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00014 University of Helsinki

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Svetlana Shenderova (University of Tampere, Finland)

Institutional Environments of Finnish-Russian Double Degree Programmes: Mirror for Neighbours?

Finland is one of the most active countries in jointly developed degree programmes implementation with Russian universities – 12% of their total number of the EU universities (Burquel, Shenderova and Tvorogova, 2014). Some Finnish universities provide the students with a double degree option, i.e. students have the opportunity to be awarded two degrees from two different partners. The literature has mainly concentrated on definitions of double degree programmes (DDPs) (e.g. Knight, 2011), their role in the context of internationalization of higher education (de Wit et al., 2015) and quality assurance issues (Zeng, 2017). Development of DDPs have been considered both in the international context (Obst, Kuder and Banks, 2011) and from regional perspectives (Yefanova, 2013). However, there is a research gap in studies of DDPs between universities of neighbouring countries and their influence on institutional environments inside and outside the partners. In my paper, I discuss preliminary results of the study of the development of Finnish-Russian DDPs as a part of the project supported by the Kone Foundation. The study addresses the following questions: what are managerial approaches of the implementation of DDPs in Finnish and Russian universities; how formal and informal institutional arrangements inside the partners improve or prevent the development of DDPs; and how DDPs are perceived as the forms of higher education cooperation at different levels of university management and teaching? With the information available on university websites my paper first investigates the landscape of Finnish-Russian DDs in Finland and elaborates a list of benchmarks for comparative analysis of all Finnish universities. The main part of the primary data is collected with in-depth interviews that the project team conducted with Academic Heads, academics and administrative staff involved in the implementation of DDPs. With the help of the interviews I seek to answer to the above mentioned research questions.