Page updated 26.8.2014

The opening ceremony launched a new, dynamic academic year

Professional skills and competence, reformation and result-orientation will be the key themes for the academic year 2014–2015.

Distinguished students awarded

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At the end of the ceremony, distinguished students were given certificates of honour for their excellent study achievements. One of those rewarded was student in animation Kari Pieskä, whose victorious animation “Viis varpaista” (“No time for toes”) concluded the ceremony. Pieskä could not attend the ceremony as he was at the International Animation Festival in Hiroshima, so the award was received by the grand old lady in animation education, teacher Eija Saarinen.

Several speakers brought up the importance of cooperation. Managing Director Sami Savolainen also reminded us of our other strengths, which he described with the terms "cleverness and agility".

The atmosphere at the opening ceremony was enjoyable. There were also some surprises, when it turned out that the tango (Cardos Gardel: Pour una Gabeza)performed by Arts Academy music students was the favourite tango of the new Rector and President. As a dedicated competitive dancer, he asked Planner Satu Helmi to dance. The pair made the tango steps seem effortless!

After the dancing, Rector and President Vesa Taatila gave an inspiring speech on the challenges of TUAS’ next academic year: aiming for results and further development (“tackling the 55 credit challenge together and then starting off with other work”), the importance of cooperation and creating a new strategy for the next 5–10 years. Taatila said that he believes in innovation pedagogy and has absolute faith in that TUAS has both staff and students with a lot of competence and enthusiasm to tackle the challenges and renew the operations.

Students’ well-being into focus

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Vili Moisio, Chairman of the Board of Student Union TUO demanded in his speech that more attention must be paid to students’ well-being in the future. He was worried about the coping of students and asked TUAS to take into account that results cannot be achieved by creating pressure for students to graduate faster.

“Structures must be created for students to complete studies flexibly despite of their situation in life”, said Moisio and, after thanking Rector Juha Kettunen for a good term as TUAS’ Rector and welcoming the new Rector and President, concluded his speech with a promise:

“We students want to be involved in making Turku University of Applied Sciences the best university of applied sciences in Finland. A university of applied sciences where both students and staff are doing well and are coping with their work. A university of applied sciences that coaches the best professionals in Finland for working life and, at the same time, develops the region of Southwest Finland.

For his part, Moisio encapsulated the previous speakers’ ideas about the regional impact of TUAS.