In addition to the educational institutions, Tampere3 will involve a merger between the student unions of the universities. The merger between the three higher education institutions will create a community of up to 24,000 students.
The new student union will have nearly 18,000 members. Most students look at Tampere3 with an open mind, although the initiative has gathered critical views in addition to praises.
The new student union formed by Tamy and TTYY is currently under preparation.
“The student union will have a joint board and a joint council of representatives.”
“The goal is to establish a student union that is meaningful to all its members,” says Chair of the Board Maria Kultanen from TTYY.
Tamko, the Students’ Union of TAMK, will not be a part of the new student union by law, but the cooperation between the unions will nonetheless be close.
New potential for interest supervision and student impact
One of the hopes is that the transition will have little impact on students’ everyday lives.
The chairs find it important that the current standard is maintained in the supervision of students’ interests, as it is one of the key tasks of the unions.
With the cross-institutional study service in place, many students take courses on a campus they do not know and new problems with interest supervision may emerge.
“If a student encounters problems on a different campus, the issue can be resolved right there. The channels for cross-campus dialogue are already open,” Chairperson of the Board Matti Aho from Tamko advises.
The larger student mass of the new student union will also enable a stronger impact, and the potential for influencing student affairs on a national level is likely to increase.
But what happens to the voice of an individual student? Kultanen mentions the Student Union of the University of Helsinki and its 30,000 members. Despite a high number of members, it is possible to make an impact, as there are numerous channels available.
Transition in student culture
The collaboration between the three student organisations will surely bring both challenges and opportunities.
“One of the challenges is the student culture, as there are notable differences between the three parties in this respect,” Aho notes. On the other hand, the other campuses could offer fresh ideas for renewing each union’s own well-tried traditions.
Chair Mikael Malkamäki from Tamy would like to take cue from TUT’s events, for example, as they often cover the whole campus community and bring students together.
“Tech students value traditions. The idea is to create something new, not demolish what we have today,” Kultanen from TTYY notes.
Keep an open mind
Even though the Tampere3 initiative was set off without direct student involvement, the students of the three HEIs have been provided with a lot of information and open events as the initiative moves forward.
“We have received both positive and negative feedback from students,” Matti Aho from Tamko says.
“At first people seemed to think that the initiative would be a massive disaster,” Aho smirks.
“Critical opinions often receive more attention than the positive ones.”
Aho points out that most students have maintained an open mind towards the renewal, however.
Student unions in numbers