SCI Academic Committee 1/24

Here is this year’s first SCI Academic Committee meeting held on 5.2.

Decision items

  • Degree Programme Committees for the period 2023-2025
    • Swapped the positions of Prof. Fabricio Oliveira and Prof. Nuutti Hyvönen in Master’s Programme Committee for Mathematics and Operations Research.

Discussion items

Call for comments: Academic integrity (Hyvä akateeminen käytäntö)

This is a document listing academic practises, guidelines and responsibilities that are to be taught to students and staff. It also lists different types of breaches of academic conduct, the steps to take in an investigation of a breach as well as potential consequences. It is meant to be a replacement for a similar document made in 2011. Compared to the previous version, the structure of the document has been updated to be clearer and more visibly divided into sections. It has also been updated to no longer instruct on practices that are no longer in use. There was also an updated clause allowing the school to react if plagiarism is noticed in a master’s thesis after submission.

The information in the document is on a general basis. It was discussed that due to different practises taken on different courses, course lecturers should list more concrete rules with regards to the course in question. This is especially important in matters of co-operation and use of tools on the course: For instance, co-operation is a grey area as it is sometimes encouraged, but some types of co-operation can be against course rules.

The sections defining proper steps to take in a suspected case of a breach of academic conduct have been streamlined. This was motivated by the fact that larger courses can have closer to 40-50 cases of plagiarism a year so the process of dealing with a single case can not be too stretched out for the number of staff hours available for handling these cases.

The updated document contains a requirement for all studies to have a mandatory part where good scientific and/or artistic practices relevant to that degree level are discussed. The document also stated that teaching good research practices is included in university studies and that there is training available for staff. This raised discussion as there is currently no one in charge of these matters and most Master’s programmes don’t currently have anywhere to implement it. One method of implementation that was discussed was adding a small compulsory course to Master’s studies which contains materials instructing these practices. Master’s in Industrial Engineering and Management already has such a course. It was discussed whether it would be possible to create shared materials between study lines or schools instead of implementing multiple such courses.

The development of entrance exam cooperation

This was also discussed in SCI Bachelor’s Programme Committee and will be introduced in that summary. In short, there will be new entrance exams to universities in Finland so TFM will use an entrance exam that has similar structure as the current entrance exam, but more study options (hakukohde) will have the same entrance exam.

It was brought up that there are different minimum criteria for the same study lines in different universities and that the same exam will need to be able to differentiate at suitable levels for all the different study lines under the entrance exam.

Currently, some study options have special requirements for which exercises you need to answer in the exam. It was brought up that if more study options have the same entrance exam, there might be a lot of different criteria for a single exam. This might leave applicants who want to apply to a lot of different study options in an unfair position, as they may be required to complete a more limited set of exercises or even more exercises as applicants who only applied to study options with similar requirements. The current entrance exam had extra time given if a student had multiple different criteria, but this could be abused as the results were evaluated separately.

It was also brought up that these requirements could easily lead to confusion and that there needs to be a way to minimise misunderstandings on what you need to answer as the exam will be for a very wide group of applicants.

Overall, the idea was received well with especially the help in removing overlap between results from certificate-based admission (todistusvalinnan tulokset) and the date of the entrance exam and instead giving time to prepare for the entrance exam after hearing the results.


  • Learning analytics policy at Aalto University: vice principal has signed the Learning analytics policy at Aalto University based on the earlier decision of the Academic Affairs Committee of Aalto University
  • Janne Lindqvist has resigned from the SCI Academic Committee.

Other items

  • Next meeting, we will have the statistics for master’s and English programme’s applications.
    • The number of applications will be more than double the previous years. There will be steps taken into account to discourage applying internationally with no intention of accepting the admission
    • as no steps to limit viable applicants have been enacted
  • Next meeting, we will ratify the proposed study plans for 2024-2026.

That’s all for now, next meeting will be held on 27.3. and will have a lot of stuff as was noted earlier.