Wednesday September 27, 2023

Planned restrictions on immigration must not become a reality

Published : 07 Sep 2023, 03:34

Updated : 09 Sep 2023, 10:57

  DF Report
Aalto University President Ilkka Niemelä. Photo: Mikko Raskinen / Aalto University.

Aalto University President Ilkka Niemelä on Tuesday strongly opposed the tightening immigration policy announced by the four-party alliance government and said that such policy must not become a reality.

‘Tightening policies on immigration, and work and residence permits would lead Finnish society in the wrong direction. Diversity is a huge opportunity and resource, and Aalto at its foundation was directed to pursue internationalisation as a national objective. To shape a sustainable future, we need the best talents, regardless of nationality. Together we are stronger,’ said Niemelä in his speech on the opening ceremony of the academic year.

“Aalto’s message to the new Finnish government is clear: the planned restrictions on immigration must not become a reality,” said Niemelä.

Nearly half of Aalto University’s academic staff come from outside Finland, and Aalto students are from more than 100 countries, he said.

He said that In just over a decade, Aalto University has become the most international university in Finland and the 47th most international university in the world.

Aalto’s degree students call more than 117 countries home, while 48 per cent of Aalto’s research and teaching staff hail from abroad, he added.

‘The plans (tightening immigration) have raised grave concerns across our community, business partners, and the entire Finnish university field. The proposed restrictions are alarming in humane terms, and would undermine the high-quality research and education upon which Finland’s innovation, sustainable growth and competitive ability are built,’” said the Aalto University President.