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Successful spring term for FSHS student panel

The FSHS student panel began its work on 18 February 2021 when 49 (79) students at universities and universities of applied sciences and some 10 FSHS staff members convened for the panel’s inaugural meeting. During the spring, four groups within the panel have discussed a variety of ways in which the work of the FSHS could be improved. The focus for development in 2021 is on the Self online service and its content, but other issues such as planning communications material for first-year students and a guide for student health meetings have also been discussed.

Study community work

  • A student health meeting is a new concept developed by the FSHS. Its purpose is to allow students, institutions of higher education and FSHS healthcare staff to work together to find ways to improve the ability to study and help students with their studies should any difficulties arise. One group within the student panel discussed a draft of the guide for student health meetings from the viewpoint of students. The format of the student health meeting and the guide both received good feedback. Changes were proposed to the visual aspects of the guide and the clarity of the text. The guide will be revised based on the group’s feedback and will be published in the autumn.

Customer service and use of FSHS services

  • Self is an online service for students and the main platform for nearly all digital and remote services at the FSHS. One group looked at customer service and the use of FSHS services in order to make improvements to the Self online service. At its first meeting, the group examined students’ views and proposals for developing Self and discussed plans for the future. Many of the group’s proposals have been included in the updated version of Self due out this autumn.

Treatment instructions and forms

  • One group discussed ways to improve the health questionnaire for first-year students. Information on the health and service needs of new students gained from the health questionnaire is very important in terms of targeting FSHS services and improving individual students’ ability to study. The group gave important feedback on the usability and content of the health questionnaire, the way the questions are formulated and the responses for students. The comments have had a significant impact on the ongoing health questionnaire update. The new health questionnaire will be introduced in the autumn.


  • First-year students were also considered by the group dealing with communications, as the subject of the first meeting was the orientation material provided for new students (i.e. what information on FSHS services and their use should be provided to new students and how they should receive it). A good orientation material will help students to find and use the relevant FSHS services. The active group found new channels to reach first-year students and made the content of the material more understandable for students. With this in mind the FSHS communications department has now started to update the material.

Student panel’s plans for the autumn

The panel and its groups will reconvene after the summer holidays. The group dealing with study community work will look at its content, while other teams will tackle the development of Self from the viewpoint of communications, customer service and technical functionality, and new features will be put through tests before their implementation. 

What is the student panel? At the beginning of 2021, the FSHS assembled a panel consisting of students at universities and universities of applied sciences. The aim is to give students a say in how the FSHS operates and how it should be developed. By involving students in its activities, the FSHS seeks to gain a profound understanding of the needs and user experiences of students, to resolve any issues that may arise, and to create new solutions and ways of working. The student panel will operate for the whole of 2021 (+ 1 year). The work of the panel and a potential extension to the term will be assessed together with the panelists at the end of 2021.

Composition of the panel. Altogether 79 students were invited to sit on the student panel: 32 from universities of applied sciences and 47 from universities. The panelists come from all over the country and are at different stages in their studies: 34% are first-year students, 40% are second- or third-year students, and 27% are at least fourth-year students. The panel also includes FSHS experts on the topics to be discussed. Service Manager Jarna Elomaa will chair the panel, while FSHS experts will act as facilitators in the groups.