University to Discontinue Faculties?
By Jarno Forssell
Just a few years after major administrative renewals and in the midst of result-oriented restructuring, some are now suggesting the demise of the entire University faculty structure. This fall, Professor of History Heikki Ylikangas and Academic Professor Yrjö Engeström demanded an end to the division of faculties at the University of Helsinki. The move is hoped to bring an increase in departmental independence and responsibility. Many university community members are surprisingly supportive of see room for improvement in current administration practices, but few are willing to do away with the faculty structure altogether.
Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Kari Raivio admits, “From a research standpoint, we could very well do away with faculties.” Raivio believes, however, that a problem arises when dealing with certain fields that prepare one for a specific occupation and grant legal competency – like medicine and law. “Some kind of body would still be required to coordinate instruction, balance different subjects and distribute basic resources. The end result would most likely not be too different.”
Dean of the Faculty of Arts Göte Nyman is a strong proponent of renewal, but doesn’t see faculty removal as the goal, “Instead of a drive to remove the faculties, we should be examining how these basic processes, like attaining degrees and dissertations, should be handled and supported. Then different roles can be assigned to the faculty administrations, or else they can be done away with.”
Rector Risto Ihamuotila is also not prepared to surrender the faculties just yet, “They could work as lighter organizations – committee-type organs that would decide about degree requirements, admissions, etc… The ideal would be 20-25 strong groups of subject concentrations with whom the Rector could negotiate directly.” No major changes are expected in the near future, as it will take some time before the University has subjects with a foothold strong enough to function independently.
HISA General Meeting
The Helsinki International Students Association (HISA) will hold its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, December 12 beginning at 6 p.m. in the Domus Bombshelter, located at Leppäsuonkatu 7B. Every foreign student is automatically a member of HISA and all are welcome to join the current board in looking back on the previous year and electing a new board for the coming year. Come support foreign students and meet interesting people from around the world. For more information, call 627 308.
Ministry Charts More Graduates
By Nina Korhonen
In a recent Ministry of Education proposal of academic goals for the years 1997-2000, the number of university graduates in Finland will rise 27% by the year 2000. Whereas 9,615 students completed their Master’s degree last year, in the year 2000, the corresponding figure is set at 12,200. In order to reach this goal, the Ministry predicts that 60-65% of young people will be offered higher education, amounting to 20,000 new students admitted annually. Three-quarters of the places will be reserved for young people applying for the first time.
The Ministry stresses the need for an increase in degrees in the fields of technology and transportation, administration and trade and the social sciences. The greatest growth at the University of Helsinki is charted in the subjects of theology (55%), health care (51%) and agriculture and forestry (22%). To compensate, the Ministry believes that fewer graduates should be encouraged in psychology and medicine, for example.
The Ministry hopes to make instruction more effective, causing the number of drop outs to fall. Is this yet another attempt to get students through the university faster? Marita Savola of the Ministry comments, “The universities should ensure that their students graduate and, to a greater extent, ensure that they are able to find work.”
Media Hounds Women Soldiers
By Miska Rantanen
The first women were allowed to begin their military service in the Finnish army on October 16. Since that date, these women have been watched. The press wants romance, conflict and disillusionment. What they are getting is life as usual in the army. Private Tiina Jukkola is currently serving in the Häme regiment on a half-year leave from her geography studies at the University of Helsinki. “I understand that the press is interested in us, but why do they have to be hounding us all the time? The problems they write about aren’t our problems, they are made up.” Tiny issues are blown out of proportion: Regulations concerning the length of hair for men were overturned in the name of gender equality. A small step for mankind, great sales for the yellow press.
The law allowing women to serve in the army in Finland developed quickly. A working committee’s recommendation was completed in late 1994 and the law was passed in March of this year. Jukkola, along with 713 others, submitted her application, and in October, she and 23 other women entered the service. The largest group of applicants were young women who had just finished their matriculation exams. 54% declared that they were studying at the time they submitted the application, a quarter were working in some capacity, and less than a fifth of applicants were unemployed. Interest, usefulness and patriotism were the top three motives.
Commander Captain Eero Karhuvaara feels that women have added new strength, “Based on our experience thus far, the presence of women has improved men’s performance …After all we live in a pretty matriarchal society. Virtually every man has been raised by a woman.”
Hip and Hale Film Premiere
Rieku and Raiku, the familiar figures of Ylioppilaslehti’s new cartoon strip, hit the big screen recently with their one and a half minute movie short Rieku ja Raiku pimustavat baarilla, translated into English as `Hip and Hale on pussy patrol’. The film is based on characters created by Jari Lehikoinen and Tomi Riionheimo.
The film was drawn in Helsinki, mixing and music was completed in Tampere and planning and voice dubbing was done in Joensuu. “A lot of time went into coordination and too much time was spent traveling,” comments Riionheimo. Swedish, German, Latin and Japanese versions of the cartoon film are also available.
Your Handwriting May Lie
By Miira Lähteenmäki
“It seems like a reasonable concept, that your handwriting can reveal something about your personality. The hypothesis is believable, but proof is essential. No connection has been found between a person’s personality and their handwriting in scientific testing,” tells neuropsychologist and researcher Timo Kaitaro. Personality descriptions compiled by graphologists have been compared to results of psychological tests and a mere 6% correlation was discovered, the same percentage that could be attributed to coincidence. Despite these results, many people consider graphology a legitimate science.
Graphology is based on a concept long disproved by contemporary psychology in which each person is a collection of traits, regardless of the situation. In general, people have a tendency to describe others according to their characteristics and one’s own behavior as a result of the circumstances: ‘He flies off the handle because he’s got a short fuse, but I do because I am under a lot a stress.’
Ludvig Klages founded graphology in his 1917 book Handschrift und Charakter. He believed that inconsistencies in penmanship could mean such good traits as intellectual initiative, intuition and wit. However, the same inconsistencies could also mean lack of logicality, inability to concentrate and stubbornness, for example.
Successful Student Entrepreneurs
By Jarno Forssell
For many university students, owning one’s own business is a utopian dream of the future. Some, however, make this dream a reality already before they graduate. Laura Mänki was inspired to start a translating firm of her own two years ago. She advertised her intention in Porthania to find fellow language students who would be interested in joining her. After a poor initial showing, 15 fellow entreprenuers were eventually ready to contribute 1000 FIM each and create a company. Valtasana Oy was born. Business began at Fredrikinkatu in March of last year. Tytti Laine comments, “We were all friends beforehand so it was a bit risky to mix our friendships and money. But we are all still on speaking terms!”
In the fall of ’92, Kuopio’s municipality government wanted to buy a data processing program from some students. The problem was that the offer needed to be made in a company’s name. PiiPää Oy became the solution to the probelm. Lauri Henttonen and Jaakko Hyvätti are content to be business owners, “The other alternative would be a cramped corner job with an old computer in some health care office.” Lauri admits that starting the firm didn’t leave time for much else, “When we founded this business, my studies were half finshed – and they still are today.”
Translation Pamela Kaskinen