SCI Academic Committee 3/23

Greetings from the SCI Academic Committee meeting on the 29th of May. This time there were quite a many decisions to be approved.

Supplementation of Degree Programme Committees for the period 2023-2025

Few changes have been planned to various Degree Programme Committees in terms of the professor representatives. No changes in the Master’s Programme Committee for Engineering Physics, Master’s Programme Committee for Mathematics and Operations Research, or in the Degree Programme Committee for Aalto BSc Programme in Science and Technology. All changes were approved according to the proposal.

Approval of the admission criteria 2024 at the School of Science

  • Information Networks admission criteria: Changes according to the SCI Bachelor's Programme Committee 2/23 meeting were now approved also by this Committee. In general the admission criteria are approved by Aalto University Academic Affairs Committee, but as Information Networks and its admission criteria are independent of other schools, those can be approved by this Committee.
  • Changing BSc programme after first year studies in the field of technology and transfer application procedure criteria in School of Science: Previously the applicant must have had at least 55 credits completed by the end of June with a grade point average of at least 3.5 and the credits must have been transferable towards the basic studies or major of the degree. According to the proposed change, it is enough for the applicant that the credits are transferable towards the degree on a general level, and an exception has been added as well: “An exception is made for students who enrolled as non-attending for one term during their first academic year or who received a right to study on 1 January; they may apply for transfer after the third term. Such applicants must have at least 82 credits completed by the end of June with a grade point average of at least 3.50 and the credits must be transferrable towards the degree”. Also the adjustments discussed in the SCI Bachelor's Programme Committee 2/23 meeting were included into this item.

All changes were approved as proposed.

Streamlined process to give a grade to master’s thesis in the Master’s Programme in ICT Innovation

This topic was on the table in the SCI Academic Committee 2/23 meeting as discussion item and called as “A lightened acceptance of Master’s thesis” back then. And indeed, as the term “lightened acceptance” caused some confusion in that meeting, it has now been replaced by “streamlined process”. Also the condition that if grade 1 or 5 is proposed by the partner university, the thesis will get another review by a supervisor from Aalto was now added to this item, as this is a common policy in Aalto. With the given adjustments, the item was approved.

Discussion items and announcements

For discussion items we briefly discussed the process of developing university student admissions and new paper selection tables. According to the current draft, there would be in total 5 subjects to be evaluated for the applicants in the DIA selection; mother tongue, advanced mathematics, physics / chemistry (based on which subject gives better score for the applicant + 2 other subjects that provide the best score for the applicant. It was mentioned that in this setting, the level of English of the applicant is specifically emphasized, even though most of the teaching in the Master’s Programmes occurs in English. As a countermention, students have the right to study in Finnish, also in the Master’s Programme.

For announcements the current situation, in which the Chancellor of Justice has made a decision on a complaint about the teaching languages at Aalto University, was considered. A specific task force, led by the Vice President of Education, has been formed, but there is nothing concrete to tell yet. Some sort of internal schedule for this process was hoped, as it would make the development of the curriculum 2024-2026 clearer in terms of what kind of actions should be done regarding this issue. In addition, the philosophy of what the Chancellor asks versus what the law says was shortly discussed, that is, is the Chancellor demanding something more that is required by the law. Regardless of the answer to this question, the university should act by the law and give an answer to the Chancellor by the end of year.

The next meeting for this Committee is on 11th of September. Thanks for reading the summary!

Br, Tommi