– We can protect the students’ rights and give them an opportunity to affect their situation, says Olov Tingström, president of the Student Union NTK.
Earlier this Spring term, Vertex have published articles (see below) about the situation at UMA, Umeå School of Architecture, and the chaos which has escalated since the Autumn term 2015. Lack of long-term leadership and inadequate structures have led to stress and psychosocial problems for both students and teachers, according to a working environment survey, published in January this year.
Now an improvement work has started in order to take action against the problematic situation, a process in which NTK, Umeå Student Union of Science and Technology, is participating to make sure that the students’ rights are respected. They have opened an office on the top floor of Sliperiet at Umeå Arts Campus, where they seek to get a clearer view of the students’ opinions about the on-going transformation.
What’s your perception of the current situation for the students at UMA?
– About the master programme I think a lot of the dissatisfaction is caused by the fast decisionmaking, and that it can be hard for a student to understand what is meant, says Olov Tingström, president of NTK.
– The decision not to accept any external students to the master programme next fall is not affecting anyone who today is studying on a master programme or on the five year architecture programme. There is a misunderstanding that the students on the architecture programme have to apply for a master, but they are accepted to a five year programme.
Has any architecture student contacted NTK in order to discuss the educational situation?
– We have received many different questions. A lot of them are about rules and help with understanding those. We notice that students know more about their rights today, something we worked with during last fall. Now we can get more information from the students about the existing problems, and we see that as something positive.
What can NTK do to help the students at UMA?
– We can protect their rights and give them an opportunity to affect their situation through using their student voices in a constructive way. The on-going transformation needs the opinions of the students, and we are working to make them heard.
In general, Linda Karlsson, Head of Educational Matters, is in NTK’s new office in Sliperiet on Tuesdays, and Olov Tingström on Fridays.
– We inform our members about when we’re there on our Facebook page through spreading our newsletter with updated information, Olov Tingström says.