Tag Archives: kehmy ry

Migration research

Image by flicr.com/Arsenie Coseac

Image by flicr.com/Arsenie Coseac

Saija Niemi, migration researcher in geography, is carrying out research in the Department of Geoscience and Geography in the University of Helsinki.

Niemi’s current research is related to Sudanese conflict-induced forced migration. She is creating a new migration theory based on primary data, which she collected in Sudan, Uganda, Egypt and Finland. In her research, Niemi uses the classic grounded theory method, which was developed by doctors Glaser and Strauss in the 1960s. In the new theory, the main concern of people involved in migration is control.

Image by flicr.com/ United to End Genocide-I became interested in Sudanese migration when I conducted a pilot cultural orientation project in the International Organization for Migration in Cairo in 2001. The project was targeted at Sudanese quota refugees accepted for resettlement in Finland. At that time there was not much knowledge about Sudan or Sudanese migration in Finland, tells Niemi.

Niemi studied her master’s degree in human geography and her interests can also be linked to development geography. She wrote her master’s thesis about Mexican migration and her thesis ”Mexicans on the move: migration perspectives on micro and macro levels, and identities” (2000) was based on primary data she collected in Mexico and the United States. As a student, she was also active in associations.

-When I was a student, I was active in the Association of Development Geography (now known as Kehmy ry) and Lawra development cooperation project. Later, I have also acted in different organizations like for example the Red Cross and the Society for the Study of Ethnic Relations and International Migration (ETMU).

After graduating Niemi worked in the International Oraganization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Afterwards she returned to the University of Helsinki to work in the discipline of development studies and to carry out her doctoral research in geography.

Forced migration has been a current topic in the media this year and Niemi thinks that also research can contribute to the discussion.

-Research creates new information that can support for instance political and practical decision-making.

Niemi sees the topic of migration interesting and considers it to offer various possibilities for research. Some current issues include climate or environmental change related migration, human smuggling and aspects of migration to Europe. She gives an advice to students who are interested in researching migration.

-Study what you are interested in and be open-minded. There are various issues, which can be researched in relation to migration.

Opportunities in University of Helsinki

Amica Dristig

There are more study possibilities for development geographers at our University than many could think of. At our third meeting we had the opportunity to get more familiar with them.

We met Heini Vihemäki from the Global South Network, a multidisciplinary network for research and education on development and international cooperation. She spoke about the possibility to choose Global South Studies as a minor. So what do you learn from having it as a minor? Well, you get diverse approaches to development coming from a variety of disciplines and themes, and this will improve professional capacities to work in different international environments. Check out more here: HUGS

Image by quotesgram.com/exchange-student-year-quotes

Development geographers tend to travel a lot and usually enjoy different cultures and new adventures, so what better way than to visit a new country? Raisa Asikainen came to tell more about student exchange opportunities outside the Erasmus programme, based on bilateral programmes that can be used by all students of the University of Helsinki. There aren’t many requirements for students wanting to apply. First, you need to have 60 ECTS credits, and then to show you have the language skills used in host country, e.g. Portuguese in Brazil and French in Madagascar. I have never heard of anyone regretting an exchange year and I hope I will get to go before I graduate. So, choose a continent and a country then look up the universities with exchange agreements and apply in time. More information here: Flamma

Image by blogs.helsinki.fi/kehy-valiokunta

We also heard of cooperation programmes where students can be involved. Marketta Vuola, who recently graduated in development geography, came to tell us about the Development Cooperation Committee of the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY).  One of the development cooperation committees task is to raise awareness and discussion on global development issues among university students and any HYY member is welcome to join. They also have funded projects in Zambia and Bangladesh, which focus on improving reproductive health and quality of life for women and girls in Zambia. The new Bangladesh project is a people-led climate change resiliency program with focus on indigenous knowledge. They also have other activities you can check them here: Kehy


Image by kehmy.fi

Image by kehmy.fi

Another graduate development geographer, Matias Andersson, introduced KEHMY RY, an association for development geographers. It’s basically our community! It’s quite small community but aims to support research in development geography and generate awareness on global development issues. The association organizes study trips, excursions and events. It also has its own magazine, Maapallo. Anyone can join by just paying a small fee. If this all sounds perfect then check them out at here