Will development cooperation continue in Tamy after 2017?
The Student Union of University of Tampere has had cooperation projects of different lengths with Gravis in India since the 1990s. The continuation of the projects is not, however, self-evident. The ongoing project in India’s Rajasthan is receiving support from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and the funding continues through 2017. Because of the Tampere3 project that merges the universities and the University of Applied Sciences, 2017 may mark a turning point not only in the development cooperation, but also in all Tamy’s operations.
“If the Tampere 3 process stays on schedule, the decision for applying funding is in the hands of the new student union instead of Tamy”, says Tamy’s Secretary General Sanni Pietilä.
In practice, the new joint Council of Representatives of Tamy and TTYY would decide on the matter, and this council does not yet exist. Therefore, according to Pietilä, it is hard to predict the future. The Tampere 3 university should begin its operations in 2018. The board of Tampere University of Technology has suggested that the beginning is postponed until 2020.
Both Pietilä and the Specialist for International Affairs, Varpu Jutila, hope that the development cooperation will be continued after 2017. Jutila emphasizes the student union’s role in preparing students for awareness. She sees development cooperation as a means for introducing global issues, and the student union’s own project as an opportunity for internationalization and acquiring the necessary working life skills. Pietilä also brings forward the committee for development cooperation and the events as development cooperation activities. She does not consider the student union’s own project as an end in itself.
“If we were to face a situation where the student union didn’t have enough resources to support a partner, or the project could not be built to meet the partner’s needs, it would be more responsible to give the support from the government for another actor to use.”