Opinion: Swedish is one of Aalto University’s three languages

For release 25th of April 2018

The Aalto University Student Union AYY and Teknologföreningen TF are worried for the position of Swedish-speaking students at Aalto University. AYYs theme for 2018 has been well-being and equality, and the language issue is essential. TF has long upheld discussion regarding these matters in meetings with the university management, and there have been promises to tackle the problems.

According to feedback we’ve received, Swedish-speaking students encounter challenges both in everyday teaching situations and when consulting administrative services. For example, updating and maintaining Swedish study related information on the web is often neglected, and study counseling is not always available in Swedish. Being forced to discuss such matters in a non-native language causes an inconvenient situation for the student. The language an exam should be determined by a simple choice made on WebOodi, but in practice this often requires some negotiation, which puts the student in an uncomfortable position.

Aalto has three working languages: Finnish, Swedish and English, enabling everyone to flexibly take part in all daily activities at the University. Following the agreed-upon guidelines and policies is important, in order for students speaking a minority language to have equal opportunity in education and efficient legal security.

If you feel like your student rights are not being fulfilled as they should, there are three options:

  1. Talk to the teacher in charge of the course.
  2. Talk to the student representatives, association study affairs responsibles or to the AYY advocacy experts. AYY, student representatives and study study affairs responsibles work together: the student union carries out advocacy in the scope of all of Aalto and supports the student representatives. The best answers on questions of a specific field of expertise can be found from the staff members in charge of student representatives and from study affairs representatives. Advocacy pertaining to Swedish-speaking students in Aalto is carried out especially by TF.
  3. You can also contact the head of the degree program or the head of learning services of your school. You should also talk to your co-students, since the problem might concern several students.

More information:

Suvi Vendelin, study policy correspondent of the AYY Board, suvi.vendelin@ayy.fi, 0407524692

Victor Granlund, vice chairman of the board, Teknologföreningen, viceordforande@tf.fi, 045 1381738

Minna Mäkitalo, Specialist (Academic Affairs), minna.makitalo@ayy.fi, 050 520 9438

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