Introduction materials

This page includes summaries of introduction material for the SYL board. The purpose of the material is to provide an insight into SYL’s operational environment. Some material include instructions for the reader.

Some of the materials are located on the websites of other organisations, in which case a direct link is provided. Some of the materials have an ID number, in which case they can be found in SYL’s material bank by typing the ID number into the search bar.

SYL has also created short videos about each sector for the boards of the student unions.

Please note that unfortunately the majority of the materials are only available in Finnish.

What is SYL? (video)

Angle: what does SYL do, what sort of relationship does it have with the student unions, how can you influence SYL, who make up SYL?


The executive sector

The Government Programme of Prime Minister Sipilä’s Government and the execution of the Government Programme, i.e. the implementation plan:

(The Government Programme is quite dense so it is easy to glance over, it makes sense to take a closer look at the sections on education and competence in the appendices.)

Education policy

The main points on education policy

Viewpoint: Where have we come from, where are we going, and who are in charge?


Current issues in education policy

Viewpoint: What are the current topics in education policy, and how do they relate to the bigger picture? Tuition fees, funding, structural development etc. (tähän voi heittää muitakin ajankohtaisia kokonaisuuksia)


Ready for the selections! Making more use of the matriculation examination in university student selections.

Speech by the Minister of Education at a seminar for the management of universities and scientific institutions

A presentation by the Director General of the Ministry of Education and Culture on the structural development of universities at the seminar for management 12/2016

A review of the future by the Ministry of Education and Culture

An assessment of the consequences of the reforms to the Universities Act:

(It’s a good idea to read the main results on pages 76–79, and if you want to, also read pages 13–20 for more insight into the background of the reform)

International affairs (to glance over)


EU lobbying – video

Angle: what is going on in the EU at the moment, why is it important for SYL to do EU lobbying?


The action plan Meaningful in Finland

Bologna with student eyes

The Council’s conclusions on the social dimension (also see this as part of the wider Europe 2020 strategy, that is what it is in the eyes of the Commission):

Youth Strategy

Skills Agenda

Strategy for modernisation

EU social dimension in higher education (access & attainment):

EU education and training for social inclusion:

The EU’s agenda for modernisation and the social dimension:


– Bologna and the Social Dimension:

– Working Group on SD and LLL (ESU co-chair):

– Bologna Social Dimension Strategy & ESU:

Development cooperation

Development cooperation (video)

Angle: what has the operating environment been like during the past few years, how are we changing the development cooperation and how will that affect student unions?


Learn more about SYL’s development cooperation projects on the website

The most important parts of the pages are the strategy for development cooperation and the Guidelines for development cooperation 2017–2020 (ID 12441, can be found in the Material bank on the website).

You can also read the project handbook on the website.


FSHS (video)

Angle: what is the FSHS and why is it being talked about so much at the moment?


The annual review of the FSHS 2015:

The interim review of the FSHS 1/2016:

Final report for the trial with universities of applied sciences at the FSHS:


Student housing report 2012 from the Ministry of the Environment:

Housing services relating to the internationalisation of universities:

Students’ income (video)

Angle: main issues from the past few years and a look into the future


Kela’s website: The student financial aid now.

Find out how the student financial aid is made up and the criteria for receiving it on the website. Focus on the aid for higher education students. Understand the structure of the financial aid (study grant, housing supplement, student loan and related incentives, particularly the student loan tax deduction)

The student survey 2014 (read the marked sections of the study, the study can be found here )

– Main results (p. 11–13)

– Students’ income and outgoing (p. 28–31)

Upcoming changes to the students’ income

– The transfer of students to the general housing allowance → at least paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4.2 and 4.3

– Cuts to the financial aid for students → paragraphs 1–4.

The basic income! Kela’s pages on the basic income are worth checking out. If you are not familiar with the topic, start here:

– Kela’s FAQ:

– Silja’s blog post on the basic income and students:


Maili Pörhölä’s presentation on bullying in universities (M-files: id 6140) Glance over


Working life

SYL’s views on pensions (M-files: ID 3291) please read all of it

Ability to study

Material for Study Ability Through Engagement

– A tool created from the results of the Kyky project Read through and make sure you understand 1) what the ability to study is, and 2) how it can be improved. No need to learn by heart.

– 2013_julkaisu_Innolla_opiskelukykyä-työkalu_verkkoversio.pdf can be found in the material bank