I'm Ida Flemmich, a cultural manager from Sjundeå. For the past four years I have been working with higher education policy, both at local, national and European level.
In the course of my studies, I moved to Helsinki about 5 years ago, and started to become active in the world of studies quite immediately. I have served as the Arcada Student Union - ASK Board Chair for the past two years and have served as the Board member responsible for internationalisation and services in National Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences – SAMOK for the year 2022.
Over the past year, I have had the honour of travelling around Europe and getting to know the student representatives of the different countries, and we have all agreed on one thing: we need more young decision-makers!
I want to see Finland flourish into a more multicultural, equal and international country, one that sets an example to the rest of the world with its successes. We can achieve this by strengthening the position of young people in the country, by investing in education and research and by daring to develop into a Finland of the future.
We need to invest in our education in Finland. We have a good foundation to have the best higher education in the world, but to achieve that goal we need more resources to develop.
We already have a functioning dual model, both in second and third level, but we need to ensure that these models are equal to each other, that students have the opportunity to continue their studies regardless of their first education.
We must also recognise that applied research is at least as important as academic research and that only in this way can we create the most diverse future possible.
By investing in education, offering sufficient services and providing education in several languages, we can increase the workforce and the number of experts in Finland.
Culture creates togetherness and well-being and makes us human. Culture creates employment, adds value and is a precious asset.
In recent years, the role of culture has been undermined and we as a society have forgotten its meaning. The role of culture is to educate and, above all, to entertain. Culture can be eye-opening but also harmonious. Art and culture are a very important part of society and we must preserve it, keep it strong and alive and it must be accessible, for everyone. By ensuring a cultural policy that supports diversity and a wide range of culture, we strengthen the welfare and well-being of Finns.
Swedish is an important part of Finland's cultural heritage, a part we must protect and not let die out.
The Swedish language is a key to Nordic co-operation and to more language skills and not just a compulsory subject in primary school. But if we are also to be able to offer services in Swedish in the future, such as primary education, healthcare, public service, police officers etc., we need Swedish-language higher education. Swedish-speakers should also be able to apply for public positions without having to have full knowledge of Finnish. We must protect Finland, a multilingual and multicultural country.
Bilingualism is an asset and we must therefore strengthen the position of Swedish as Finland's second national language.