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God damn! Writings from Tamy: Making Tamy more accessible

Have you ever been to a country with a language that you do not understand? Tried to make something of signs with incomprehensible text written in strange letters? Been pleased with short menus translated poorly into English?

If you do not know the language, you will learn by spending time in the country. But the problems do not disappear: even though it might not take long to learn how to order a pint, taking care of more complicated matters can be difficult for a long time. To an international student, the University, Student Union and Finnish society are as inaccessible as the Yo-talo building without a lift is to someone with a physical disability.

The internationalisation of our institutions of higher education is not just a crafty scheme created by the Ministry of Education to get the institutions into fancy university ranking lists. Future of the world lies in internationalisation. The world has changed in such a way that it is no longer possible to nurse the age-old Nordic welfare state possessively within our borders.

Global problems - climate change, overpopulation, crises of capitalism - involve us, too, and they require global solutions. The weakening dependency ratio will soon leave us with a crying need of work force. Even our innovations mean nothing significant without international cooperation.

A university or a student union aiming truly at being international cannot shut international students outside the decision making. Participating in the supervision of studentsÂ’ interests must be made much more accessible. Hopefully, the language strategy which TamyÂ’s Council of Representatives will decide on at the end of the year pushes internationalisation forward.

Varpu Jutila
The columnist is a member of the student union executive board

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