the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL)
Press Release 22.11.2014
Free for publication
The General Assembly of the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL), who is the common representative of all the 135,000 students in Finnish universities, has elected a new Executive Board for 2015. Decisions were also made regarding next years’ strategy. Next year’s activities have a very strong focus on the parliamentary election in the spring.
The new President is history student Jari Järvenpää, 29, from the Student Union of the University of Tampere (Tamy).
As well as the President, the General Assembly also elected six members for the Executive Board:
Janne Hälinen (Student Union of the University of Lapland LYY)
Lauri Lehtoruusu (Aalto University Student Union AYY)
Paula Martikainen (Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland ISYY)
Jussi Nieminen (Student Union of the University of Turku TYY)
Iiris Niinikoski (Student Union of the University of Helsinki HYY)
Silja Silvasti (Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä JYY)
During the coming year, the new President Jari Järvenpää wants to increase the esteem of education and improve equal possibilities to study. These goals will be pushed particularly during the spring’s parliamentary election.
Jari Järvenpää says: “My mother’s generation transformed Finland into a welfare state and put it at the forefront of development with the help of education. Now we have to ensure that we can offer the same possibilities to all future students – no matter their background or situation in life.”
In its statement, the General Assembly demands that the parties bring forward their goals for education policy. An open debate about the party lines is already necessary before the election so that voters will have a real chance to influence the education policy of the future Government. The General Assembly believes it is extremely important that the parties commit to developing the education system in the long term, with a focus on quality and skill.
Education export also sparked a lively debate, and in its second statement the General Assembly noted that education should always be an ethically sound activity, based on values and goals which are to be promoted through education. Academic freedom, access to education regardless of socio-economic status and education that is organised with a focus on the students are the characteristics that Finnish education is internationally renowned for. The General Assembly wants to encourage Finnish universities to develop their education export, and demands that all Finnish education exporters commit and contribute to the brand of ethical education export.
The SYL General Assembly was held at Korpilampi in Espoo on Friday and Saturday 21–22 November.
The General Assembly’s statements can also be read on SYL’s website: www.syl.fi.
On social media (facebook.com/SYL.FIN and twitter.com/SYL_FIN) there
have been many updates on the SYL General Assembly under the hashtag
Original press release on SYL’s website (published on 22.11.2014)
Secretary General Juha Töyrylä, tel. 041 515 2229
President of SYL 2015 Jari Järvenpää, tel. 044 906 5005
Members of the Board of SYL 2015:
Janne Hälinen (Student Union of the University of Lapland LYY), tel. 045 137 9026
Lauri Lehtoruusu (Aalto University Student Union AYY), tel. 050 520 9420
Paula Martikainen (Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland ISYY), tel. 040 576 8400
Jussi Nieminen (Student Union of the University of Turku TYY), tel. 045 320 5125
Iiris Niinikoski (Student Union of the University of Helsinki HYY), tel. 050 595 0328
Silja Silvasti (Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä JYY), tel. 050 552 7021