A report on the autonomy of universities was published by a group appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture on Monday, March 1, 2021. Among other things, the study found that there were no “immediate grounds” for terminating the student union’s automation membership. The Student Union of the University of Oulu (OYY) sees a need for further discussions and follow-up studies mentioned in the report. In OYY’s opinion, membership of student unions should in the future be voluntary.
The statements of various political youth and student organizations from the current membership model show that there are problems with the current situation. Therefore, OYY hopes that other student unions would not be afraid of a possible change but would participate in considering alternative solutions instead of overwhelming opposition.
In almost every student union, the problem is the low level of participation and the distance of the student union from the regular members. Voluntary membership creates financial incentives for student unions to develop their activities to be more member-oriented. The current membership model is justified by the fact that student unions are a traditional part of an autonomous university, but voluntary membership would put university students on an equal footing with other higher education students.
At the last meeting of the Student Council in 2020, OYY approved a contingency plan for the Student Union, which outlines various options for financing activities as the possible accumulation of membership fees decreases. OYY considers it important that a sufficient transition period be set aside for the transition to voluntary membership so that student unions can prepare for the change financially and administratively.
“We want the discussion on the membership model not to remain here, but to encourage OKM to launch the necessary follow-up studies and to invite other student unions to come up with ideas for new solutions,” says Olli Joki, Chairman of the Board.
Chair of the Board – OYY
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