Opening Day of the University of Turku Celebrated on 5 September

​Teacher, Course and Language Deed of the Year Announced at the Opening Carnival

Both students and staff enjoyed the festive atmosphere, music and dance of the Opening Carnival which was organised by the University of Turku and the Student Union. New students had a chance to meet different student organisations, and explore different activities and services available on campus.



University Lecturer in Folkloristics Kaarina Koski was selected as the Teacher of the Year, the pathology course of the Pathology and Forensic Medicine Unit was selected as the Course of the Year, and University Teacher Päivi Paukku won the Language Deed of the Year with the visits to a Finnish elementary school.she has organised for international students.

In addition, the name of the new student centre was revealed at the Opening Carnival. The student centre, situated at the University Hill and between the Main Building and Natura, was named Disco.

A name competition was organised for the new centre and altogether a hundred different suggestions were submitted.


The Student Centre Disco was inaugurated by Vice Rector Riitta Pyykkö, Head of Student Support Services Tiia Enges and Chair of the Student Union MIika Tiainen.

Rector Väänänen at the Opening Day: A Year of Far-reaching Renewals



In his opening speech, Rector Kalervo Väänänen said that the most important national development project for this academic year is renewing the universities' student selection process by emphasising the certificate of matriculation and making the entrance exams less arduous.

– This year, each of our faculties will carefully prepare a plan for streamlining the student selection in collaboration with the Student Union, other universities and with the school system where applicable.

The other nationally important renewal in educational policy is related to strengthening the position of early childhood education.

– Here at the University of Turku, we have decided to wholeheartedly participate in the renewal and, within the next few years, we will double the intake of the kindergarten teacher education unit at the Rauma campus.

Rector Väänänen emphasised that it is in the country's best interest that the research and product development support needed by the businesses is strengthened in the Turku region. The University of Turku supports the new university network in the field of engineering, but at the same time it looks for new ways to support the vitality of the region, for example, by investing in IT expertise and strengthening research in information processing.

In conclusion, Rector Väänänen discussed the significant possibilities of transnational education and brave new openings: 

– In the future, maybe the University has a campus in Asia or Africa.

Four Distinguished Dissertations Awarded, Commemorative Medal to 16 Professors

Turku Finnish University Society gave four awards of €1,300 to distinguished dissertations published in the previous academic year:

  • Ed. D Anu Kajamies: Towards Optimal Scaffolding of Low-Achievers´ Learning: Combining Intertwined, Dynamic, and Multi-domain Perspectives (education)
  • M.Pol.Sc. Olli Kleemola: Valokuva sodassa. Neuvostosotilaat, neuvostoväestö ja neuvostomaa suomalaisissa ja saksalaisissa sotavalokuvissa 1941–1945 (contemporary history)
  • D.Sc. (Econ.) Sini Laari: Green Supply Chain Management Practices and Firm Performance: Evidence from Finland (management of supply chains)
  • Doctor of Laws Natalia Ollus: From Forced Flexibility to Forced Labour. The Exploitation of Migrant Workers in Finland (sociology of law and criminology).


Sini Laari, Olli Kleemola and Anu Kajamies were awarded for their distinguished disseratitions.

In addition, 16 professors received a commemorative medal in the Opening Ceremony: Reidar Grenman, Pirkko Härkönen, Altti Kuusamo, Erno Lehtinen, Ilkka Mononen, Kevät Nousiainen, Peter Roberts, Kirsti Siitonen, Eija Suomela-Salmi, Jussi-Pekka Taavitsainen, Matti Viitanen, Pekka Viljanen, Matti Viren, Arja Virta and Matti Vuorinen.



Ilkka Mononen, Erno Lehtinen, Reidar Grénman, Pirkko Härkönen, Kevät Nousiainen, Kirsti Siitonen, Matti Vuorinen, Matti Viren and Altti Kuusamo received a commemorative medal at the Opening Ceremony.

Text and translation: University Communications
Photos: Hanna Oksanen

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Published date 9/6/2017 4:10 PM ,  Modified date 9/6/2017 4:38 PM

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