An Open World ?

Today afternoon we will already be travelling. My idea that I want to develop during the trip is an access course for the university. The course would contain a stipend system and be more affordable than the other courses available. Every year thousands of young people apply to access courses in the hope of getting into university. These courses are designed to train the youngsters in their entrance exams. It would be great to give an opportunity to young people who would not necessarily apply to university to have access to higher education through the access course.

Access courses and the business around it have become an institution in the finnish education system, although they are not a formal part of it. I took part in an access course a few years ago. Through it I got in to the Univeristy of Helsinki. I was to start my studies in political science. I felt that the world was open for me. My teacher at the acces course was excellent, inspiring and super active. The cost of the course was approximately 500 euros. The price was cheap in comparison with many other acces courses in different study fields.

Let`s climb together?

Does everyone have the possibilty to experience the same feeling which I experienced in the beginning of my academic career? Can everyone have the feeling that the world is open to them? Can everyone have an excellent teacher to support them in their task? No way, is my opinion. A young person who does not have the money or whose parents do not have the money, does not have the possibility to experience my feelings. In addition to money one needs loads of time and motivation. The step can be too big for a young person to take unless he has known at age eight that he was going to become a doctor.

These thoughts, so strictly connected to the questions of welfare state, democracy and equality, are those I am eager to develop during our trip which starts off today. Copenhagen and Amsterdam here we come. /

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