Student Unionism in Finland - Polytechnics / Universities of Applied Sciences

Polytechnics / Universities of Applied Sciences

Every university of applied sciences also has a student union, and its status is guaranteed by law (according to the law it is a public corporation like ylioppilaskunta). The student unions are much younger in this sector because the dual model system that makes the higher education in Finland came in 1996. Membership in opiskelijakunta differs from ylioppilaskunta, because the membership is not mandatory and every student can decide if he or she wants to join the student union.

In Finland, the student union is autonomous, its internal life organized by its by-laws which are confirmed by the rector. The student unions are based on a parliamentary model, the general assembly elected every year. The student union represents all students and is responsible in electing the student members of different administrative organs. The student union finances its operations mainly with membership fees, financial support from the university and small business operations.

The student unions are members of the organization Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applies Sciences (SAMOK) . SAMOK represents students on both the national and international level (a member of ESIB). Student unions in Finland are not politically active and the candidate lists for general assembly elections are not divided into political parties such as usually the case in universities.

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