The Academic Affairs Council is the highest expert body processing academic affairs, as stipulated by the University Statutes. Specialist Aaro Häkkinen (Educational Policy) took part in the council’s meeting. The agenda of the meeting included Bachelors’ feedback, the timing of pedagogical studies, the grant system for tuition fees, the standardisation of administrative practices for internships and the situation of foreign-language and multilingual Master’s programmes.
In the future, only one survey will exist. This means that Bachelors’ feedback will be merged into the HowULearn feedback survey and the system supplier will be changed to CSC, owned by the universities. Giving feedback on the feedback given by the student will be possible in the new system too. Anonymity will be removed from Bachelors’ feedback, which means that the answers can be connected with study progress and other relevant information for research purposes. In general, the University is now compiling a Big Data databank of all internal statistics collected by the University in order to better know what happens in our University.
Administrative practices for internships at the University of Helsinki
As a result of the centralisation of administration and the staff lay-offs, internship practices must be standardised so that resources will continue to cover the costs of calls for internship applications. In the future, internship administration will be centralised into Career Services with the exceptions of the so called clinical practices and teacher trainings, which will remain separate in the faculties. The new system will already be taken into use in the next calls for applications and it will largely follow the model of the Faculty of Social Sciences. However, the aim is to renew and develop the model further in the spring.
Grant system for tuition fees
The University will have common criteria for awarding grants. The process must be both fast and efficient as it is possible that people will not accept their study place in case they do not receive a grant. The grants will have three categories: 100% of the tuition fee, 50% of the tuition fee and 100% of the tuition fee plus 10,000 euros per year as support for living costs.
HYY was interested in hearing why a grant awarded on social grounds is not planned. However, implementing such a grant could be possible in the future, after seeing the countries and social conditions from which applicants arrive. We know that foreign students have difficulties in opening a bank account in Finland, which could still affect the plans for the grant system.
Timing of pedagogical studies
The timing remains the same, that is, studies begin in the autumn and end in the spring. It will still be possible to do the autumn and spring separately by having a year’s break from your pedagogical studies in between, for instance.
Situation of foreign-language and multilingual Master’s programmes
The Master’s Programme in Philosophy launches with domestic languages as it cannot organise enough English-language teaching. The Big Wheel group will also consult two problematic Master’s programmes separately. Otherwise, the majority of planned programmes will launch according to schedule in 2017, but some only in 2018.
Selection policies for doctoral education
All programmes will have common application periods four times per year at the University, but the dates have not yet been decided. In the future, it will be possible to accept only one study place for doctoral education too. For this reason, students must have the possibility to decline the study place. The study right for postgraduate studies and hiring someone as a doctoral student are separate processes. This means that, in the future, students can be hired as doctoral students for a trial period before the recruited person has been granted a study right for postgraduate studies.