Meet Unite! student representatives Elias, Ida, Lasse and Luísa

Aalto’s student representatives in the Unite! university alliance for 2024 are Luísa Cardoso, Elias Keski-Nisula, Lasse Kukkula and Ida Parkkinen.
From left to right: Lasse Kukkonen, Ida Parkkinen, Luisa Cardoso and Elias Keski-Nisula
From left to right: Lasse Kukkonen, Ida Parkkinen, Luísa Cardoso and Elias Keski-Nisula

Unite! is an alliance of nine European technical universities that together work on education development, joint programs and courses, and on creating more flexible, inclusive and accessible models for mobility and exchange. The alliance also provides funding for building extra-curricular activities with other Unite! students. 

The alliances’ students have their own union Sure!, Students in Unite! for Representation and Empowerment, consisting of student representatives from the nine universities. Students are an integral part of Unite! participating in advisory bodies and working groups. 

Luísa Cardoso is a Portuguese bachelor's student in chemical engineering with a minor in bioinformation technology. Luísa was already involved with Unite! in the "IDEM - Inclusion, Diversity, Equity in Mobility" project aiming to improve the participation of students with disabilities, refugee students and first generation students so for them it only felt logical to get involved further. 

“I saw the impact I had at the first project bootcamp, and was eager to contribute more. I've been a student representative for a year already, which has helped me gain and hone skills in areas such as communication, cross-cultural competence, project management, and creative problem-solving. I look forward to another year of working with the amazing team we have both in Unite! student union Sure! and in the wider Unite!”, says Luísa.

Elias Keski-Nisula is a fourth year student starting his master’s in advanced Energy Solutions. He wanted to gain more insight into what happens at Aalto, and the Unite! university alliance was something he wasn’t familiar with. “Being a student representative in Unite! seemed like it would give me international experience, insight and connections and at the same time be part of developing something important”, Elias points out.  

Lasse Kukkula studies computer science with a minor in neuroscience. He is in his second year of studies and at the moment slightly ahead of the study plan. “I applied to Unite! a bit after I was chosen as the head of external affairs position for the computer science guild and our chair tipped me that this could be something I could apply for”, tells Lasse. He felt, with his experience from the Finnish, Swiss, and IB school systems, that he could have something to give to Unite!. “In a year I hope that I have gained more insight into what Unite! is, what it does, how it does it as well as what are the effects of Unite! cooperation at Aalto”, comments Lasse. 

Ida Parkkinen is doing her master’s in Life Science Technologies with Complex Systems as her major. ”I was unfamiliar with the work of Unite!, so I wanted to get involved to learn more about how the alliance works and how to make a difference”, says Ida.

Unite! student representatives in Graz standing on a hill with the city in the background.
SURE! students at the Unite! Dialogue event in TU Graz

Unite! Dialogue in TU Graz brought together 20 student representatives 

Twice a year one of the Unite! universities hosts an event, the Unite! Dialogue, that gathers more than 300 representatives from all the nine universities together to work and share results. In February 2024, Elias and Luísa attended the event in Graz, Austria, with 20 student representatives from all the Unite! universities. The student representatives planned for e.g. a seed fund proposal for an Unite! TedX talk event, how student representatives in Unite! can promote their acquired competencies and how should the Sure! students work together to be more effective and make an impact. 

“We also had workshops with other groups withing Unite! - one about different types of mobility (virtual, real, courses) for students in Unite! and also about the alliance’s language policy. The dialogue in Graz was of course busy and filled with work, but the best part for me was the sense of community that the students in Sure! had and shared with the newcomers in the group unconditionally”, says Elias. 

See what Unite! has to offer to you

thesis presentations

Unite! Student Catalogue (external link)

Get to know the Unite! academic and non-academic offerings

Two students standing next to a train studying a map.

Join the Unite! Train from Barcelona to Grenoble - apply by April 7

Join the sustainable mobility and interculturality journey with students from 9 Unite! universities.


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