Spaces for teaching and research must be secured in the Oulu University Hospital

The Student Union of the University of Oulu and the Student Union of Oulu University of Applied Sciences are open and approving towards the project of building the new hospital. However, already during the planning phase we wish to express our concern related to the sufficiency of upcoming teaching and studying facilities in the new hospit

For the Oulu University Hospital and the City of Oulu regarding the OYS2030 project

Kontinkangas district in the city of Oulu is going through major changes by the recent OYS 2030 project as a consequence of a new hospital complex worth more than 900 million euros being built in the location of the current hospital. The aim of the project is the most intelligent hospital in the world for serving the health care needs of the northern Finland. In the current plan the project has been split into two phases, out of which the round-the-clock hospital facilities are aimed to be finished by 2023. The second phase – that is under planning process as we speak – is to be ready for use by 2027.

The Student Union of the University of Oulu (OYY) and the Student Union of Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OSAKO) are open and approving towards the project of building the new hospital. However, already during the planning phase we wish to express our concern related to the sufficiency of upcoming teaching and studying facilities in the new hospital. In the current plans there are no clear definition of the amount of spaces reserved for teaching and research that are supposed to be located mainly in the C-building constructed in the second phase of the project or in the possible third building phase of the D-house which would be ready around 2030. The hospital is already being built and towards the sky and spaces meant for academic needs have been completely dropped out from the earlier building phases.

We find it problematic that the current designs and concept plans do not include clear schemes in terms of spaces reserved for teaching, research and group work. In the latest OYS2030 concept plan (11.11.2019) there has been some space marked also for these kind of spaces, but in the same blocks many other competing facilities of the hospital have also been sketched and no clear statements about the squares for each purpose are to be found.

In order to sustain the status of an academic hospital and to secure a high level medical training in the Northern Finland we see it vital that already during the planning phase of the hospital it is important to take into consideration the sufficiency of teaching and studying facilities. The spaces must be big enough, up-to-date and designed respecting the needs of different fields of medical training also taking into notice the social spaces of the students.

Special attention in the current situation needs to be paid to the current Kontinkangas campus spaces of the University that are already in poor shape. Both of the campus buildings are having their contracts expiring with the University Properties of Finland (SYK) between 2024-2027. The staff and the students of the University of Oulu need functioning and safe spaces also during the transition phase of the OYS2030 project between 2020–2030. The Student Union values and finds it positive that at least the staff and students of the Faculty of Medicine have been included in the planning process of the upcoming spaces and we do hope for this to continue.

In addition the Students of Social and Health services of Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OSASTO ry) sees that sufficient availability of teaching spaces must be secured for developing collaboration across professionals of different fields also taking the students of University of Applied Sciences into consideration. In the future many students from social and health services are going to work together with university students making it reasonable to begin developing collaboration already during the study years.

Eetu Leinonen
Chair of the Board OYY

Anni Pirttimaa
Chair of  the Board OSAKO

Hannu Halonen
Chair of the Board, OSASTO ry

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