HYVÄT has issued a joint statement with the The Helsinki University Association of Researchers and Teachers, HUART ry about the University of Helsinki’s decision to charge grant-funded researchers rent for office spaces during the state of emergency when the offices are unavailable. HYVÄT and HUART demand that rent charged for the period when the offices were unavailable should be returned to the researchers or — even better — the practice of charging rent abolished altogether.
During the exceptional circumstances of spring 2020, there were enormous changes introduced to the everyday work and studies at the University of Helsinki due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to understand both the immediate and long-term effects of these changes on the doctoral candidates at the University of Helsinki, the PhD student association HYVÄT conducted a survey focusing on the wellbeing of the doctoral candidates and how it can be improved during these exceptional times.
The survey was conducted between 7 and 19 April with questions available in Finnish and in English. In total, there were received more than 500 answers from all of the four doctoral schools, including at least one answer from each doctoral programme. While the survey was performed during the early phase of the epidemic and some of the identified issues have already been resolved, many of them remain relevant and require attention by the University administration when moving forward with considering the consequences of the epidemic. Chief among these issues are the concerns about the continuation of funding to finish doctoral studies that have been delayed because of the situation, and the major negative effects on the mental wellbeing of the students. Many answers expressed a clear need for increased flexibility and support from the University, which we expect the doctoral schools will keep in mind when drafting measures to help their students. It is our hope that this survey will aid in communicating the concerns of the students about the situation to the relevant parties, and that appropriate action to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will be taken based on both the suggestions presented by the students and our analysis of the results.
A report describing the findings from the survey in more detail is available for download at https://blogs.helsinki.fi/phd-association/files/2020/05/HYVÄT_COVID_survey_results.pdf.
Seminar on the results of the COVID-19 Survey
HYVÄT held a (virtual) seminar on 4 June 2020 at 17.00, where the results of the survey were briefly presented and the participants had a chance to ask questions from the HYVÄT representatives. Presentation slides from the seminar are available here https://blogs.helsinki.fi/phd-association/files/2020/06/hyvat_covid_slides.pdf.
HELSINGIN YLIOPISTON VÄITÖSKIRJATUTKIJAT RY
Aika: 23.3.2020 klo 17.00
Paikka: Viisi Penniä, Mannerheimintie 55
- Kokouksen avaus
- Kokouksen laillisuus ja päätösvaltaisuus
- Esityslistan hyväksyminen
- Kokouksen puheenjohtajan valinta
- Kokouksen sihteerin valinta
- Kahden pöytäkirjantarkastajan ja ääntenlaskijan valinta
- Vuoden 2019 toimintakertomus, tilinpäätös, sekä toiminnantarkastajien lausunto
- Tilinpäätöksen vahvistaminen ja vastuuvapauden myöntäminen
- Hallituksen tai virkailijoiden täydentäminen (mahdollinen)
- Muut käsiteltävät asiat
- Kokouksen päätös
To kick off the advocacy work for 2020, HYVÄT organized an introductory seminar for the newly elected PhD representatives at thesteering groups od Doctoral Programmes, Schools and a few other boards of the university.
You can find the full programme of the seminar in the skeleton presentation: Representative seminar 2020
The seminar was started by introducing the representatives to HYVÄT and by asking their expectations for the following two year period. Here are results:
Next, we had Jenna Sorjonen from the Student Union HYY explaining the “legal” part of working witht the university administration: HYVÄT 15.1.2020 PhD Representatives
In the following panel discussion, there were four previous representatives talking about their experiences in the task:
- Julia von Boguslawski (Steering group of doctoral education, HYMY)
- Elina Pietilä (Doctoral School steering group, DSHealth)
- Mridul Johari (Doctoral Programme steering group, ILS/DSHealth)
- Krista Longi (Doctoral Programme steering group, DOCS/DONASCI)
Unfortunately we did not record the conversation, but to summarize, the take-home message was that the representatives should seek to communicate with each other and with the people they represent as mych as possible – both in formal meetings and in informal corridoor discussions.
The panel discussion was followed by the newly elected representative in the Steering Group of Doctoral Education, Joni Ollonen stating his goals for the election period: Joni_Ollonen_Goals_for_this_2-year_period
And finally, the representatives were grouped by their Doctoral School in order to discuss their possible common goals and ways of communication.
HYVÄT has awarded the prize for the best PhD supervisor at the university in 2019 to professor Petri Luomanen. Luomanen was selected by the small committee of HYVÄT based on more than 30 proposals that we received over the summer and early autumn. You can read the proposal below.