Archive for the ‘International Affairs’ Category

It is all about Europe

Monday, September 17th, 2018

How is the European Union doing right now, eight months before the European elections? The biggest democracy event of the world is more than half a year away, but it is worth starting to talk about it now at Aalto, too.

The AYY Board visited Brussels in the summer to share with EU decision-makers what is going on with Aalto students and to discuss EU collaboration and the Union’s topical themes, such as globalisation, circular economy and digitalisation. Our entourage also featured a delegation from our partner student union from Tsinghua, with whom we met e.g. Commissioner Jyrki Katainen.

A lot has happened since the EU parliamentary elections in 2014.

The economy of the EU area is growing again, but the unity of the Union has been tested by both the refugee crisis and the unforeseen withdrawal process of a member state. Despite the tensions, the Brexit negotiations have reminded Europeans of how much the EU affects our daily lives.

The ability of us EU members to take for granted the free movement of people, thoughts and things is unique. The central values of the EU are also a prerequisite for world-class educational and research collaboration in the international Aalto community.

According to a recent survey conducted by Taloustutkimus, 89 per cent of young Finns identify themselves as citizens of the European Union, and 81 per cent consider EU membership a good thing.

The survey also highlights the role of the EU as a resolver of global challenges. Our biggest societal challenges, such as climate change and major changes in working life, will not be resolved on a national level.

In the upcoming European elections, a new European Parliament will be elected that is responsible for EU legislation alongside the European Council consisting of the member states’ governments. Hence, Finland’s direction in terms of the EU will also be defined in the national parliamentary election, which also takes place next spring.

The winning party of the elections will lead not only Finland but also Europe: the future ministers will take charge of the EU during Finland’s Presidency period in autumn 2019 and will have the opportunity to influence the Union’s direction. Finland’s future Commissioner will most likely also be decided based on the parliamentary election results.

In other words, it is worth considering the whole election spring as an entity – our collective future will be built on all levels of decision-making.

So, now is the time for the student generation to announce what kind of a future we want.

During the autumn and the beginning of next year, AYY intends to prepare for the election spring by bringing up various future topics considered important by students. What kind of a Europe would you want? The decisions made now will have the most impact on our opportunities, in particular.

Rosa Väisänen
Advocacy Specialist: international affairs and new students

Welcome to Espoo – let’s develop the community together!

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Why did you come to Finland?

I’ve heard that’s the question people with foreign background are most often asked here. I’m not going to ask that. Of course you came to Finland! It’s the happiest country in the world with top quality education and a super active student culture. We have fresh air, lush nature (and snow!), room to breathe and to develop yourself. Now it’s up to you to make the most of your journey in the land of Nokia, Rovio and Junction (all from Espoo, by the way)!

I’m especially happy you chose to study in Espoo! Espoo is the second largest city in Finland (with 279,044 inhabitans, to be precise) and you’re one of the about 18,500 students in town. Innovation is a word you cannot avoid when talking about Espoo – we’re home to the biggest innovation ecosystem in Northern Europe, Espoo Innovation Garden, and we were named the Most Intelligent Community in the World in 2018. Not bad, eh?

Maybe the best thing about the innovation ecosystem in Espoo is that it’s strongly based on the idea of cooperation, peer-support and community, so don’t hesitate to get involved. Your journey into the community might start in the student organizations, continue to the startup scene, evolve to masters thesis work at one of the research organizations or companies, and before you notice, you’ve decided to stay here. All it takes is a curious mind, an active attitude, and building your networks from the day one.

Espoo is one of the most international cities in Finland – currently home to 155 different nationalities. According to estimations, the amount of foreign language speakers in Espoo will double by 2030, when we’ll have 30% of the working age population not speaking Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue. We encourage everyone to learn Finnish or Swedish, as it makes integration into the job market and into the society much easier, but we also want it to be easy to settle down in Espoo and to use the services you are entitled to as our resident.

In 2017, the city council made the decision to introduce English as one of the languages of service in Espoo. We’re the first city in Finland to do this, and as there is no guide book for a process this size, we need your help. Please share your ideas and experiences about public services (e.g. health care, libraries, sport venues) and help us develop a city that works for everyone. The survey is open until 10.9.2018.

Kiitos paljon, and once again, a warm welcome to Espoo. we’re happy you decided to study here!

Milla Ovaska

The writer works as the Head of International Affairs in the City of Espoo and her favourite lunch spot in Otaniemi is in Dipoli. See you around!

P.S. My colleagues at VisitEspoo would get angry at me if I forgot to mention how awesome nature and culture Espoo has! National park, island hopping, museums and activity parks can all be found at www.visitespoo.fi

Chinese lessons for the Aalto community

Monday, June 11th, 2018

The previous and current boards of the Aalto University Student Union visited China and South Korea to get to know the local student community. In this blog post the Board members open their experiences on the trip.

AYY’s delegation in Beijing

The first week of AYY’s China visit was spent mostly in Shanghai (our Student center delegation spent this week in South Korea, read the blog post) and the second in Beijing, entertained as guests of the Tsinghua university.

The purpose of the trip was to expand views of the participants, and through that the Student Union’s, on the scope of universities and student unions beyond Finnish borders. China offered excellent opportunities for this, due to the differences in cultures.

One of the big lessons on the trip was that despite the differences China and Finland have, both struggle with the same kinds of problems regarding studies. Good examples include getting the international students integrated into the student community and keeping up good negotiating conditions to the universities.

The solutions, however, differ between the two countries. So, the goals of” sharing best practices” and” benchmarking” succeeded well. Expanding your point of view and getting to know various kinds of solutions will be sure to refresh AYY’s activities in the future.

Our delegation simultaneously improved their skills in working in a global atmosphere, meaning learning to account for cultural differences and using different languages in discussing both heavier and lighter topics.

Internationalizing is a key factor in the modern world. What we learned will help us better to act in our ever so increasingly international Student Union, and the message spreads to other actives in the Aalto community.

We had the pleasure of getting to know our hosts, the Tsinghua uni. staff and political figures during various events. We also got to know several corporate companies along with distinct culturally valuable landmarks and places.

Shanghai is an especially interesting center of commerce in China, where we had the opportunity to see the opportunities Finnish people can have in China, and in return bring a Finnish point of view to China and its environs.

Both our trip to China and the upcoming Chinese trip to Europe is being aimed to be funded mainly with outside grants, funds and corporate cooperation. The goals of the trip were tied in many ways on corporate life.

China is an interesting business venture for Finnish and other western companies, meaning it is a potential site for a future career to students of Aalto University. Thus, bringing AYY, the Aalto community and Aalto itself known in a positive way in China is important.

We hope that cooperation will be the edge we need in the future, giving us a better opportunity to succeed in one of the largest economies in the world.

Western interest in general towards China also opens new opportunities for the Student Union in corporate cooperation and enables several important and noteworthy meetings with decision-makers both in Finland, Europe and in China. The meetings will then create new opportunities for the advocacy work our Student Union does.

Finnish students caps on the Great Wall of China

Each trip is of course countered with a return trip, with us acting as hosts. We are anxiously anticipating our esteemed Chinese guests to Finland, so we can expand their knowledge of European university education and AYY’s activities!

Mikael Liimatainen
AYY board member (internationality)

Julius Luukkanen
AYY board member (artistic activities, brand, communications, archives and museum)

Campus inspiration from Korea

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

The Aalto University Student Union Board visited Korea in May to see local university campuses. The trip sparked a lot of thoughts on how the Otaniemi campus could be developed.

Getting to know internationality at the campus, Korea Design Factory. Yonsei. Picture: Emma Savela

The AYY Board makes a bi-yearly trip to China to visit our friendship student union at the Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Each time the trip includes a second place of visit. The aim of the visit is to learn something new from the actions of other universities and student unions. This time, the AYY delegation visited the Aalto cooperation universities in Korea; KAIST, Yonsei and SNU (Seoul National University).

New kinds of growing methods are tested on the roof of the environmental tech department. SNU. Pictured Rosa Väisänen, Niko Ferm and Tapio Hautamäki. Picture: Emma Savela

University life in South Korea is interesting in many ways. Despite cultural differences, the similarities are numerous: PISA success, the quality of teaching and education, the efforts on technological development… The populace in Korea is aging like in Finland and the need for outside experts is growing, so international students are lured in with a similar manner.

There are differences, of course. In contrast to Finnish cutbacks in education, the Korean education and research investments seem endless. For example, during 2015, a total of 69% of young adults in Korea had higher education degrees. The number is the highest in all OECD countries, and 28 percentiles higher than the Finnish number. (OECD 2017: Population with tertiary education).

There was a lot to learn, understand and benchmark during the visit! We sought for tips and tricks at the four campuses visited, especially in things pertaining to campus development with Otaniemi and our other large project, the Student Center, in mind.

Stairs for sitting at the new KAIST library. Could something like this be built at, for example, the Student Center? KAIST. Picture: Emma Savela

Sports have a strong presence on campus. KAIST. Picture: Emma Savela

The general impression on Korean university campuses is that their outdoor areas are especially well accounted for. There are a lot of pleasant outdoor spaces.

For example, a water element is centrally placed at the KAIST campus (dubbed the “Ducky pond” by the locals), opening to a central yard and terrace area. Other campuses have many pleasant spots aplenty, available for students to spend time, study, have a break or just enjoy an ice cream.

During summer, the importance of these kinds of spots in Otaniemi is very visible. The small terrace next to the AYY Central Office is jam-packed with people enjoying the weather during warm summer days. Maybe we should have more places like this?

There is a pond located on a central spot at campus, surrounded by an avenue and a terrace. KAIST. Picture: Emma Savela

Yonsei campus has a comfortable lounging area, created with plants and different uses of textured materials. Yonsei. Picture: Emma Savela

Greenery, plants and diverse nature are also points of focus on campus areas.

The Aalto campus area has been called green and close to nature many times. Still, these factors are even more present in Korea.

While nature plays a significant role in Otaniemi, for example the seaside and beaches are not very utilized at all. How often do you even notice that the campus is right by the sea?

Otaniemi has a lot of potential, however. The upcoming campus development will most certainly focus more on the outdoor areas in the future.

Green digs at the Yonsei main campus. Yonsei. Picture: Emma Savela

Regarding the student center, the Korean examples lack a straight “bullseye” that would fulfil the vision planned for Otaniemi.

However, on a general level, the benchmarking was really useful. It was very instructional to see how concepts that we have on paper have been implemented in a different environment. We found examples of work spaces, printing spots and club rooms.

Stylized entrance into the facilities of a party organizing association. SNU. Picture: Emma Savela

Dance practice at a local student center hallway. SNU. Picture: Emma Savela

In general, the everyday life in Korean universities differs a lot from Finland.

The most memorable thing at each university were probably all the very familiar well-being and equality themes and their implementation on each campus.

Human rights and ways to intervene in harassment are being advertised with big posters and online ads. Help can be reached through phone lines and from help centers located on campuses. In addition to campus development, we also received a lot of clever ideas for AYY’s equality work.

Posters on human rights on campus. Yonsei. Picture: Tapio Hautamäki

The best thing about the visit were the numerous discussions we had with local students and staff. So, thank you to KAIST, Yonsei, Korean Design Factory and SNU for the heartfelt cooperation!

Emma Savela
AYY board member (real estate and student center, living and other services)

Rosa Väisänen
Advocacy specialist (international matters and new students)

Intercultural competence is an ethical mindset

Friday, December 15th, 2017

Intercultural competences, multicultural interaction skills, call it by any name, but still it’s all about how a person can act in a global world.

European Association of International Education (EAIE) has a yearly conference of over 6000 participants and I had the pleasure of giving a speech there this year in Seville in September. EAIE is a meeting point for higher education institutions looking for partnerships, marketing their international programmes, and most importantly for us, for teachers, researchers and developers interested in international affairs. Five-day conference is full of exposition excitement, workshops and wonderful speakers, and it gave me a lot of new energy for student advocacy work for this academic year.

Sevilla is a beautiful place.

I gave a five minute long Ignite speech about our Aalto is multicultural project, where we gathered information on the experiences of international students and their teachers. Especially we focused on “learning shock”-phenomenon and other challenges to integration (https://ayy.fi/jasenille/kansainvalisyys/multicultural-aalto/). You can see it from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMpqq2ZTcM0

I had the honor of giving also a joint session with professor Wendy Green from the University of Tasmania and Hanna Berentz, a german students, who had studied in the Netherlands. Our session dealt with student participation in different countries. Especially interesting is how student participation is a mandatory part of higher education governance, with strong student unions, but is very limited, unofficial and new in Australia (Our presentation with notes can be downloaded here (PDF): eaie presentation with notes).

Internationalization at home.

It was excellent to get to talk about internationalizing the curriculum with people, whose names I usually just see in the covers of books. Especially inspiring was to discuss the meaning and importance of international competences from a wider point of view than just work life skills or personal development.

Brexit, rising international tensions and climate refugees in the near future raised a lot of discussion. Many speakers stressed the importance of intercultural competences to all people regardless of background, so that we are not polarizing people to winners and losers of globalization. Highly educated privileged people take most out of free movement and globalization, but to others at the moment globalization just means losing their jobs.

Specialist at the spot.

Other big theme at the conference was the understanding of the importance of cultures. You can learn vocabulary by heart, but really understanding the meaning of cultural backgrounds and knowing how to adjust to a multicultural environment takes practice. Many discussions ended to the conclusion that knowing and appreciating one’s own culture is the key to understanding others.

Lastly I must mention a workshop on different academic disciplines and internationality. It was very interesting to ponder on the effect of the scientific background to internationalizing the classrooms. People form hard sciences see internationality and cultures differently from language experts and psychologists. That has to be taken into account when integrating international and multicultural skills to teaching.

Network of cultures

Why Small and Medium Enterprises Need to Focus on Internationalization of Workforce

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

In this blog post Alok Jain from AYY’s Corporate Relations section writes about the internationalization of Small and Medium Enterprises and how AYY aims to boost it by arranging My Career in Finland event for the international talent of the Aalto community.

In Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) internationalization of workforce might not be a priority. Usually, the need for the international workforce is felt when SMEs venture into a new market or when it requires specific skills. However, internationalization of workforce in SMEs can prove to be much more useful. In today’s turbulent industrial environment, internationalization can help SMEs in its survival and early recognition of opportunities.

SMEs ride on the wave of turbulence that exists in today’s business environment. The business environment of almost all the industry is changing at a fast pace and it is not going to stop in near future. Change is real and it is coming! The success of most of the SMEs today may be attributed to their ability to foresee opportunities in turbulence and capitalize on it. Consequently, it can be said with utmost certainty, that survival and success of SMEs in future will depend on its ability to ride the wave of turbulence in the respective industry. In such business environment, stability or equilibrium is the precursor to death. Organizational stability is the greatest risk for which SMEs need to plan its strategy. Strategic planning in a complex and unforeseen environment is always a difficult task, however; the positive aspect of a complex environment is that it has the capacity to self-organize! Therefore, to avoid organizational stability, it just needs to be disturbed! The dots do connect, and connect for better if the lattice is disturbed in just the right way!

This is achieved because bounded instability is the breeding ground for innovation. A perfectly stable organizational environment does not generate innovative solutions, nor does a highly chaotic one. A right mix of chaos can instill the capability to innovate. The right mix of chaos can disturb the organizational lattice and reorganize it with innovation! The right mix of chaos can help SMEs survive in the turbulent business environment. The right mix of chaos has always been a key for survival; it is the law of nature. Nature has created diversity to induce right mix of chaos and help survival. The species without diversity among it is the most vulnerable to external threat. This is because a lack of diversity makes it easier for external agents to plan their move against such species.

This is true for organizations as well. People are the chromosomes of organizations. People are the genetic material of the organization that creates diversity and induces right mix of chaos! Such diversity within the organization makes them less vulnerable to turbulent business environment. Internationalization of workforce, thus, is an urgent need of SMEs.

True, SMEs can hire international people to achieve this objective, but here’s the rub: this alone is not sufficient to bring the required diversity and right mix of chaos. The existing social order and organizational culture act as ‘antibodies’ to neutralize the advantage of diversity. Internationalization of workforce can be achieved when the organizational culture allows accommodating different opinions and encourages personal development.

To facilitate this AYY is organizing a career event targeted to international members of the community with the name ‘My Career in Finland’ on the 21st November of 2017. The event is expected to see participation from 400 international students representing 95 different nationality. The event features different career related workshops, talks and networking opportunity with companies. Register an employer stand at the event now! Follow this link to know more about the event.

Alok Jain
AYY’s Corporate Relations Section


Blog text Adapted from Pascale, R.T. ‘Surfing the edge of chaos’, Sloan management review, 1999.
http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/surfing-the-edge-of-chaos/

Survey on health care services and health insurances of international students – the alarming results

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Students from outside of the EU/EEA need to have a residency permit to start their studies in Finland, and having a private health insurance is one of the requirements for getting a residency permit. Degree students of all nationalities are entitled to a home municipality in Finland and can use public healthcare services. Students from EU member countries can use public health care services with a European Health Insurance Card. All university students who are members of any student union can also use the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS/YTHS). However, international students do not have access to KELA benefits (unless they work in Finland for a certain time period).

Aalto University Student Union (AYY) in cooperation with the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) has conducted a survey on the use of these healthcare services and health insurances among international students in Finland. The survey was produced by the research foundation Otus. The anonymous survey collected 475 answers from students in Aalto and Helsinki universities, 246 of which were degree or exchange students from Aalto University.

In the survey we wanted to find out how well international students know the health service providers, how do the health insurances work and what kind of channels are used to get information on these issues. In the next sections we will first go over receiving care, then health insurances and issues with these.

 

Receiving treatment

In this section we will present results on how well international students received treatment. One of the questions was how well international students received required health care services while staying in Finland. These results are covered in table 1.

 

Table 1. Have you received the required care or health services in Finland? (n= 303)

 

There is a clear difference between students who have come from EU/EAA countries and students from outside EU/EEA in attainment of health care services. Only 64% of non-EU/EEA students said they felt they got the required treatment always or on most occasions, whereas 81% of EU/EEA students report the same.

Out of the students from both EU/ETA and other countries those who did not always receive the care they needed brought up different reasons. These results are represented in table 2.

 

Table 2. If you have not always received required healthcare, how often did you receive care despite these reasons? (n= 475) (NB. there was an option to choose several reasons)

 

The main reason for not getting treatment among participants was not knowing what their insurance covered. 64% of the respondents felt that unawareness of these issues lead to them receiving required treatment sometimes, seldom, or never at all. The other major reasons were not being aware of available services and being deemed not eligible for aid by health care services.

 

Health insurances used by international students

In this section we will go over different health insurances used by international students and their experiences with applying for compensation and dealing with insurance companies. These questions were asked only from students from outside EU/ETA for whom the insurance is required.

There are several health insurance providers international students use. The insurance recommended by Finnish authorities and universities is SIP Insurances, according to a tendering process done in the early 2010s by a consortium of universities. SIP Insurances have a market share of 26% among the respondents. As seen in table 3, other popular insurances are Swisscare (27%) and International Student Insurance (13%).

Table 3. Health insurance provider (n=323) 

 

The respondents were also asked about the process of acquiring an insurance. Only 38% of the respondents felt they had received enough information regarding the contents of the insurance and the terms of compensation, as seen in table 4. Buying an insurance does not seem to be a difficult process for the respondents, but it seems that students just get the insurance for the sake of getting the residency permit – without really knowing how the insurance functions or what its coverage is.

 

 

Table 4. Opinions on getting the insurance among students with insurance (n= 323)

As seen in table 5, the biggest problem of getting insurance was not knowing what kind of insurance one should buy, which 35% of respondents found to be an issue. 30% felt it was difficult to find information on the different available options. According to the official report the most popular source of information were university pages (32%), Migri web pages (22%), friends (21%) and Study in Finland web pages (19%).

Some students (4%) found that their general health, such as pre-existing conditions made it hard to get an insurance. This is extremely worrisome and against the principle of equality.

 

Table 5. Issues when getting the insurance (n=323)

 

Table 6. shows the issues stated above as complied into different insurance providers. Note that in some of these the amount of answers was very low.

 

‘Table 6. Insurances as complied by different providers.

 

Conclusion

International students are required to have a private health insurance in order to commence their studies in Finland, but they are left alone with the problems they face with insurances. There is not enough information provided by the authorities, Study in Finland page or the universities, and when compared to similar pages in other European countries, the level of detail on Finnish pages is rather low.

Finnish authorities and universities only thinking about providing international students with degrees is unsustainable. A more holistic approach to internationalisation of universities is needed in Finland. Putting efforts into developing degrees and teaching is important, but if basic services like health care, banking or immigration services have grave problems, Finland is hardly a dream destination. What needs to be taken into account is the whole experience of integrating international students into the Finnish society, and problems with basic needs such as healthcare reflect negatively on the image of Finnish education.

International students have the right to a well-functioning, affordable and accessible insurance, as well as proper information on healthcare and health insurances. Issues with health care and adequate compensation for health care costs need to be taken very seriously. If Finland truly wants to welcome its international students, all parties involved need to step up their game. A new tendering process is needed, as the health insurance now recommended by the universities and authorities has the gravest problems and lowest customer satisfaction among students. Immigration authorities, universities and the National Agency for Education need to sit down together and start developing solutions.

 

Milla Ovaska, Specialist, International Affairs

Aalto University Student Union

contact: international(at)ayy.fi

Day 7 with Tsinghua: Finnish business and farewell to our friends

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Theme for the last day of Tsinghua University student visit was Finnish companies and business. We visited Metso, a big Finnish exchange-listed machinery company serving eg. mining, construction, oil and gas, pulp, paper and process industries and Supercell, a successful gaming company behind HayDay and Clash of Clans. The day was concluded by a happy farewell dinner with our friends.

Our visit at Metso began with a bus ride to Metso Flow Control facility at Hakkila, Vantaa where the primary manufacturing focus is on valves. We were welcomed by the Head of Offering Management Taina Rajala who introduced us to the company.

The visit continued with an interesting tour at the manufacturing floor. Robots picking up components to be assembled into products verified the vision of a modern and progressive facility and company. One other thing that really caught our Chinese friends’ attention was the safety of all personnel, which was visible all around the facility. Even though most of our group weren’t previously familiar with the technology, there was a great deal of interesting things to see. It was our common opinion that Metso would certainly be an interesting and attractive employer.

Our visitor group at Metso Flow Control facility in Vantaa. Safety first!

Our visitor group at Metso Flow Control facility in Vantaa. Safety first!

After Metso we visited Supercell at their HQ in Ruoholahti. This was one of the most anticipated visits for our guests and they had a lot of user feedback and suggestions about the successful Clash Royale mobile game. During the visit we were told about the ideology around which the whole company is built: best people make best games. It was interesting to see the freedom and independence of the Supercell. For example the CEO Ilkka Paananen has little power on what the teams decide to do and people are free to switch teams. We want to thank our AYY board alumni Janne Peltola for hosting the visit!

CEO Ilkka Paananen was also one of the founding members of the hugely successful and international Slush startup event so it was only natural to invite Slush members Josefiina Kotilainen and Olga Balakina along to tell our guests what it is all about. The Aalto University Startup ecosystem intrigued us a lot and our Chinese friends found it especially interesting how large portion of it is accomplished volunteers and students.

Taste of super awesome mobile gaming atmosphere at Supercell!

Taste of super awesome mobile gaming atmosphere at Supercell!

In the evening we had to bid our dear friends farewell. We had a nice dinner and finnish dishes including roast reindeer, meatballs and salmon. The entire week was over very fast with interesting program and interesting people. It was very nice to get to know our guests and to know that the connection between us and our student unions will last.

AYY would like to thank Tsinghua Student Union for precious gifts and our partner Metso for support!

Tsinghua university student union sightseeing in Helsinki and academic dinner party with Aalto-Tsinghua startup bridge

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Saturday with our guests started with introducing the wonders of our public transport system by taking the bus 102T. The view of coastal Espoo got compliments from the Tsinghua students and we discussed the history of Helsinki and the differences between Helsinki and Beijin on our way to Kamppi.

For our sightseeing tour we chose to walk from Kamppi to Stockmann and from there to the Senate Square, talking about the architecture and different landmark buildings like the modern arts museum on the way as well as pointing out the main spots for shopping. It seems like everything in Finland is currently being renovated but this did not seem to bother our guests much, likely because construction sites are such a common sight in China.

We left our guests off at the Market Square to have a free reign on how to spend the afternoon in Helsinki and went off to prepare for the main event of the day which was an introduction to the academic sitsi party culture! The dinner party was at Aalto Design Factory in Otaniemi and attending were our guests, the Aalto-Tsinghua startup bridge group and a number of former AYY board members. The sitsi party was a great success, with brilliant musical performances by some of the guests, remembering past visits between Aalto and Tsinghua and an all-vegan menu featuring the Finnish innovation pulled oats.

mmexport1470650881547

View from the sitsi party on saturday.

The second day in our schedule was on the more relaxed side in anticipation for the upcoming week full of formal visits from the morning until late in the day.

Hallitus esittäytyy: Rosa Väisänen

Saturday, March 19th, 2016

Well hello there, sweet thing!

RosaI’m Rosa, one of the four advocacy wizards in the board of AYY and a fourth-year architecture student. My sectors are international affairs, new students and development cooperation, a groovy combination of educational policies, juicy meetings and organizational activities. After three years in the board of my dear guild and two years as a volunteer at AYY’s international sector I made the best decision of my life and applied for the board and, well, here I am, still quite startled that I get to be surrounded by this bright community every day.

This year my goal is to encourage and support associations in their internationalization objectives, develop Aalto’s student mobility and promote the acknowledgement of tutoring as an important part of the reception, orientation and engagement of new students both to the academic and student community. Golden projects, right? In addition to these my mind will be dancing with questions concerning the new tuition fee system: as you might already know, Aalto University is preparing the tuition fee system for non EU-ETA students and the system will start operating in 2017.

This of course means big changes in our university: what does this mean to the programs, services and teaching? What about internationalization and the number of students? In this new situation one of my projects is to update AYY’s policy paper on tuition fees. The aim is to have a broad opinion on how the system should work and what has to be done when the university starts charging our students. If you’re interested in influencing this, I’d love to have you at the tuition fee workshop on the 30th of March, 17.30 at the rooftop sauna of Vaasankatu 10. Don’t hesitate to contact me whether it is about tuition fees or anything else, I am here for your questions and comments!

Lots of love,

Rosa

P.S. Check out the background material on tuition fee policy paper and send your comments to international@ayy.fi .