HYVÄT Spring Meeting

The HYVÄT Board for 2022 wants to welcome all HYVÄT members to the association’s spring meeting that takes place on March 30th at 18.00 in group study room 329 at Alexandria. Participation is possible also via Zoom and the link as well as the meeting invitation have been sent to HYVÄT mailing list. If you did not receive a message, please consult the board through phd-board@helsinki.fi.

Due to various reasons, some members of the board have had to step out of their responsibilities. Therefore, we will have to elect a new chairperson during the meeting and we are also looking for new active members of the board. If you are interested in developing our activities, please do not hesitate to join us! If you are willing to join the board but cannot come to the meeting, please write us, again at phd-board@helsinki.fi

 The meeting agenda is attached below. See you soon!

General spring meeting
Time: March 30th 2022, at 18.00
Location: Aleksandria, group study room 329, or remote access via Zoom


1. Opening the meeting

2. Legitimacy of the meeting

3. Approving the agenda

4. Electing chairperson for the meeting

5. Electing secretary for the meeting

Electing two scrutinisers and two tellers for the meeting
Annual report, financial statement, and auditors’ report from the year 2021
8. Approving the financial statement and discharging the accountables from liability

9. Electing new chairperson

10. Electing new board members or officers (possible)

Other matters
12. Closing the meeting

Introductory seminar for the newly elected PhD representatives : A summary of panel discussion

HYVÄT’s first effort to introduce representatives responsibilities and rights successfully took place on Wednesday 16th January in New Student House.

After an introduction about HYVÄT by Anton Saressalo the program continued with a presentation about university administration and the rights of representatives by Harri Waltari.

Anton’s presentation
Harri’s presentation

The seminar also included a panel discussion in which Mariella Aalto-Araneda, Abdelhakim Salem, Harri Mäcklin and Giovanni Canarecci shared their experiences as previous representatives. At the end, about 50 new representatives had the chance to have more free discussions in small groups based on their doctoral schools.

Please find bellow a summary of questions and answers discussed during the panel:

1.How was the workload? Too much? If yes, what could be done to adjust it?

The workload is higher the first year. It is not spread evenly throughout the year: most work has to be done when selecting new PhD students and reviewing applications for salaried positions or when organizing events for the doctoral school.

2. Did the board use English or Finnish? Was language an issue in any way?

From the experience of our panelists, the boards switches from Finnish to English when a non-Finnish speaker joins. Official documents are often still in Finnish, but usually a translation or summary in English is provided by someone on the board. If applications from doctoral students can be send in English and Finnish, this can make it complicated to review them.

3.What was it like to be on the board? Did you collaborate well with the other board members?

In some schools and programmes the atmosphere is friendly and informal. Not a lot of voting is done and most decisions are made unanimously through compromises. On some boards there is a feeling of distance between the student representatives and professors. Professors might be hesitant to organise something extra, like a symposium, until they find out no extra work is required

4.On role of doctoral schools in paid positions

The school has a certain amount of paid positions, which are distributed to the programmes. The way these positions are distributed is done differently in every school. On the doctoral school level, you try to unify between different programmes, such that there are equal opportunities despite the programme.

5.Have you been in contact with the school and programme representatives in your school? How do you keep contact with the other doctoral students?

Some programmes/schools have a Facebook page to keep contact with the students. It is important that your fellow students know that you are their representative, so that they can come to you with possible issues.

6.On issues with supervision

The go to person for problems on supervision is the coordinator of the doctoral programme. Other people are the head of the programme or the head of the department. If the head of the department is the supervisor in question, then the head of the doctoral school is an option.

PhD representatives introductory seminar

An introductory seminar for the newly elected PhD representatives.

The seminar will be on Tuesday January 16th from 5 pm to 8 pm, located at meeting room Wilhelmsson (New Student House, Mannerheimintie 5A, 5th floor).

The program includes a presentation about university administration and the rights of the representatives by Harri Waltari. In addition, there will be a panel discussion (with Mariella Aalto-Araneda, Abdelhakim Salem, Heidi Zitting, Harri Mäcklin and Giovanni Canarecci) to share their experiences & advice from the previous term as representatives.

However, the most important aspect of the seminar is for representatives to get to know each other and form active connections over the doctoral program/school boundaries.

After the seminar we continue downstairs to Dubliner for the first HYVÄT pub night of the year.

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