european students’ union

Finland – SAMOK – University of Applied Sciences Students in Finland

Suomen opiskelijakuntien liitto – SAMOK (Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences) is a national interest and service organisation independently administered by students in universities of applied sciences. SAMOK is the outlook promoter of the students in universities of applied sciences and speaks on behalf of about 140.000 students in applied sciences, representing 26 student unions in 26 different universities (August 2013). Through SAMOK, these students are represented to state administration and co-operation partners.


Since the beginning of the reformation of the educational system in Finland into a comprehensive school in the 60s, the topic of universities of applied sciences has been on the discussion agenda. Increasing pressures to widen access to higher education and answer the demands of the labour market for a more highly educated workforce resulted in action only in the late 80s although the initiatives faced much criticism. As a result of these initiatives, the Ministry of Education began a pilot project in August 1991 by establishing the first universities of applied sciences with a temporary license.

The institutions were granted permanent licences in August 1996 after an evaluation process conducted by the Ministry. In the wake of this, three student organisations representing business students (SKOL), engineering students (STOL) and health care students (TERHOL) joined together to establish SAMOK on June 15 1996.

Our values

•    SAMOK is a forerunner.
We are a forerunner in overseeing the matters of students in universities of applied sciences.
•    SAMOK is led by students.
Students lead and guide our work.
•    SAMOK is an open-minded partner in dialogue.
We are a pro-active participant in the social debate.
•    SAMOK is reliable.
Our work is based on the long-term goals and interests of the students.
•    SAMOK is international.
We include the international dimension in all our work.

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