Annika Nevanpää of the Tampere Student Union was elected as SYL’s President for 2021 at the General Assembly held in November. Where does Annika’s enthusiasm for student advocacy come from, and what are her thoughts about next year? Get to know next year’s President!
Hi! I’m Annika Nevanpää, a 26-year-old administrative scientist from Tampere. I major in public law and, due to a particular university merger, legislation related to universities is especially close to my heart. I started on the board of my own subject association as a freshman and, after my second year on the board, became a student representative in administration and a member of the board of the student union. In TREY’s first year of operation, I was responsible for national educational affairs advocacy, university administration and international advocacy, and this year I was chair of the board. Although I’ll say bye to Tampere for the upcoming SYL year, I’ll be a member of the academic board of Tampere University, i.e. the consistory, for the next two years.
How did your enthusiasm for student engagement start?
I’ve always been interested in social issues and discussing them (or debating – in upper secondary school I was the captain of our debate club). I was a member of the student council throughout upper secondary school, so, as a freshman, applying to the subject organization’s board felt like a natural continuum. However, the year 2017 was full of really interesting twists and turns in relation to Tampere3, and the news we heard from our board’s educational affairs adviser inspired me to apply for the position for the following year. Here we are, still on the same path.
What do you want to promote as SYL’s President next year?
Next year will bring a variety of major issues, but one that unites everyone is the coming anniversary year. I hope that, boosted by this, SYL will win column space in social discussions and be a prominent nationwide player throughout the year.
What are the main advocacy challenges for SYL next year?
It remains to be seen how much turmoil COVID-19 will cause next year. Student admissions are already a concern, but hopefully we have learned from last year. However, the government’s mid-term review is approaching: sustainable economic recovery and investment in students and universities will be the most critical tasks next year in this regard.
You will have the honor to serve as SYL’s President in the union’s centennial year. What do you think are the most important advocacy achievements of the student movement during SYL’s 100-year history?
History is rich and colorful, and the student movement is responsible for almost everything that is self-evident to us today, and I’m not just talking about students or education. The student movement has produced, and will continue to produce, responsible social actors who, even in later life, will work for a better world. You can leave the bubble, but the bubble won’t leave you.