AGORA research centre autumn 2023 newsletter

As the year 2023 is coming to an end, we in AGORA want to thank everyone, especially our active and supportive community members and great colleagues all around the world. With this newsletter we want to provide a little summary of the autumn semester at AGORA for the study of social justice and equality in education -research centre, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki (UH).  


  • AGORA scholars have been active in giving regular public talks, keynotes and lectures for various academic and other audiences. This year AGORA members have collaborated for example with the National Board of Education, the Ministry of Education, Jyväskylä Uni, Melbourne Uni, University of Eastern Finland 
  • Kristiina Brunila, visiting scholar at Uni of Melbourne (Oct.-Dec.2023) 
  • AGORA members presented their research in various conferences. We are particularly delighted that our PhD researchers were active in presenting their research. Saara Vainio, Veera Tervo and Inka Tähkä presented at ECER in the University of Glasgow and also organized and chaired “The value of critical research in education and society” thematic group at FERA.
  • Birgit Schaffar, visiting scholar at Luleå Technical University (academic year 2023-24, on campus in Luleå week 42) 

Awards & Acknowledgements 

  • Katariina Mertanen: World Cultural Council Special Recognition Award 2023. Award is given to early career scholars who have achieved outstanding performance in the fields of science and education. 
  • Katariina Mertanen: Adult Educator of the Year, Aikuiskasvatuksen kilta. Recognition by the student organisation for an individual or group who has done significant with adult education. 
  • Kristiina Brunila: Dean’s Lecture, Melbourne Uni. (Lecture will be found on Youtube soon) 

 Media representation  

  • Kristiina Brunila is frequently interviewed in media, here you can find more info of her recent media appearances Media | Kristiina Brunila 

Funding news

  • PhD researcher Veera Tervo received a four-year University-funded doctoral researcher position at the doctoral programme in School, Education, Society and Culture (SEDUCE). Tervo’s PhD research focuses on disorder and order in the everyday practices if schooling in Finland.
  • PhD researcher Essi Mäkelä’s received a four-year University-funded doctoral researcher position at SECUCE. Mäkelä’s research delves into the intricate realm of educational privatization and educational business (edu-business) in Finland, contextualized within the evolving landscape of changing educational governance towards precision education governance

Congratulations to both!

New scholars in AGORA 

  • Hanna Dromberg joined AGORA as a PhD student under supervision of Juho Honkasilta and Kristiina Brunila. Her research focuses on the emergence of adult ADHD in media, professional and lay discourse and how the concept operates as a form of governance within the framework of psychiatrization. 
  • Hillevi Vyyryläinen joined AGORA as a PhD student under supervision of Juho Honkasilta. Her research focuses on the conceptualization and materialization of the emergent phenomenon called “Nepsy” in the context of Finnish primary schooling within the framework of psychiatrization.   

Forthcoming PhD examinations 

  • Ameera Masoud, Friday 9th February 2024. Athena building, hall 107 at 13:00.  



We wish you all pleasant holidays!