17.04.2024 | Bulletin, SAMOK informs

Bulletin: UAS Students Choose Jenny Österbacka from Åland as Teacher of the Year

Jenny Österbacka from the Åland University of Applied Sciences, Högskolan på Åland, has been selected as the UAS Teacher of the Year. She is a lecturer in the nursing degree programme and acts as a study counsellor. The students who nominated Österbacka praise her as a calm and highly qualified teacher who creates a safe environment where no question seems stupid.

“I am very happy and honoured to receive the Teacher of the Year Award. I would especially like to thank my students for their appreciation, which is invaluable to me. It not only warms my heart but also motivates and inspires me to improve as a teacher. I would also like to thank Högskolan på Åland and my dedicated colleagues who help to create an inspiring learning environment for all of us. A humble and warm thank you to all the students, the student union SkÅHla and the jury,” rejoices Jenny Österbacka, Teacher of the Year 2024.

The grounds for the award also say that Österbacka is receptive, supportive, and motivating, and always willing to ensure that all students learn and succeed. Her classes are well-structured, but not without a sense of humour, and she inspires and encourages UAS students to strive for their very best. Students say that she is always there to support them and motivate them to keep going, even when the student life seems difficult. She is considered an invaluable resource for the nursing degree programme.

“Jenny Österbacka is a respected and committed teacher with the ability to encounter and support students in a variety of situations in an engaging and pedagogical way. She is also a valued colleague amongst teachers, and her valuable contributions both as a teacher and a counsellor are very important to our entire educational community,” says Johanna Mattila, Rector of Högskolan på Åland.

SAMOK awards the annual Teacher of the Year award to highlight the high-quality and long-term teaching work of universities of applied sciences. At the same time, the purpose of the award is to thank teachers for their contribution to the development of teaching and student competencies. The theme of the award this year was the promotion of a positive image of universities of applied sciences.

“It’s great to reward a teacher this year who creates a positive image of higher applied education by her own example and by encouraging students to succeed. Teachers are an important asset worthy of respect for universities of applied sciences. At best, a positive image of applied education created by teachers also encourages students to value their own education,” says SAMOK Vice Chair Sanni Koivuluoma.

The Teacher of the Year award was awarded at the AMK-päivät event hosted by the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish UAS Arene, the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, and the Police University College on 17 April 2024. For the Teacher of the Year award, SAMOK and UAS student unions collected nominations from UAS students. The selection was made by a panel including Sanni Koivuluoma, Vice Chair of the SAMOK Board of Directors, Engineering Lecturer and Board Member of the Association for OAJ’s Vocational Educators and Trainers OAO Esa Salmikangas, representing the Trade Union of Education OAJ, and Deputy Rector Marjo Joshi of the Turku University of Applied Sciences, representing Arene in the capacity of the Vice Chair of the Arene educational directors’ and deputy rectors’ group. The student boards nominated 26 persons in total for the Teacher of the Year award

For further inquiries, please contact:

Jenny Österbacka
Lecturer (Nursing) and Study Counsellor, Högskolan på Åland
Teacher of the Year 2024
[email protected]
018 537 705

Sanni Koivuluoma
Vice Chair of the SAMOK Board of Directors
[email protected]
050 360 9376