Suomen ammattikorkeakoulujen tieteentekijät Samkot ry (The Finnish Association of Researchers and Teachers in Universities of Applied Sciences) has initiated its activities. FUURT approved the membership of the new national association on 14 April 2023. The new association was founded on the basis of a member-driven need.
RDI activities are becoming a more established aspect of universities of applied sciences and researchers and academics are increasingly becoming employed in this sector; this trend can also be seen in FUURT’s membership. Members employed in universities of applied sciences have been scattered across various Union member associations. A new national association, Suomen ammattikorkeakoulujen tieteentekijät (Finnish Association of Researchers and Teachers in Universities of Applied Sciences), was established on the initiative of members to strengthen the supervision of interests in the UAS sector.
‘I have been active in FUURT for many years, and, for me, it has been important to ensure that FUURT is a union for all researchers, teachers and academic experts. However, when my job changed two years ago from the university sector to a university of applied sciences, I realised that the Union’s activities were still very university-focused’, states Sanni Tiitinen, Vice President of FUURT and Chair of the new association.
‘I even considered whether I might have to change unions because of my job change. There is not, however, any other logical home base for the UAS sector. I identify myself strongly as an academic and find it essential to belong to a union that seeks both to develop my personal working conditions and to speak more broadly on behalf of science and scientific knowledge’, Tiitinen continues.
The practical measures for the new association have been completed and the association is now open for those looking to join. The Union’s other member associations also still serve as valid home bases for researchers and teachers working in universities of applied sciences.
Last year, FUURT held two remote discussion events for members employed at universities of applied sciences. The events brought forth the need for a stronger supervision of interests, particularly in the UAS sector. (Read the blog in Finnish: Tieteentekijöiden työskentelyoloja kehitettävä ammattikorkeakouluissa (Working conditions of teachers and researchers must be developed at universities of applied sciences)
The Union Board felt that the establishment of this new association was a welcome step towards meeting FUURT’s overall goal of being a union for all researchers, teachers and academic experts. The strength of a local association lies in its community spirit and a new association will make it easier to promote the interests of existing associations.
‘At the same time that RDI activities have increased at universities of applied sciences, matters related to the working conditions of researchers and teachers have been rising to the forefront at universities of applied sciences. It is wonderful that we now have an association that can support our supervision of interests more comprehensively in the RDI sector’, says Tero Karjalainen, President of FUURT.
Sanni Tiitinen, Chair, Samkot ry
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