A year of changes
For student union Helga, the year was characterised by changes. The student unions of six universities of applied sciences in the Helsinki metropolitan area, Helga included, launched the Opku6 development project. The purpose is to deepen the already close cooperation and to harmonise processes and operating methods. The focus will be on the students, who will receive more effective advocacy services, a more extensive service offering, more value for their membership and more convenient and smoother service as a result of the cooperation. The challenges of the digital era have been addressed by building shared information systems: a CRM member registry, online shop and customer service chat.
Many goodbye parties were thrown at the office, since staff turnover during the year included practically all of the student union’s hired employees. Among the documents that direct the operations, the political programme and the urban programme were reformed to meet the changed visions for a better tomorrow for the students – taking the future trends into consideration.
Strengthening the impact
Helga coordinated the municipal election activities in Helsinki for the World Student Capital network of 100,000 higher education students in the Helsinki metropolitan area. The Tiederatikka local residents’ initiative started by the network was submitted to Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki.
At the end of the spring semester, the number of members exceeded 5,000, making Helga one of the three largest student unions.
The student union was an active participant in Haaga-Helia’s auditing. The quality audit was passed by the summer break. The international audit team praised the involvement of students in the quality work, in particular. The Yhteiskunnallinen toiminta study module on social activities (5–15 credits), coordinated by the student union and provided now for the first time, was highly welcomed.
At the end of the year, Helga’s representative council election was a topic discussed across Finland. A manifestation of the interest in the election was the voting rate of 25.20%, which was high on a national scale.
In 2017, the vice chairs of both of our national umbrella organisations, University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland – SAMOK and Finnish Student Sports Federation, were Helga members. In addition, another Helga member held a seat on SAMOK’s board.