customer group. Through this agreement we will intensify marketing collaboration and together develop services designed to make travel easier for students, particularly digital services, says Maisa Romanainen, Senior Vice President, Passenger Services.

    -   Travel discounts are very important for students. Together with VR, we will start developing easy-to-use travel services and content for students, says Tiia Lehtola, Managing Director at the students’ national discount service Frank.

    Read more about VR’s new pricing online vr.fi/uusihinta/en

    The new pricing is effective as of today. You can buy your ticket on any of the available sales channels.

    Contact details:

    Elisa Tarkiainen, Secretary General, The Union of Upper Secondary Students in Finland (SLL), 040 077 4789, elisa.tarkiainen@lukio.fi

    Antti Malste, Secretary General, The National Union of Vocational Students in Finland SAKKI, 050 3100 570, antti.malste@sakkinet.fi

    Milla Halme, Director of Advocacy, University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland SAMOK, 050 389 1018, milla.halme@samok.fi

    Juha Töyrylä, Secretary General, the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) 041 515 2229, juha.toyryla@syl.fi

    Tiia Lehtola, Frank Students, 040 771 3581, tiia@frank.fi,http://www.frank.fi

    VR Group’s mediadesk, 0307 0123. The media desk is open 24/7.

    Frank was founded in 2013 and is the students’ own discount service, gathering all student discounts in Finland on one website. Frank offers valuable discounts for students. For companies, Frank is a way to reach the diverse group of students in Finland. In cooperation with Elisa, Frank also offers student identification services, such as the national student card. The owners of Frank are the national student organisations SYL, SAMOK, SLL, and SAKKI together with Kilroy Finland. Kilroy is the leading Nordic travel agency for youth and students. http://www.frank.fi

    VR Group is a diverse service company in the field of travel, logistics, and infrastructure. The environment and sustainability are important values for the VR Group. The group has around 9,000 employees. VR Group’s main focus is Finland, but it also has operations abroad, particularly in Russia and Sweden. http://www.vrgroup.fi

  • In what light do international students and youth see Finland? Racism is present every day and asylum seekers fear fire bomb strikes. To get even get an interview when applying for a job, you often need to be fluent in Finnish and have a Finnish-sounding name. The bureaucracy is difficult to master.
    Shuo Wang and Osama Alaloulou wrote well on the topic in the Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat in a letter to the Editor on 10 January 2016. International students would like to stay in Finland, but it has been made very difficult for them. In 2012, when the University of Helsinki conducted a study on international graduate employability and barriers to finding jobs, 86% of respondents perceived lacking skills in Finnish or Swedish to be a barrier. Other obstacles included the lack of networks (51%), discrimination based on ethnicity during recruitment (32%), and insufficient career counseling at the higher education institutions (26%).

    In Canada, for instance, similar problems have been addressed by combining language instruction, mentoring, and traineeship programmes. Thanks to this, Canada has achieved an 80% employment rate among international students. Also anonymous job application procedures would ensure more equality. For instance, the Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation found that the probability of advancing to interviews increased by 50 per cent for individuals of non-Western origin when applications were handled anonymously. Wand and Alaloulou also propose, for example, that students who have completed a Master’s degree would be granted a permanent residence permit. All students do not necessarily stay in Finland, and that is also positive: Finland can efficiently further global development when experts who have received a high-quality education in Finland go back and develop their home countries. One example of this is the Somali presidential candidate Fadumo Dayib, who was educated in Finland.
    Students also want to further employment. In the years 2016–2017, the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL), will work on a project with the objective of creating more traineeship options, communicate about the potential of international students, and collecting information about successful pilots. True internationalisation is a prerequisite for competitiveness and education export. We want to challenge all higher education institutions, labour market organisations and Finnish society to welcome internationalisation – it pays off.

    Alviina Alametsä, SYL (International education politics, development co-operation, employment affairs)
    Gramoz Shpendi, SAMOK (International education politics, organizations, equality)

    1 VALOA-hankeselvitys “Employability of International Graduates Educated in Finnish Higher Education Institutions” (2012)Helsingin yliopisto, urapalvelut
    2 Åslund & Skans 2007: Do anonymous job application procedures level the playing field?, Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation, Working paper 2007:31, http://www.ifau.se/upload/pdf/se/2007/wp07-31.pdf
    3 VALOA-hankeselvitys “Employability of International Graduates Educated in Finnish Higher Education Institutions” (2012)Helsingin yliopisto, urapalvelut

    kadulla3Gramoz Shpendi

  • 151121_SYL_kuva_liittokokous_hallitus2016_540x343px_nettisivuille (ID 10194)

    7 January 2016

    The Executive Board 2016 of the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) has held its constitutive meeting and divided areas of responsibilities.

    The board also decided on the respective sponsored student unions (Fi. “kummi”). In adherence with good traditions, SYL has kept in touch on a regular basis with our member corporations, the university student unions.  Each board member is appointed sponsored member unions, for whom they serve as a sort of godparent. This makes it easier for officers of the student unions to contact their sponsor in the SYL executive board with whatever is on their mind.

    Areas of responsibility and sponsored student unions:

    Heikki Koponen, president, tel. 044 906 5007

    Siiri Nousiainen, vice president, communications (OYY, VYY)

    Alviina Alametsä, international education policy, development cooperation, working life (TYY, Snellman University, ÅAS)

    Ella Keski-Panula, social policy: student health care, housing, municipal elections (HYY, LYY)

    Annu Komulainen, social policy: student finances, environment, wellbeing, equality incl. language (JYY, ISYY)

    Tuomas Kuoppala, education policy: higher education structures, education export (Tamy, TTYY, SHS)

    Mia Lehto, education policy: digitalisation and year-round studies, study ability and associations (AYY, LTKY, ArtSU)

    Email addresses in the formfirstname.surname@syl.fi. Phone numbers will be confirmed shortly.

    Additional information: President Heikki Koponen, +358 44 906 5007

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