Career Services Network of Finnish Universities
The Aarresaari network is the national employment and career services cooperation network of Finnish universities. As a network, we provide services to university students and recent graduates as well as universities, employers and interest groups. The network has been operating actively for over 20 years. Aarresaari-network includes the following universities: Aalto University, Hanken School of Economics, University of Helsinki, University of Eastern Finland, University of Jyväskylä, University of Lapland, LUT-University, University of Oulu, Tampere University, University of Turku, University of Vaasa and Åbo Akademi.
Our goal is to promote the career skills development and employment of university students and recent graduates and develop universities’ internship practices and contacts with employers. We also produce systematic data on the employment of university graduates and the know-how produced by university education.
We want to support employers in reaching students and recruiting future professionals. Our job advertising services, which are provided collaboratively by universities, offer employers an effective way of advertising vacancies, internships and thesis subjects to a targeted audience and gaining visibility among students. For students, the service offers interesting employment and internship opportunities or thesis cooperation offers as well as information on what kind of know-how is in demand in the employment market.
The network’s operations
The decision-making power of the Aarresaari network is wielded by the network’s general meeting. The operations of the network are steered in accordance with the general meeting’s decisions by the management group, which consists of the university chairing the network and the chairpersons of the network’s working groups. The network also employs a part-time coordinator, who also serves as the management group’s secretary. The network operates primarily via its expertise-based working groups. The network operates primarily via its expertise-based working groups.
The Career Monitoring Working Group
coordinates and carries out national career monitoring surveys aimed at holders of master’s and doctoral degrees for universities. This monitoring has been carried out for over 15 years, producing systematic and comprehensive data on e.g. the quality of employment of university graduates and the extent to which university education corresponds to working life competence needs. The results of the career monitoring surveys are utilised in teaching planning, student counselling and education development, among others. In addition to this, the results of the surveys are also used as an indicator in the universities’ funding model.
The Internship Working Group
promotes high-quality and equitable internships at the national level by engaging in discussion and distributing good practices related to universities’ internship practices. The working group engages in cooperation with employers offering internships and relays feedback from employers to universities for the development of education and practices. In addition to this, the working group also relays feedback from students and universities to employers.
The Education and Guidance Working Group
distributes good practices related to career guidance and training for working life and promotes peer learning. Topics discussed in the working group’s meetings include career guidance models, good practices in group counselling and the career counselling of graduate students, the integration of working life orientation and career services into university studies, the effectiveness of career services training events and guidance, the acknowledgement of academic entrepreneurship in career services and guidance-related cooperation with TE Offices and trade unions, for example.
The Employer Cooperation Working Group
supports employers in their efforts to reach out to students and recent graduates about jobs, internships and thesis subjects. The working group is responsible for the administration and development of the job advertising systems used at universities. The working group also develops solutions related to the campus visibility of employers.
The chairmanship of the network rotates between universities every two years. In 2022–2023, the network is chaired by University of Oulu. The Aarresaari network engages in close cooperation with the national OHA network of universities’ teaching administration and Universities Finland (Unifi). A major part of the operations of the Aarresaari network is the sharing of collegial information and the maintenance and development of the know-how of employment and career services personnel. Together, we can find solutions to challenges affecting all universities and develop operations at both the national and university level.