Students have the opportunity to use their voice
Jukka-Pekka Salmela, Student Union TUO's expert in advocacy and communication, encourages all students to use their voice. There are many channels for feedback and influence.
TUO influences internal and external working groups
Jukka-Pekka Salmela emphasizes the importance of the work of TUO representatives in a wide range of internal and external working groups. Work on student feedback is promoted in the quality group of Turku UAS, which includes two members of the student union.
Student feedback is collected through surveys and discussions, and increasingly also through an anonymous feedback channel . In addition, TUO receives a large number of contacts.
The student body itself cannot experience all that the nearly 12 000 students face in their daily lives. The feedback that comes to TUO's attention is the "eyes and ears" of the operation, says Jukka-Pekka.
–Even the smallest feedback, positive or negative, that comes to our attention is so important. We need information from as many different and diverse sources as possible.
TUO receives a wide range of feedback
Experiences are always subjective and therefore require a lot of background work to resolve them. For example, if the feedback is about teaching, it is extremely important to first find out if the teacher has discussed the issue. It may be that the issue is already resolved at this stage.
Feedback from international graduate and exchange students may be more challenging to resolve. They often involve questions about processes and laws, says Jukka-Pekka, who works on issues such as influencing degree regulations.
TUO has two harassment liaison officers who deal with cases of bullying and inappropriate treatment. Jukka-Pekka urges people to contact them even in minor cases.
–You can always contact our harassment liaison officers if you need an impartial voice for your concerns. The harassment liaison officers can also provide support in taking harassment or equality cases forward.
This work is not done alone
Jukka-Pekka, who gradually became interested in communication and influencing, says that the topic was initially foreign to him. The motivation to promote issues through communication was found years ago in Pori.
–When I was chairman of the engineering students in Pori, I got such a strong sense of awe when we were able to influence things at European level. It was then that I realized how communication and lobbying really go hand in hand and play a key role in getting things done.
Jukka-Pekka, who is interested in new technological tools for communication, says that his career path as a civil engineer led him to a varied field of work as a cultural producer. Jukka-Pekka believes that advocacy and lobbying will be with him for a long time to come.
–The emphasis in this job is that you get to do communication and advocacy work that helps others. I do not do this work alone, but on behalf of the whole student community and with the voice it gives.
Turku UAS piloting Spark course feedback
Spark, course feedback system, is used by many Finnish universities.