For guidance to the Board of the University of Oulu
The Board of the University of Oulu is about to decide on the future of our University for decades to come. The main idea has been to relocate the Linnanmaa Campus to the city centre. Plans for moving the main campus facilities have been argued with the attraction potential of the City of Oulu as a higher education city as well as with the condition of the current spaces, their expense and renovation costs.
Student Union of the University of Oulu (OYY) sees both possibilities and challenges in the current project that should be taken into consideration already at the point of decision making. The Student Union does not oppose new, up-to-date facilities closer to the city centre and services. At its best the project could help increasing Oulu’s profile as a higher education city while simultaneously offering possibilities for developing new and better space solutions in terms of different research and educational needs.
Our conditions for supporting the project are however that students and staff are included in the process of planning, designing and executing the project from the beginning to the end. We require transparency and proper communication from the from the beginning to the end of the project While designing the campus one must take into consideration not only the common spaces of teaching, research and group work, but especially the special facilities needed by different fields of science. In addition the upcoming campus must have enough space for student organizations’ needs as well as for the students to come together and socialize.
OYY supports the current common campus system that has enhanced interdisciplinarity, student spirit and encounters between professionals from different fields as well as forms of academic collaboration as the special quality of Oulu’s academic community for long time already. We do not consider desirable a scenario in which the campus would be separated into smaller units spread across the city.
It should be taken into account that either nearby the campus or within a decent walking distance there is enough space for building up-to-date student apartments. There must also be sufficient public traffic connections to the new campus from any part of the city.
While the Linnanmaa Campus becomes unsused the University of Oulu must come in agreement with the University Properties of Finland (SYK) about responsible ways of giving up and developing the current spaces that are going to be left empty. Some of especially previously built and renovated spaces are still usable and they have potential to be used for example in the form of business premises for local companies.
We also hope that Linnanmaa swimming hall will not be cancelled and the area is being developed in the future as well. The area has companies, inhabitants, business facilities, exercising possibilities and schools that will sustain the vitality of Linnanmaa in their part also in the upcoming years.
Chair of the Board, The Student Union of the University of Oulu
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