SCI Academic Committee 5/23

Decision Items

Degree Programme Committees and Doctoral Programme Committees for the period 2023-2025: Schools will decide the members for these committees, contrary to the Master’s Programme Committees, into which members are selected by cooperating with the Masters of Academic Affairs (or their equivalents). We appointed Henrik Lassila as the representative member and Amanda Eklund as the deputy member for 2024.

Supplementation of the Curriculum 2022-2024:

  • CS-C3120 - Human-Computer Interaction: Exam added to the evaluation methods, this has been informed to the students.
  • TU-CV00011 - Thinking Tools: Confirmed for 2023-2024, teaching in periods IV-V.
  • TU-A1150 - Filosofia ja systeemiajattelu: The course was removed from the curriculum starting 2020-2022. The spring 2024 teaching of this course will be organized with the sub course code TU-A115003.

All items were approved as proposed.

Discussion Items

Curriculum of Language Center is a discussion item in the SCI Academic Committee, and a decision item in the Aalto Academic Committee. However, discussing this item in the meeting was found a bit laborious, as the presented appendix only contained the courses that will experience some changes. Hence, the overall picture of the course portfolio was not completely clear. Learning Services had also examined the same list of changes, and had not found anything critical. So all in all, there will be some minor changes in the curriculum, such as some new Finnish courses.

Other items

Aalto Academic Committee confirmed Aalto University guidelines on the languages of degree and instruction on 21.11.2023. The guidelines can be seen here and the corresponding piece of news is here.

So now we are in a situation where the guidelines can no longer be changed, but the focus shifts to the interpretation of the guidelines. The question is: who will interpret the guidelines and how will this be done in practice. Answer to this question is that in the end, curricula are approved by the schools, where the guidelines are reflected in practice, and the deans lead each school. However, it is not certain who, if anyone, will ultimately review the level at which the policies have been followed, although it is likely that eventually the Deputy Chancellor of Justice will be interested.

Also the contradiction within legislation was mentioned: on the one hand, it must be possible to study in Finnish, but on the other hand, Master’s studies have to be such that they enable students to work in an international environment [in English]. There are many questions to which there is no definitive answer, but it seems that we are moving in the direction of offering more and more multilingual courses. The intention seems to be to go through the courses one by one to get an understanding of where resources should be prioritized.

We also discussed the new thesis management process of which I wrote more about here. As a list item the Committee was informed about the update of Aalto University Code of Academic Integrity, that is, what are actions taken if mistakes are observed in doctoral theses. In addition to some other changes, the AI aspect will be considered in the revised guidelines. A draft of the revised guidelines will be presented in the meeting of this Committee, that is on the 5th of February.