On 3 Dec 2015, the World Student Capital network of students in the metropolitan area will publish Opiskelijan kaupunki (”Students’ city”) research which shows the urban environment that the current students would like to have. The research has been conducted by Research Foundation for Studies and Education Otus in cooperation with municipalities and higher education institutions in the metropolitan area, WSC network, Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region Hoas and HSL. The World Student Capital network (WSC) consists of the student unions in the metropolitan area and it represents approximately 100,000 higher education students.
The data in Opiskelijan kaupunki research consists of the national Student Barometer survey aimed at higher education students, which was conducted by Otus at the turn of the years 2014–2015, and a separate survey with an urban theme implemented in the spring of 2015. Nearly 2,000 students in the metropolitan area responded to the survey. The data is statistically representative.
Every third student has experiences of homelessness in their inner circle
Above all, students want more affordable housing in the metropolitan area. More than 90% of the respondents said that price is the most important criterion in the housing search. Average housing costs for students in the metropolitan area are EUR 560 a month; the majority of students live in private rental apartments instead of student housing.
Other important factors in the choice of housing are good transport links as well as the proximity to the city centre and a student’s own campus.
A significant proportion of students have experiences of homelessness. Eight per cent have been homeless during their student days and more than third of the respondents have someone in their inner circle who has suffered from homelessness. Students want more student housing in Otaniemi, Kalasatama, Lauttasaari, Jätkäsaari and Tikkurila, in particular.
Cars ruin the city – 90% of the students want more cycle lanes
The use of private cars is not popular among students: 80% of the respondents rarely or never use a car. In addition, 65% of students would limit the use of private cars in the metropolitan area.
Even one-third of students would prefer cycling as a mode of transport. However, cycling in the metropolitan area is regarded as difficult and unsafe. Only approximately one tenth of students cycle on a daily basis. 90% of the respondents would like to have new pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. Students also wanted improvements on cycling connections on Hämeentie and Länsiväylä, in particular.
In the view of students, cities are made attractive by parks and green areas, as well as by the possibility to move around conveniently without a car. The most appealing factors in Helsinki were considered to be the employment opportunities and cultural activities. Espoo was regarded as peaceful, safe and child-friendly but the city was criticised for poor traffic arrangements. Vantaa was also regarded as child-friendly but also as an unsafe city with a poor selection of cultural activities. After graduation, students would like to live in the dense inner city of Helsinki, in particular.
The future of the metropolitan area is visioned in the publication seminar
The research will be published in the invitation only seminar in the Small Hall of the University of Helsinki (Fabianinkatu 33) at 4pm on 3 December 2015. The seminar gathers together decision-makers and management of the cities, HSL, Hoas, students, researchers and urban activists to a brainstorming event for a better metropolitan area. In the seminar, research results will be commented by Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki and Professor in Urban Geography Mari Vaattovaara. The objectives of students in the World Student Capital network for advocacy in the municipal elections 2017 will also be presented in the seminar.
The representatives of the media are welcome to attend the seminar.
The summary of the research report as well as further information on the seminar programme and the research project can be found on WSC network site:
The research is published in the seminar and can be found at 10am on 3 Dec on the WSC network site http://worldstudentcapital.fi/en/research
or Otus website: http://www.otus.fi/index.php/julkaisut/kaikki-julkaisut
Further information and interview requests:
Chair of World Student Capital Network Alviina Alametsä, firstname.lastname@example.org, 050 595 0318
Secretary of World Student Capital Network, Specialist Sofia Lindqvist, email@example.com, 050 543 9605