What would make Oulu a better city for students? See the results of the survey

Students are very interested in the general development of Oulu and hope that Oulu will continue to improve further. As major development targets, many respondents mention the development of the train and bus station and generally improving the appearance of the city center.

In November 2023, the city of Oulu, the University of Oulu, Oulu University of Applied Sciences and Educational Consortium OSAO jointly launched the Student City Oulu project, which aimed to find out what should be done differently in Oulu to make the city more attractive to students and graduates. The results of the survey and workshops aimed at student in upper secondary education and higher education are now published.

The online survey received 2912 responses. Total of 1,104 Finnish and 131 international students from the University of Oulu answered the survey. The survey aimed to gather students' thoughts and observations about key aspects of student life in Oulu, such as job and internship opportunities, housing, hobbies and events. In addition to the survey, three workshops were organized: one for Finnish university students, second for international university students and third for OSAO students. Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey and workshops!

Oulu is perceived as safe - spaces for self-study are requested in the city center and on campuses

According to the students, housing and safety are good in Oulu: almost all students (93%) are satisfied with their own apartment and feel that Oulu is safe (93%). When students described Oulu, "safe" was the most popular adjective before "cozy" and "communal".

The students are quite satisfied with their study facilities, but wish for more quiet, accessible and comfortable spaces for self-study in the city center and campuses. The current Pekuri library, operating as a temporary facility, is too small for the students' needs and lowers the students' experience of Oulu as a student city.

Students wish for self-study facilities as an increasing number of people want to live close to the city center regardless of the location of the educational institution and students live in very small apartments. Independent studying has increased with the rise of remote learning. Students do not need to go to the campus every day, and therefore the city's libraries are natural places to study.

Students get around Oulu mainly by bus, bicycle and their own car. More than half of upper secondary school students use the bus as their primary mode of transportation.

More club and hobby spaces and student events

According to the survey, more than a quarter of the students have difficulties in finding a community that they like in Oulu. Students need more club and hobby facilities where they can spend time voluntarily. In particular, upper secondary school students wish for more interesting student events in Oulu. However, the number of events in Oulu was felt to have improved in recent years, partly because of the upcoming Capital of Culture year.

97 percent of international students would like to have more contact with Finnish students. Currently, there are not enough natural meeting places between Finnish and international students, even if both groups would like to interact more with each other.

Almost half of the students (43%) would like to stay in the Oulu area after graduation. 18 percent of the respondents would not like to stay in the Oulu region after graduation and 39 percent cannot say.

Almost half of the students want to stay in Oulu after graduation

Almost half of the students (43%) want to stay in Oulu after graduation. One third of upper secondary school students would like to stay in Oulu after graduation, and they see the University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences as viable options. OSAO and Oulu University of Applied Sciences students are most likely to believe that they will stay in Oulu.

International students think that it is very difficult to find a job in their field in Oulu or nearby areas. 80 percent of students coming from outside the EEA consider it difficult to find a job. Finnish students, on the other hand, believe that they can find a job quite easily in the Oulu region. 72 percent of the respondents consider it very easy or fairly easy to find a job in their field.

31 percent of the students would strongly recommend Oulu as a student city. The average value is 7.7 on a scale of 0-10. Most of the students consider Oulu to be a fairly good student city, which, however, has many areas for development according to the students.

The results of the project have been compiled into a single action plan, which will be discussed with the city, universities, educational institutions and student organizations.

The next step of the Student City Oulu project is to define practical action proposals for the development of a better student city.

You can find the results of the survey and the action plan on the Finnish city of Oulu website.

The survey and workshops were carried out by Männikkömetsä Oy.

Last updated: 15.2.2024