SCI Academic Committee 2/23

Hey all!

SCI Academic Committee gathered together for the second time this year on the 27th March. This time the agenda was a bit lighter, but nevertheless, here you may find the most important content in the form of a summary.

Decision items

As a greeting from SCI Bachelor’s Programme Committee, there was one decision item one the table, namely supplementation of the curriculum:

  • CS-C2000 - Ihminen havaitsijana: change in the teaching period: III -> III-IV
  • CS-C4020 - Cognitive Psychology: exam to be included as one of the requirements in order to pass the course

Similar to SCI Bachelor’s Programme Committee meeting on the 20th March, also in this meeting these changes were approved as proposed.

A lightened acceptance of Master’s thesis

The double degree programme Master’s Programme in ICT Innovation has piloted a lightened acceptance process for the Master’s thesis. In practice this has meant that Entry students (1st year of study at Aalto University and 2nd year of study at a partner) do their thesis under the guidance of the partner university. Also the evaluation of the thesis takes place at the partner university, and the grade given by the Exit University is simply converted into an Aalto grade according to the conversion table agreed in the cooperation agreement. Now, after the pilot, the programme would like to make the process permanent, which requires approval from SCI Academic Committee.

The experiences with the pilot have been generally speaking positive. When compared to the situation before the pilot, the amount of ineffectual work by the supervisors at Aalto has been reduced. Namely, before the pilot theses were evaluated both at the Exit University and at Aalto, but there were only a few disagreements about what the grade should be. Only in some cases the Exit University would like to emphasize theoretical work in theses more than Aalto, in which also more practical theses may result in top grades. The evaluation process before the pilot was also cumbersome for students, as they had to get their thesis evaluated at two different places.

On the other hand, the pilot raised some concerns as well. First of all, an evaluation process like this would not treat grades 1 and 5 any differently than other grades, whereas in the normal Aalto evaluation process grades 1 and 5 have to be approved by two reviewers. Secondly, it was a bit unclear who has agreed on the grade conversion table on the behalf of Aalto, and how it can be ensured that the quality of the theses is in line with this table. Also the term “lightened acceptance” was considered to be a bit confusing and misleading, and for example “jointly valuation” was proposed to be used instead. Regardless of how this process will eventually be called, it will most likely appear as a decision item in the upcoming SCI Academic Committee meetings.

Other issues

  • Quotas and study options 2024: The committee found that the quotas 2024 for the existing programmes does not need to be increased, unless someone expresses such a wish from a higher organizational level.
  • Master’s admission statistics 2023: Master admission statistics 2023 were quickly glanced through, but this quickly yielded into a broader discussion. Namely, instead of solely looking at statistics from some specific year, the longer term development could be considered. For example, how attractive Aalto is from the viewpoint of the applicants; is Aalto at the top or at the bottom of their preference list? Furthermore, what are the means to integrate people into the society, so that they would stay in Finland after studies, which is what the ministry, industry, and universities hope after all. A tough question, into which answer could not be found this time.

Thanks for your time and attention, and have a great Wappu time!

Br, Tommi

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