Members want OYY to be ecologically sustainable and transparent

The Student Union of the University of Oulu (OYY) conducted a survey in spring 2024 to find out what the members of the Student Union think about OYY’s values. The survey received 100 responses, and the majority of respondents were aged between 21 and 24. All faculties were represented in the responses. According to the survey, just over half of the respondents had a good or very good knowledge of OYY, and the majority were satisfied with the services provided by the Student Union (average score 3.45/5).

Current values and expectations


The majority of respondents were satisfied with the current values and considered them to be up to date. However, new wishes emerged, such as greater attention to sustainability, ecology and the environment, as well as equality and equity. Sustainability has been added to the current strategy as a value for 2020. Many other student unions also include equality or equity as a value in their strategy. In addition, students expressed a desire for transparency, open communication and opportunities for participation. There was also some criticism of the political stance, with some responses calling for the Students’ Union to stick strictly to issues that directly concern students.

Influencing and suggestions for improvement


In particular, the work done by OYY to combat harassment has been noticed and received much praise. However, more than half of the respondents could not assess the effectiveness of OYY in general. This underlines the need to continue and improve communication about the concrete advocacy work we do and the results. During spring 2024, the Student Union and the Board in particular have been more visible, for example at events, but this too needs to be further developed.

Sustainability and internationalisation as areas for development


Sustainability was considered important or very important by 67% of students, who came up with a wide range of ideas for concrete actions to promote sustainability. Respondents wanted to influence the student restaurants to reduce waste and provide a more varied vegetarian menu, and to highlight energy use on campuses, among other things. One measure already implemented is the policy of serving only plant-based food at Student Union events. The decision to go plant-based was taken at the Student Council meeting in autumn 2022 and is included in the OYY policy paper.


More opportunities for interactions between international and Finnish students were requested, and this topic has also been raised in previous surveys. This year we have a project in our action plan to encourage and support student organisations to involve international students in their activities. We will also work with the international organisations and the university to improve the situation.


The survey was the first step in creating a new strategy. OYY’s current strategy is valid until 2025, and the preparation of a new strategy has started well in advance. In addition to the implementation of the survey, the Student Council has appointed a strategy working group at its meeting on 18 April. The members of the working group are Karoliina Kokko-Tollola, Chair of the Student Council, Anton Kostiainen, Chair of the Board, Kauko Keskisärkkä, Secretary General, Eetu Leinonen, Ruusu Markus, Jami Kinnunen and Suvi-Anna Salminen.

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