The Student Union of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OSAKO) is an important element of student life. Based on the Act to Amend the Polytechnic Act (Laki ammattikorkeakoululain muuttamisesta 413/2005), the student union represents all Oulu University of Applied Sciences students and offers benefits and services especially to its members. All OSAKO members have a SAMOK student card, which offers dozens of benefits and discounts.
OSAKO promotes the interests of students in many ways. For students, the most obvious activities include events at schools, student parties, activities by student tutors, Club KulttuRally's trips and activities as well as benefits available with the student card. OSAKO advises students and represents them in problem situations and cooperates with the University of Applied Sciences in all study-related matters. Students also receive help from the guide books and other publications of the student union.
The decisions and activities of the student union, which is independent of the University of Applied Sciences, are made by the students. The student union's 25-member body of representatives, which is elected by a vote in the autumn, has the highest decision-making power and its activities are the responsibility of a board and employees. Students have many opportunities to participate in OSAKO activities either by doing or experiencing.
In addition to the student union, education sector organisations that organise events, sell student overalls, offer member services and act as a link between the students, the school administration and the student union, operate within units of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. Education sector organisations do not have a statutory position within the University of Applied Sciences; instead, they work together with OSAKO.