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Tuija Talvitie

Tuija Kristiina Talvitie
Born August 29, Lapua

Master of Arts (English philology) 1987, University of Helsinki

Executive director 2009–, Crisis Management Initiative (CMI)
Executive director 1997–2009, British Council Finland
Exchanges Officer and Assistant Librarian 2 1987–97, British Council Finland

Board member 2005–, CMI
Steering group member, Counterpoint
Board member 2015­–, Demos Helsinki
Board member Think Tank e2
Delegation member of the University of Helsinki Alumni Association 2015–

Photo: Tuomo Manninen
Written by Riitta-Ilona Hurmerinta
Translated by Matthew Billington

My Best Memories From the University of Helsinki

My University years had many great moments. The best of all was the student-centred atmosphere at the English Department. Its various small groups were full of open-minded people. In particular, the discussions that took place during seminars taught me skills that I have utilised during my career as well as in my life in general. Reading under the guidance of professors was good preparation for what was to come. When you learned to read literature, poetry and drama with a deeper meaning in mind, and not just focusing on the story, it was almost unbelievable to discover what kind of insight into the human mind, history and social structures those texts contained. That is how it should be today.

There is less reading now, but guided reading in particular seems to have decreased. The danger of fast-paced teaching and studying is that many nuances will be lost. There should be time to think. Many authors, poets and playwrights have taken great risks in bringing into the public eye radical ideas that society at large might not have been ready for. They deserve credit for much social progress. Those living in today’s society need to remember that most brave social thinkers and progressives had a background in the humanities.

Photo: Mika Federley


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