The event was organized by the GPC programme with Dr Amadae acting as a moderator. It focused on the university democracy, autonomy, trust, openness and culture of governance. Why does the university always seem to be short of money? Is there something wrong with the funding model or is money used as a governing tool? Plenty of funds are available for building renovations that very few people actually want and university staff are relocated into open-plan offices. How could we better involve the university community in administrative decision-making? How could we increase openness and trust between the university administration and scholars? And most crucially, is it appropriate to run the university as a business?
Recording of the whole event including the performance of the a capella group Club for Five is available on the university website and on Youtube.
Watch the introduction here:
“Together, we can contribute to the inclusivity and sustainability of our university and the world,” says Tarja Halonen, former president of Finland and chair of the Board of the University of Helsinki 2018-2021, in her opening word. What is the role of the university in today’s world, and how do these large institutions formulate their goals and plans? And crucially, the question of money: how are finances distributed, and how do universities respond to the needs and expectations of the state and society that provides them?
Watch president Halonen’s speech here:
Is the idea of Humboldtian university still relevant today, and how can its values be transferred into practice? Stinne Vognæs, GPC alumni and author of a Master’s thesis focusing on the role of the university in a civil society, is the second keynote speaker. In her contribution, she talks about how the university prepares its graduates to navigate the complex modern world and contribute to democratic values, and also how does “bringing values to the classroom” works like in practice:
The 2010 higher education reform remains a controversial topic even a decade after its introduction. Professor Teivo Teivainen, lecturer at world politics at the University of Helsinki, speaks about the changes it has brought, and the impact it had on transparency and decision-making processes in current universities.
Watch professor Teivainen's speech here:
The second half of the programme is dedicated to a panel discussion. President Tarja Halonen is accompanied by professors Jukka Kekkonen and Heikki Patomäki from the University of Helsinki, professor Maija Peltola, who currently serves at the President of The Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers, and Laura Rissanen, director of the employers’ union Sivista. The discussion is moderated by Dr Sonja Amadae, director of the GPC programme.
Key points from the discussion:
- What is your ideal view of the university? (58:00)
- What are the main problems of the 2010 legislation reform? (1:17:00)
- How can the problem of fixed-term academic contracts be tackled? (1:35:30)
- Are students treated as members of the academic community? (1:48:30)
Watch the full panel discussion:
Watch the two performances by Club for Five here: