The Alumni Association is a vibrant and growing community, a recognized strategic partner of the University of Helsinki, and an important part of the university family. The Association offers their members a possibility to find old as well as new friends and the chance to participate in and influence university life.

Alumni are those who have been granted the right to study at the University of Helsinki, researchers and those who have worked for the university. Having graduated is not required to be an alumnus or alumna; even students and staff are alumni.

The Association arranges interesting events and supports the university by, for example, passing on the knowledge and work experience of alumni to the university. The university supports students by handing out grants from the Alumni Association and through offering mentoring services for students. The Alumni Association aids the university's fundraising.

The Alumni Association provides their members with benefits and discounts that are conveniently collected in a free phone app, as well as in our member letter.

Beyond this we organize around 50 events a year exclusively for alumni, as well as the traditional Alumni Celebration where the Alumnus or Alumna of the year is elected. 

1. Name and domicile.

The Association’s name in Finnish is Helsingin yliopisto alumni and in Swedish Helsingfors universitets alumner. The Association is domiciled in Helsinki. The Association shall be both Finnish- and Swedish-speaking.

2. Purpose and nature of activities

The Association shall maintain relationships between the University of Helsinki and its alumni as well as between fellow alumni, support the University’s aspirations, and strengthen the academic spirit of Helsinki.

To carry out its purpose, the Association shall organise meetings and other events, distribute information about the University’s operations and objectives, award grants, and put forward proposals and initiatives to make the authorities, decision-makers and the general public aware of the University’s operations and development.

To support its operations, the Association may accept donations and legacies, own property necessary for its operations, conduct fundraising, and establish funds and foundations.

3. Members of the Association

The Board may accept anyone who has studied at the University of Helsinki as a member of the Association.

The Board may, on special grounds, also accept as members individuals who have not studied at the University of Helsinki.

The Board may approve as a supporting member an individual or a registered or other incorporated society who wishes to support the Association’s activities.

The Association has the right to invite honorary members.

The Board of the Association shall maintain a list of members.

Members wishing to leave the Association can do so by submitting a written notification to the Board or its chairperson or request an entry to be made in the minutes of the Association’s meeting.

A member or supporting member who has not paid the membership fee for the previous calendar year is considered to have resigned from the Association.

4. Membership fee

The Association’s annual general meeting shall annually determine the membership fee for members and supporting members. The membership fee may also be a one-off fee which grants lifetime membership. Members in the same household may qualify for a reduced membership fee. No membership fee shall be charged from honorary members.

The Association’s annual general meeting can approve the grounds on which the Board may partly or entirely free a member from the obligation to pay membership fees due to studies, military service or other corresponding reasons. A reduction to the membership fee may be granted if the member has an employment relationship or equivalent with the University of Helsinki.

5. The Advisory Board of the Alumni Association

The Advisory Board shall monitor the Board’s management of the Alumni Association and support the Board’s and the University’s activities as well as their strategic objectives.

The Advisory Board shall be composed of a chairperson, the first and second vice chairpersons and 20 members. At least one of the vice chairpersons must represent Swedish speakers. The Association’s annual general meeting shall elect the chairpersons and members to the Advisory Board for a term of three calendar years. The chairpersons and members of the Advisory Board may be elected for no more than two consecutive terms.

The chairperson represents the Association and chairs the Advisory Board’s meetings and the Association’s annual general meeting.

The chairperson and vice chairpersons may attend meetings held by the Association’s Board and by any committees it sets.

6. The Board of the Alumni Association

The Association shall be managed by the Board, which comprises twelve members representing different spheres of society who are elected by the annual general meeting of the Association for a term of two calendar years.

7. The Board may authorise an official of the Association to sign on behalf of the Association.

8. The financial year and auditing of the accounts

The financial year of the Association shall be the calendar year.

The financial statements, including the required documents, and the annual report must be submitted to the auditors no later than three weeks after the meeting at which the financial statements were submitted for approval.

9. Convocation of meetings

The Board shall convene the Association’s meetings. The invitation to the meeting shall be published two weeks prior to the meeting in at least one newspaper or magazine specified by the Association’s annual general meeting.

10. Meetings of the Association

The Association’s annual general meeting shall be held in October or November.

An extraordinary meeting shall be held if so decided at the Association’s meeting, if the Board considers it necessary or if at least 1/10 of the Association’s members with the right to vote demand that a meeting be held to discuss a matter they have raised with the Board.

The Board must be informed of the matter that a member of the Association wishes to raise for discussion no later than four weeks before the meeting.

Each member has one vote at the Association’s meetings. Honorary and supporting members have the right to participate in and speak at meetings, but they do not have the right to vote.

11. The annual general meeting

The Association’s annual general meeting shall:
1. Present the annual report
2. Present the financial statements drawn up by the Board as well as the auditors’ report
3. Adopt the financial statements for the preceding accounting period
4. Decide on the discharging of the Board and other accountable parties from liability
5. Confirm the action plan for the following year
6. Determine the fees paid to the chairpersons, the chairperson of the Board and other members
7. Determine the fees paid to auditors
8. Approve the membership fees for the following year
9. Approve the budget for the following year
10. Elect a chairperson for the Association as well as the first and second chairpersons to replace those whose terms are expiring
11. Elect members to replace those whose terms are expiring from the Advisory Board
12. Elect Board members to replace those whose terms are expiring
13. Elect an auditor and deputy to audit the accounts and administration for the following calendar year. If the elected auditor is an accounting firm, no deputy auditor needs to be appointed. Furthermore, one operations inspector and his or her deputy shall be elected for the Association.
14. Discuss other business mentioned in the invitation to the meeting

12. Procedure for extraordinary decision-making

A decision on amending the rules, dissolving the Association or turning over the majority of the Association’s assets shall be made at the Association’s meeting if supported by at least ¾ of the votes cast.

13. Utilisation of assets upon the dissolution of the Association

Should the Association be dissolved, its assets shall be turned over to the University of Helsinki or to an incorporated society that promotes the Association’s objectives, as determined by the Association in its decision to dissolve its operations.

TERMS OF MEMBERSHIP OF THE UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI ALUMNI ASSOCIATION

Read the terms of membership before joining!

All former students who have pursued degree studies at the University of Helsinki may join the University’s Alumni Association. Membership applications are approved by the Board of the Association.

The Association’s annual meeting decides on the membership fee annually. This year’s fee is €36.

When registering as a member you will be asked to provide, at minimum, your name, address, phone number, date of birth, faculty and first year of studies. Please note that the faculty organisation corresponds to that currently in force. Changes may have taken place in the faculties and departments over the years.

The membership fee entitles you to participate in events organised by the Alumni Association and to enjoy member benefits. Having paid the membership fee, you will also receive membership letters and other information about the Association’s activities and the University. If you provide your email address, you will also receive messages by email.

The membership is personal: the Alumni Association benefits are for the member’s own use.

Our member register is absolutely confidential, and the information in it will not be shared with third parties.

The University of Helsinki Alumni Association has the right to terminate a membership if it has been misused or if the information provided is false.

The University of Helsinki Alumni Association reserves the right to amend the conditions of membership without separate notification.

The Alumni Association is a significant Finnish and international force in terms of its size and activity. Its membership exceeds the number of residents in most Finnish municipalities – more than 7,000. We would need a facility the size of five major concert halls or three large cruise ships to fit all our members in one place at the same time. Together we are an academic community that highlights the significance of research and academic education throughout Finnish society.

When reading this newsletter, you will soon discover that the Alumni Association’s persistent efforts for the benefit of students and the University are paying off. Every single member can feel proud of having supported students and the University through his or her membership fee. The Association engages members in projects that support the University’s strategic objectives. We have agreed with faculties, strategic sectors and the University’s senior management on focus areas for the academic volunteer work of alumni. The Association also undertakes long-term projects. For example, an application drawn up within the Alumni Association led to the tradition of Master’s conferment ceremonies being added to the Finnish list of intangible cultural heritage in recognition of the significance and unique nature of the tradition. The list is associated with UNESCO’s Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The conferment of Master’s degrees is a unique Finnish tradition, which has continued uninterrupted at the University of Helsinki since the 1640s. The Association members belonging to the Promootion ystävät (“Conferment friends”) group drew up the application.

This year, we will focus on the University’s strategic objective of placing the focus on students. The Association will contribute to this goal by supporting the employment of students and the development of their career skills through various projects. One of the projects, the Alumni Ambassador programme, allows dozens of alumni to help hundreds of students regardless of time and place. The project activities are based on the successful model used at Harvard University, which has been applied to the circumstances at the University of Helsinki. This is not the first time that inter-university cooperation has proved its value: the Alumni Association looked to leading British and American universities when it was established in 1990.

It goes to show that there is no need to reinvent the wheel in alumni activities.

The Association also endeavours to help students succeed in the international job market and spread the word about the University of Helsinki. The local clubs established around the world have quickly proved effective in these efforts. We owe a great deal of thanks to the active alumni who have taken it upon themselves to coordinate the clubs. We could not have done it from Helsinki.

The reform of the member register later this year will also require much work. But it is necessary in order to bring our activities in line with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which will take effect in the spring. The new regulation is a positive development, and we aim to promptly comply with its spirit of openness and accessibility, while guaranteeing the absolute security of our members’ data including its responsible use in our communications. The register data must be comprehensive and up-to-date to allow us to effectively target our communications (e.g., when inviting all who graduated 30 years ago to an annual celebration or contacting all theology graduates interested in environmental protection and living in Espoo).

In addition to focusing on specific areas, the Association will also ensure that all alumni – whether or not they can participate in our activities – feel that their membership is meaningful. Our member programme will remain diverse, and we will continue to communicate effectively. Read more about the benefits available to members and be sure to use them.

You are warmly welcome to attend the Association’s events. You can also bring along a friend who is not a member. Our feedback suggests that you will enjoy yourselves. Drop by at least once – curiosity is a key virtue of alumni! To conclude, I would like to thank the hundreds of alumni who have participated in our academic volunteer work this or last year by, for example, holding lectures, participating in work groups, helping with mail-outs and bringing together alumni from various fields. Thank you on behalf of all us members!

Pia Österman
Executive Manager of the Alumni Association

The new EU General Data Protection Regulation, taking effect in May 2018, is one of the most important amendments to international legislation related to data protection in recent decades. Its purpose is to improve the rights of individuals to manage and handle their personal data, as well as to harmonise legislation within the European Union. Another purpose for the change is to update the regulations concerned with data protection in order to keep up with the development of technology and challenges posed by data protection in connection with globalisation.

The Alumni Association has developed a new data protection statement and made sure, that the data management agreements that the new data protection regulation requires, are in place with the service providers we use that process personal data in their services. The Association's data protection statement and register description include information about the purpose of the register, the data collected and the duration of data storage.

 

The member letter will give you an overview of what activities the Alumni Association is planning this year, and it will keep you updated on news regarding the University of Helsinki and its alumni community. Find out what we offer our international alumni abroad and in Helsinki, and read more about our growing community, our membership benefits, volunteering opportunities, and our new Alumni Ambassador program!