New Academic Year Kicked off with Opening Carnival


The University of Turku and the Student Union organised the traditional Opening Carnival together on 6 September 2022. The Opening Carnival was organised at the Old Great Square to celebrate the Student Union’s 100th anniversary. 

The Carnival welcomes the students and staff to celebrate the new academic year. In her speech, Vice Rector Piia Björn thanked the 100-year-old Student Union for great collaboration.  

“Our interaction is always active and effortless in the development of the University and our education as well as in safeguarding students’ well-being. We share the common goal that studying at the University of Turku is inspiring, straightforward and fun – the best it can possibly be.”  

Björn wished all the members of the University community a happy new academic year. 

“We have not been able to meet each other the way we used to. Therefore today is particularly special,” Björn highlighted. 

Chair of the Student Union’s Executive Board Camilla Saarinen said in her speech that the coming academic year gives the chance to create something new. 

”Let’s enjoy the university, science and studying!” 

After the Carnival (12–4pm at the Old Great Square), the opening day continues with the Opening Ceremony at the Main Building of the University of Turku.  

Vice Rector Piia Björn and Chair of the Student Union’s Executive Board Camilla Saarinen gave speeches at the Opening Carnival.

Teacher and Course of the Year Announced at the Carnival 

The winners of the Teacher and the Course of the Year awards were announced at the Opening Carnival. The winners were selected by the Teaching and Learning Council from amongst the suggestions made by students. In giving their suggestions, students were requested to consider everyday teaching, student counselling, development of teaching, and combining research and teaching. In the selection of the Teacher of the Year, the Council paid particular attention to teaching that had inspired and created a sense of community during the exceptional circumstances.  

The Teacher of the Year is University Lecturer Jonna Järveläinen from the Information Systems Science at Turku School of Economics. The selection criteria are based on the students’ justifications which highlight Järveläinen’s ability to inspire students and her motivation to develop as a teacher.  

Järveläinen continuously develops her teaching methods by experimenting, training, and listening to the students’ feedback. She ensures that the course contents are up-to-date and challenges the students to think for themselves. Järveläinen always sparks inspiration and internal motivation in the topic at hand. She has also received a great deal of good feedback on her remote teaching during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to teaching, she is genuinely interested in her students’ well-being, and is flexible and offers assistance. 

Teacher of the Year Jonna Järveläinen has received a great deal of good feedback on her remote teaching during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Course of the Year is the MOOC online course “Introduction to East Asia” organised in collaboration by the Centre for East Asian Studies, the Finnish University Network for Asian Studies, and the Department of Philosophy, Contemporary History and Political Science. In giving their justifications, students were requested to consider teaching that promotes interaction and an inspiring study atmosphere, as well as versatile and insightful teaching and evaluation methods. In addition, solutions that fostered motivation and created team spirit in the exceptional circumstances were emphasised in the selection. 

The selection criteria commend the course, which was open to all and divided into smaller parts, about its experimental methods. The approach was handled well with careful planning and clear instructions. The course was given positive feedback on, for example, the assignments, which were well intertwined with the textbook and versatile online materials, and the visual identity of the course website, which increased motivation and created an encouraging atmosphere together with the communication with the teachers and the discussions during the course. The responsible teacher of the course, University Teacher Silja Keva from the Centre for East Asian Studies accepted the award. 

Photos from the Opening Carnival  

Created 06.09.2022 | Updated 06.09.2022