Statement: Democracy was ignored when deciding on the Language Centre’s teaching schedule

Tampere University informed on 8 April 2024 that the teaching schedule of the Language Centre will be reduced for the academic year 2024-2025. In the Intranet article, the university informed that the courses that are part of the degree requirements will be prioritised. Because of these measures, some of the most popular languages such as Japanese and Italian will not be on the schedule for the academic year.  In addition, in many languages the number of the teaching groups will also be reduced, which makes it even more difficult to study languages. Versatile supply of communication and language studies support students’ internationalisation and provides better prospects for the job markets in the future. For this reason, Tampere University should ensure adequate resources for the Language Centre so that they can provide wide-ranging language courses.

In their education strategy, Tampere University points out how our communal culture is built on active student participation and our students are actively involved in development activities that concern them. However, in the decision making of Language Centre’s teaching schedule the community was not involved in the preparations. Students’ role in the development and decision making of the university’s teaching is critical since the decisions affect us students the most.

The operations and funding of the units of faculties are under the faculties’ responsibility. Nonetheless, in the preparation and the decision making of the Language Centre’s teaching schedule the community’s representatives were not involved. This is justified by Tampere University’s Regulations on Degrees which states that Language Centre’s teaching schedule is decided by the Vice President for Education. It is not appropriate that this kind of decision is made by a body that is not directly responsible for the unit’s operations. There was a motion to update the Regulations on Degrees to state that Language Centre’s teaching schedule would be decided by the faculty of Education and Culture. The motion was withdrawn in the conversation held in the meeting of the Education Council on 17 April 2024. Based on this, the motion will not be presented to the Academic Board. If the faculty, that is responsible for the unit, can’t affect the teaching schedule provided and by this the budget allocations, has it made any sense to move the Language Centre to be a unit under the faculty of Education and Culture in the year 2021?

The preparations of the decision making on the supply of language studies didn’t have a representation from the community groups. The most important cornerstone of university democracy is openness. This is also one of the values of Tampere University. But in this case, the openness was discarded. We are extremely disappointed.

“University’s different community groups should be able to participate in the preparation and decision making of the matters that concern them. This was not the case when deciding on the Language Centre’s teaching schedule. Regarding the study units that are offered, we students are the best experts to tell what we want to study!” states the chair of TREY’s board Noora Hakulinen.

We demand that the responsibility of making decisions on the Language Centre’s teaching schedule is transferred to the faculty council of the appropriate faculty by updating the Regulations on Degrees. We also demand that in the future there will be a tripartite steering group that coordinates the development of the Language Centre. In this steering group shall be representation from the community groups and from every faculty.

Noora Hakulinen, Chair of the Board of the Student Union of Tampere University

Adam Zeidan, Secretary General of the Student Union of Tampere University

Additional information: TREY’s Specialist in Educational Affairs Tiia Virtanen, +358407130077,

Student associations gave their statement on the importance of the communication and language studies. You can find the statement from the university’s Intranet.