History of WSC
The student unions in the Helsinki region have long been working together to improve students’ housing situation and public transport discounts. World Student Capital was founded in the spring of 2010 when Helsinki was preparing for the Design Capital Year of 2012. The student unions in the Helsinki region met in 2010 and considered how students could be involved in the making of the Design Capital Year. At the same time, the student unions wanted to intensify cooperation with each other as well as with the student unions of universities of applied sciences in the region. The first chairperson of Aalto University Student Union, Jussi Valtonen, presented the idea that students would together make Helsinki the world’s best student city: World Student Capital.
The dream of the World Student Capital was to improve the housing situation and public transport for cross traffic in the region, to achieve a ring road for cyclists between the campuses, to support student entrepreneurship and to create a fun and eventful city. Since the very beginning, WSC has had similar objectives with the City of Helsinki: to be fun and functional, a place where creativity and liability meet.
WSC after the Design Capital Year
After the project year, the student unions in the Helsinki region continued their cooperation in the form of a loose WSC network. The network has annually implemented an event. As a result of the intensified cooperation, the student unions in the Helsinki region published a joint urban policy programme in the autumn of 2013. In the autumn of 2014, the entire WSC network organised a successful urban planning seminar including students and representatives of the urban planning committees of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa. The successful cooperation also increased the willingness of the student unions to engage in municipal advocacy work in cooperation with the entire WSC network. When Research Foundation for Studies and Education OTUS approached the network in the autumn of 2014 and made a cooperation offer to implement a municipal-themed research among all higher education students in the Helsinki region, it was easy to accept the offer. Funding for the research project was collected from own organisations and higher education institutions, cities, Helsinki Region Transport and Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region HOAS. In the year of 2015, the network agenda has included a research named Opiskelijan kaupunki (”students’ city”), the creation of common advocacy objectives for WSC network and a seminar, organised on 3 Dec, where both the rsearch results and common objectives will be published.
World Student Capital trademark launched in the Design Capital Year 2012 is owned by:
- Aalto University Student Union
- Haaga-Helia Student Union HELGA
- City of Helsinki
- Student Union of the University of Helsinki
- Student Union of Laurea University of Applied Sciences
- Student Union of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
- Svenska Handelshögskolans Studentkår
- Student Union of the University of the Arts Helsinki
In addition, Arcada studerandekår – ASK, the Student Union of the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences O’Diako and the Student Union of Humak University of Applied Sciences HUMAKO operate in the network.
Why to participate in WSC cooperation?
“The strategy of the University of Helsinki includes an entry on the development of an attractive student city and competitive capabilities in the Helsinki region. The related research data concerning students’ experiences and views is in the key position in terms of the university’s own measures and procedures.”
Head of Development Ossi Tuomi, University of Helsinki
“From the perspective of the development of higher education students’ housing, services and the Helsinki region, the compiled diverse information provides an excellent starting point for the future direction of Hoas. Hoas also wants to take responsibility for the development of housing. Hoas brings youthfulness and life to residential environments in the Helsinki region.” CEO of Hoas Matti Tarhio
“It is very interesting to receive more information on students’ preferences and modes of transport. In addition, we will pilot our own digital customer satisfaction project with the help of the steering group of Opiskelijan kaupunki research and student contacts. Therefore, we had many good reasons to join this research project.”
Head of Operational Research of HSL Antti Vuorela