Olli Auvinen, Member of the Board, Kuopio:
Esteemed vappu audience; high-school graduates, citizens.
It is that time again to celebrate our traditional workers and high-school graduates spring festival, our beloved vappu, the day of Finnish labor. And only to add to this wonderful day, we may celebrate this now during Finland’s 100th anniversary.
During this jubilee year, we are following immense national reforms in the field of higher education. The laws of our institutes of higher education are being shifted according to the propositions of our government. These new regulations alter the responsibility of education in our two systems, that which determines how much of one’s studies must be provided by his or her own institute of education. This proposal must take place for the new Tampere3 to be legal. This new system will embody the Tampere University, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences. At the same time this will act as a national model for the field of higher education in Finland for years to come. This new model of co-operation can also be seen in Eastern-Finland, as new educational paths have arisen. In these new paths the educational responsibility of the first degree is shared among the university and university of applied sciences. This begs to question; what is a university degree and what is a degree in the university of applied sciences? Can we, with co-operation, improve them both while still maintaining the respective identities?
At the same time, we are witnessing a critical period in lectured teaching. We are witnessing a shift, aided by digitization, from lectures into what I believe is called blended learning. Students are no longer only placed in lecture halls, but instead the responsibility of independent learning is emphasized by having an electronic education platform with video lectures and assignments. Time that would otherwise be used in lecturing is now used in contact teaching smaller groups. In the University of Eastern Finland this is called flipping the teaching, flipped learning. These changes are huge and above all quite brave. And so, I would like to emphasize the importance of an individual’s role in lobbying. Everyone’s voice and subjective experiences are important. We, together, form the student union, there is no union without all of you. I would like to encourage everyone to have an open mind and spare no feedback in order we can all progress.
Speaking of progress, Finland’s government had their mid-term earlier this week. First, I thought to myself, that jaahas how would the education promise be mopped this time. But as a positive surprise we received a 75€ raise in the student allowance. They didn’t cut from the future this time.
After all this I would with great pleasure return to this moment and Vappu. For some of us it starts now, for some of us it has begun a few weeks ago, some of us seem to have it going on nearly all the time. Let us recover from the past autumn and spring. Let us gather strenght for the summer. Let us drink a lot of sima, let us hold speeches, let us dance and sing, enjoy the labor we have done and turn our gazes into the future once again. Remember to look around you; take a look to your left, then to your right. Take a look behind reminiscing, but don’t ever forget to look ahead of you. Let us take care of each other and ourselves. Because without us, there wouldn’t Finland. Let us take care of Finland for the next hundred years as well.
Have a great Vappu for all of you!