Surviving the Academia

June 22, 2022
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The role of Arts within the Universities.

The program’s objective is to perform a brief analysis of the current situation of the Finnish universities, and the perspectives for the future considering organizational, sociological and pedagogical aspects. During the episodes we will explore different topics related with the university life that influence those who aim to build their academic career. These topics are approached from three main perspective: 1) The lack of resources that scientific research has nowadays due to the economical crisis and the COVID-19. 2) The difficulties to build up an academic career for researchers within universities and 3) The new and trendy University models which try to build bridges between the academia and the private sector and its impact on the structural and pedogeological impact on the institutions. We will explore these topics together with others relevant debates by interviewing both workers and students in a friendly atmosphere that enables them to share opinions and ideas that promote a healthy debate.

What is Art? What is Science? Are they different? Is it possible to develop an academic environment where they get the best of each other? Today, we would like to introduce the complex topic of Arts within the Academia. To do that, we are exploring two great examples in Finland: UniArts and Aalto Arts.

UniArts is a relatively new institution in Helsinki. Our first guest is Toni-Matti Karjalainen, Professor of Art Management and Entrepreneurship at UniArts since 2020. Previously, he worked at Aalto University as a research manager in the multidisciplinary International Design Business Management program focusing on cultural narratives in Finnish music and cultural exports, especially in heavy metal and rock. Together with him, we will explore how UniArts merge different artistic disciplines with scientific research and its challenges.

Aalto Arts, Design, and Architecture is one of the six Schools at Aalto University. The institution’s mission is “to excel and make breakthroughs in and across science, art, technology, and business.” Unfortunately, Aalto Arts is suffering cuts. We want to know what would be the impact, especially for students, so we have invited two students to hear their opinions on that.

Nicole Hußmann is a Master’s Student in International Design Business Management, one of Aalto’s multidisciplinary programs. Feel free to reach out to her on Instagram @nicolehussmann. Alexander Vahera-Chibnik is doing his bachelor’s in art education with a keen interest in ceramics. You can find him on Instagram @alexvahera

Together they form the student advocacy sector of Tokyo ry, the student association representing Aalto School of Art, Design and Architecture students. Their advocacy work this year has focused on opposing cuts to arts education within Aalto Arts. They are specifically worried about the impact of the looming cuts on the quality of education, diversity of voices, and competence of future graduates. 

You can find Tokyo on Instagram @tokyo_aalto_arts or reach them via email


Producer & Host: Jose Cañas-Bajo
 Toni-Matti Karjalainen, Nicole Hußmann, Alexander Vahera-Chibnik
Sound recording, editing & live streaming: Bailey Polkinghorne

*The audio piece was recorded at the Helsinki Open Waves performance & recording room located at Caisa.

**The views expressed in this audio piece and texts are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the view of Helsinki Open Waves.  

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