SCI Education Management Team 2/23

Hi there!

Last Wednesday, on the 15th of March, it was time for the second meeting of the year for the SCI education management team. Without further ado, let us jump right into the topics considered in the meeting.

BSc level paper selection

In spring 2022, a project with the aim to develop the certificate-based admission to Finnish universities was started. The initiative came from the Rectors’ council of Finnish universities, and more info regarding the project can be for example seen at (in Finnish). In a nutshell, the goal is to make the admission process less burdensome and more intuitive both for the applicants and universities. In practice this will be done by making changes to the scoring system of the certificates. The plan is that the changes will be announced this year, and that the changes are valid in 2026. In the meeting, it was represented what is the current state of this project. The topic will be discussed in more detail in the next SCI bachelor’s programme committee meeting (20.3.), so I will return to this topic more carefully then.

Greetings from Language guidelines group (Degree and instructions)

A first proposal of the revised language guidelines has now been represented by LESG. The main point of the proposal is that the degree language of a study programme can be either set to be Finnish or English, meaning that teaching, academic advising, and theses would be carried out with the corresponding degree language (also some parts in Swedish, if the degree language is Finnish). That is, English could not be utilized in teaching if the degree language is Finnish, and vice versa. This is the opposite of what was hoped.

Overall the proposal does not match with needs and resources, even though it seems to be ok from the legal point of view. It was brought up that if the language guidelines were approved as proposed, it would practically mean that Finnish (and Swedish) could no longer be used as teaching languages at bachelor level. This is due to lack of resources; it is not feasible to offer bachelor’s programmes both in Finnish and English. However, there was a strong consensus that most likely the proposal will be rejected in the next AAC (Aalto University Academic Affairs Committee) meeting in the beginning of April. What happens after that is unclear.

Update of general regulations on teaching and studying; retaking courses and providing exams

A couple of changes have been proposed by AAC to the general regulations on teaching and studying, particularly regarding retaking courses and providing exams. There was one part that raised concerns. Namely, the following is currently stated: “At least one make-up examination shall be provided for a compulsory course in the curriculum if the course included examination as an assessment method.” To reformulate this, the following is proposed: “At least two examinations shall be provided during the academic year for a compulsory course if the course includes examination and passing the examination is compulsory for passing the course or the weight of the examination is more than half of the final grade.” The issue is that the latter formulation does not state that a retake exam should be provided if the weight of the exam is half or less than half of the final grade (included in the first formulation). It was also mentioned that it should be more explicitly stated what is meant by “examination” in this context. These comments will be sent forward to AAC.

There were also some other shorter topics. For instance, programme directors were informed that the Aalto co-educator team would like to support schools and programmes in integrating sustainability, multidisciplinarity, radical creativity and entrepreneurial mindset into curriculum. A brief discussion was held on how the programme directors would like to utilize this opportunity in their programmes.

Secondly, it was brought up how an increasing number of courses seem to accept students who major in the corresponding subject. It was recognized that this violates some of the fundamental principles of the university, and hence some actions should be done in order to tackle this issue. However, no actual decisions were made this time.

Last of all, the date of the next meeting was changed from 10.5. to 11.5., so please stay tuned until then!

Br, Tommi

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