Juho Kähkönen is a PhD student of International Relations at “The Arctic in a Changing World” thematic doctoral program at the University of Lapland. Besides being Student Representative at the UArctic Board he is also Secretary of the Finnish Arctic Society. In addition to being involved in matters of the Arctic academically and professionally, he has strong personal connections with the Arctic as well, as he grew up 150 km south of the Arctic Ocean in Finnish Lapland.

Ensuring educational opportunities in the Arctic
Kähkönen is enthusiastic about the educational opportunities offered by UArctic as these work to ensure accessible education for people in the Arctic.

“Born and raised in the high North, I am passionate to develop the well-being of the people of the Arctic. I strive to make an impact that students in the Arctic have easier access to higher education and the latest research available. Something where UArctic is the pioneer and a true success story.”

As an example of the educational opportunities that are offered through UArctic, he highlights study exchanges through the north2north program and the Circumpolar Studies that UArctic offer through member institutions. He even knows the benefits of these from his own experience.

“In my tiny hometown in North Finland, UArctic has brought international mobility and Arctic cooperation that wouldn't otherwise exist. Today UArctic is one of the most extensive education networks globally, and many institutions want to be part of this success story.”

Future aspirations
When talking about future developments and about his ambitions as Student Representative on the Board, Juho Kähkönen stresses the importance of students’ well-being and calls out for a stronger student voice in the organization.

“We need to dare to continue developing our education and take care of our student's well-being. I am curious, for example, how we could further use the high technology to increase the accessibility of Arctic education. In the short term, I am working to find out how UArctic could support the well-being of students still suffering from the COVID-19 restrictions. In the long run, more shared student voices are needed. This is why my goal is to gain more robust student representation to UArctic governing bodies.”

Juho Kähkönen will get plenty of opportunities to work on these issues within UArctic, as he is elected for his position on the Board in the period 2021-2024.