Student Unions in Universities/Universities of Applied Sciences
Universities and universities of applied sciences, the two sectors of tertiary education in Finland, are required by law to listen to their students. The student unions of universities and universities of applied sciences ensure that the voices of students are represented in the decision-making processes of the tertiary education institution in question. The student unions of both types of university also organise more casual activities, such as social events, to provide some relief from the pressures of serious study.
Student representatives are chosen through elections held at regular intervals. Any student of the university in question, including exchange students, can run as a candidate for the position. Candidates are often nominated by student associations organised around a certain subject of study and by political parties. It is worth checking message boards and mailing lists and asking for more information from, for instance, the board representing your student association or from fellow students.
Universities and universities of applied sciences have their own national interest organisations that support students and promote their interests. The interest organisation for students of universities of applied sciences is The Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences – SAMOK and the interest organisation for students of universities is The National Union of University Students in Finland.