The news that Oulu University of Applied Sciences would move to the Linnanmaa Campus sparked many kinds of reactions in both faculties. Some immediately saw the move as an opportunity for facilities, while others had some reservations about it.
“There were heated discussions. We already had good and functional facilities that people were happy with,” says postdoctoral researcher of Education Teemu Hanhela, recalling the emotions aroused by the news.
For example, people were first concerned about the reduced floor area and the reliability of renovation schedules. However, once design began, people were pleased that users were also heard regarding the designing of spaces.
“Students lobbied for certain things during the design stage, and their wishes were heard up to a certain point,” says Logopaedics student Anni Siika-aho.
The removal process itself went smoothly despite the tight schedule. The items of the Faculty of Education found their places in the new premises without too much hassle in December. The removal time of the Faculty of Humanities was problematic because many spent their summer elsewhere. However, students showed up for the move in sufficient numbers to also help the staff move.
Unchanged or improved teaching methods
Instead of always having lectures in same classrooms, lectures are now held throughout the university. Education students have often ended up in larger lecture halls, and it has been necessary to reserve more time for navigation.
Before the move, the Logopaedics therapy rooms were in temporary facilities that were downright catastrophic due to insufficient sound insulation.
“The therapy rooms improved significantly and are excellent now,” praises Logopaedics university teacher Kaisu Heinänen.
The new rooms facilitate the use of modern technology. The instructor can monitor the therapy in an adjacent room behind a glass, record the situation with a remote-control camera and speak directly into the student’s ear through an earphone.
Teemu Hanhela and Jarkko Impola in the students’ own cafe, Olohuone (“living room”).
Community spirit from guild premises
Students of both faculties praise on their new guild premises. Both groups have their own cafe, and the student organisations also share guild rooms. The shared premises have brought students of different majors closer together and promoted cooperation between the student organisations.
“Community spirit between Humanities students has started to increase. It has been nice to see other Humanities students because Logopaedics students were mostly by themselves before,” says Siika-aho.
The downside of the multidisciplinary situation has been the inability to freely talk about matters which involve their own field. However, they can still talk about matters connected to therapy at a very general level, and sometimes they have been able to share their expertise with students of other majors.
The large guild room of Education students can be divided into three parts, if necessary. They have already adopted Olohuone cafe as their own, and many students prefer to spend their time there. The staircase along the cafe wall can be turned into a public gallery if they want to organise a show in the cafe.
“In January, we agreed on shared rules for the guild premises. We have organised events together, and I believe that the activities will evolve over the years,” says Education student Jarkko Impola.
Collaboration opportunities in shared workspaces
Shared workspaces have changed the way the staff operate. They must respect the space of others in new ways and agree on the rules.
“Due to the noisy renovations next door, many have been working from home, and some flat-sharers have arranged meetings in their own rooms,” says Heinänen.
Opportunities for collaboration arise when members of the same research team work in the same office.
“We can influence the distribution of workspaces; they are not dictated from the top down,” says Hanhela.
These days, the staff of the Faculty of Humanities spend their breaks in a break room shared by all the staff members. Before, discussions used to be between people of the same field, but they have now been replaced with multidisciplinary socialising.
“The shared break room has a great impact. You also get to know the staff of other subjects,” says Heinänen.
Changes to meetings between students and teachers
The new premises have not hindered the relations between Logopaedics students and staff. There have been sufficient instruction slots and spaces available, and there is a lot of contact between the students and teachers, not the least due to the nature of the studies.
“We have always belonged to the same community with the research unit. These days, we also see more of the staff of other subjects,” says Siika-aho.
Students can no longer just come knock on the door when they want to talk to a teacher. The corridor where the offices of the Faculty of Education staff are located is now only accessible by key, which has made students wonder about the need for isolation.
“It is a clear change that we have received feedback about. Meetings have become more challenging,” says Impola.
Once a meeting has been scheduled by email, however, there are sufficient premises available for meeting with students.
“The calendar makes it easy to reserve facilities, and that is a positive thing. There has been good availability,” says Hanhela.
Last updated: 26.11.2019