Give for the future

Focus on student wellbeing

Students at Aalto University do not have to worry about being left alone if they feel burdened and unable to cope with their studies. TEK’s donation will help develop support services for enhancing student wellbeing.
Students at Aalto Wellbeing picnic
Aalto’s Oasis of Radical Wellbeing project provides the entire Aalto community with useful wellbeing tips

The Union of Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland, TEK, has donated a total of 1.2 million euros to universities in the field of technology, of which Aalto received 370,000 euros. TEK’s donation to the matching funding campaign was made with student wellbeing in mind.

Jeremi Nyyssönen, TEK
Jeremi Nyyssönen, Student Affair Specialist, TEK

‘Students are the ones who will help Finland get back on its feet. TEK is working to promote the wellbeing and coping of students, and we also encourage Finnish universities to do their part,’ says Student Affair Specialist Jeremi Nyyssönen from TEK.

In 2022, 48 percent of respondents to TEK’s student survey reported that they were often or constantly concerned about their ability to cope.

‘The situation was already worrying before the coronavirus pandemic, but the isolation and loneliness caused by the pandemic only made things worse. Those young students who began their studies during the pandemic were hit particularly hard,’ notes Nyyssönen.

Aalto University has monitored the wellbeing of its students and their ability to study with the AllWell? survey since 2016. ‘We want to build a sense of community and do what we can to bolster the wellbeing of our students. Every student should feel welcome at Aalto community, and we want to show that we care and are here for our students,’ says Aalto University psychologist Merita Petäjä.

Support for the entire Aalto community

One form of support that Aalto offers its students is the low-threshold Starting Point of Wellbeing service. ‘Students can come and talk to a study and career guidance psychologist, student counsellor or an Aalto chaplain without an appointment. We also offer courses, online materials, workshops and, to our international students, Beat the Blues events,’ Petäjä notes.

Aalto’s Oasis of Radical Wellbeing project provides the entire Aalto community with useful wellbeing tips. The wellbeing of teachers plays a particularly important role in helping students cope with their studies. ‘The wellbeing information produced by the project’s Media Hub is shared in podcasts and on blogs, Instagram and TikTok. Events focus on developing teaching practices and, for example, on how teachers can guide group work so that no one is left out,’ Petäjä explains.

Eli Saaresto
Eli Saaresto, student at the School of Business, wellbeing ambassador. Photo: Henrik Asklöf

Three students have been hired as wellbeing ambassadors for the Oasis of Radical Wellbeing project. One of them is Eli Saaresto, a second-year student at Aalto’s School of Business.

‘We meet with students and work together with various groups, such as student organisations. We organise workshops and co-study meetings that provide group support and help students structure their studies. No one should feel like they have to cope alone. Aalto really wants to make sure that its students are doing well,’ Saaresto summarises.

Text: Marjukka Puolakka

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