This autumn the Finnish student unions and the National Union of University Students in Finland’s (SYL) joint development co-operation theme week is taking place on 13th – 19th October. The theme week is arranged by the student unions of the universities of Helsinki, Eastern Finland, Jyväskylä, Lapland, Oulu, Tampere, Turku and Aalto University. The Student Union of the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi is organising their development co-operation theme week one week early, on 6th – 12th October. The Student Union of the University of Eastern Finland is organising their theme week on all of its three campuses, i.e. Joensuu, Kuopio and Savonlinna.
The national development co-operation theme week is now in its fourth year, and has already gained an established position on the universities’ campuses. The number of participants at the events organised at the different universities has increased every year. During the past couple of years the attendance has risen to 10 000 participants all over the country.
This year’s theme is “education and development”. The student unions are launching the theme week on their respective campuses on Monday 13th October with a classroom installation, which brings to mind the educational theme. Some campus might for example have a tent school as their classroom installation.
The educational theme will be approached in various different ways: topics covered during the week will be, for example, education and human rights, girls’ educational prospects in developing countries, crisis zones and education, the connection between education and development, education as the driving force behind development, and global education.
“We are also looking at the educational theme from the point of view of how development co operation here in Finland could be combined with studies in the students’ own fields. This question also formed the basis of a writing competition, and the winner will be announced during the development co-operation theme week,” Salla Mäkelä, SYL’s Coordinator for Development Co operation, explains.
The student unions are organising all kinds of activities during the week, including film screenings, debates, expert lectures, panel discussions, workshops and sitz parties with an inequality theme, as well as tastings of Fairtrade products.
Mäkelä continues: “Another relevant question is what kind of role Finland plays and increasingly can play as a messenger for education, for example through the means of education exports.”
The student unions’ theme week is part of SYL’s development co-operation work, and is granted support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for activities relating to development information and education.
For further information, please contact:
Salla Mäkelä, SYL’s Coordinator for Development Co-operation, tel. 044 780 0220, email@example.com
For detailed information on the theme week’s program at each student union, please visit: http://kehitysyhteistyo.syl.fi/kehyviikko/
Student Union of the University of Oulu OYY: Kaisa Vainio, tel. 050 372 6720, firstname.lastname@example.org.