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Page updated 26.3.2018

TUAS rectors back to school for a week

How many different subjects can you study at Turku University of Applied Sciences? That’s what TUAS Rector and President Vesa Taatila and TUAS Vice Rector Juhani Soini set to find out last week by jumping in among students on different TUAS campuses, trying out a range of studies. They were impressed by the motivated attitude of TUAS students.

Text: an edited translation from the Finnish article by Anne Kuusisto
Photos: Anne Kuusisto
Photo above: Antti Ala-Könni

The rectors’ tour, organized in cooperation with the Student Union of Turku University of Applied Sciences TUO, takes the rectors to the experience practical learning. The approach involved cooperation and humour.

“It's been great to move around our campuses and register the sincere enthusiasm of our students. They are eager to learn and have a strong will to make progress. In addition, the groups we have visited have fantastically demonstrated that the students know each other well”, the rectors say.

The week began at the Trade cooperative, studying accounting and balancing the accounts. This was already somewhat familiar to the rectors, luckily. In the afternoon, the rectors presented a live radio show on campus radio Tutka. Playing Elvis and Pink Floyd, perhaps they started dreaming of a career change?

On Tuesday, the rectors practised juggling with circus students. Rector and President Taatila proved his skills in keeping several balls in the air at once.

“At least three”, Vice Rector Soini remarks.

During the same day, they also dropped in at the vehicle inspection station located at TUAS Sepänkatu campus to help out, or bother, automotive engineering students.

On Wednesday, the rectors participated in medication care studies at TUAS Ruiskatu campus. They made it to the operating room already the same afternoon. The patient survived the operation. (Because it was a manikin.)

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Watching closely in the operation room. Student Soini focusing on front left, with his fellow student Taatila in the middle.

Trying out emergency care studies

The operating room of the Faculty of Health and Well-being is the realm of Senior Lecturer Sanna Ojala. She is a seasoned professional who gives brisk instructions to 14 emergency care students plus the two newcomers.

The studies in emergency care last for four years. The students present in this session are second year students. Instead of lecturing, Sanna makes the students act. Clear instructions first, followed by implementation. All runs smoothly, even with the rectors.

The theory of preparing an operation has already been studied. Therefore Ojala tells the students to think, "what should we now do?" The rectors throw in some brilliant ideas. The students voice even better ones.

“Our students are active and highly motivated. The number of applicants is always high, which means we are lucky to get to select those who best suit this field. Whether you work in an ambulance or intensive care unit. You need to have tolerance for insecurity and surprises, and in addition to nursing skills, you’ll need excellent interpersonal skills”, Ojala lists, clearly proud of her students.

Students emphasize good team spirit. They are happy with their selection as the studies involve challenges and a strong practice-orientation.

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Senior Lecturer Sanna Ojala monitors whether the rectors will save the patient’s leg.

Increased understanding

Later in the week, the rectors continued their studies:

Sewing badges on student coveralls, attending a team learning session of occupational therapy students, trying welding at #factory learning environment and conducting some laboratory work with chemistry students. They days are full of work. Then again, the rectors are probably rather busy anyway?

“During normal weeks and standard working days, we close the office door at 6 p.m. at the latest”, the rectors explain. “One has to set limits. Otherwise it's too much for anyone", they clarify.

Both Taatila and Soini describe the week as extremely rewarding. In addition to gaining a nice number of ECTS credits, they gained an increased understanding of the demanding work of higher education teachers and students.  

The rectors got to learn about the video camera system used by dental hygienists. The system was introduced by student Vivian Alvarez (left) and teacher Minna Hyötilä.