In a good environment, self-confidence is contagious

Studying at an institution takes years. These years have a huge impact on how people form an idea of their own possibilities. Self-confidence is affected by how you progress and succeed in your studies. 

Experiencing success in your studies does not come about without your own efforts, without putting your heart into it. In order to enjoy the comfort of success, you have to be prepared to move out of your comfort zone and experience hard work and effort from time to time.

Self-confidence is an important prerequisite for success in an individual’s life. The ways of action, practices and cultures of the institution are significant factors in creating self-confidence. As I look back on my university study years in the 80s, I’m aware of the importance of a couple of inspiring teachers who had faith in what they were doing. Some of the faculty members could also be spiritless and felt like they had given up. However, when writing my thesis, I sought the guidance of the most inspiring teachers.

Inspiration creates motivation and success

Trust in my own skills and opportunities increased quickly in a community where the teachers were genuinely proud of their subject. The success of the teachers as researchers in the international scientific community increased the importance of my subject as well as the connection between the studies and the international scientific community. This increased the self-confidence and motivation of a young student to the extent that the studies led to publishing an international-level doctoral dissertation. The operational culture set the target high, and the means to achieve the target were provided.

The duty of a higher education institution is to provide students with the opportunities for working life and postgraduate education. In addition, every institution should equip its students for active citizenship in society. In the world of quick and constant communications, people are present in countless networks. The opportunities to influence are huge for those who want to be active.

Influencing and activity are based on self-confidence: on knowing your own competency and having faith in the fact that you have meaningful questions and essential things to say. The social impact of a university of applied sciences goes beyond business life and the world of work. An institution with a strong self-confidence creates active citizens who have faith in themselves.


Ilkka Kantola, MP (SD), Doctor of Theology


Ilkka Kantola pressphoto

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