Involvement in the development of bilingual degrees


Kaksikieliset tutkinnot


Since 2010 Helsinki University has been piloting a bilingual Bachelor’s degree, in which the two degree languages in question are Finnish and Swedish at this stage. The difference from a normal degree is that a student does at least one third (60 credits) of the degree in one of the two national languages. The objective of the bilingual degree is to educate students to become experts in the workforce who are able to work in both languages.

From the very beginning, the Language Centre has been involved in the steering and planning group and has proffered language support where needed to the students in the programme.
The Language Centre also carried out a project, completed at the end of 2013, that investigated the student profiles during the pilot stage and followed their development in writing and speaking skills at they progressed through the programme. The results indicated that the skills of every student in their second national language improved significantly and on average also rapidly.

The results of the project have been presented in several conferences, seminars and in forthcoming articles, currently underway or under review. Two of our Swedish lecturers, Ullamaija Fiilin and Jaana Jokinen, along with our Senior Lecturer in Pedagogy, Johanna Vaattovaara, have been the researchers responsible for this project.

The research results can be read about in the guide Asiantuntijaksi kahdella kielellä – Bli expert på två språk – Becoming a bilingual expert. This publication describes the results regarding the students’ language development and also their learning experiences. It also offers important practical information concerning bilingual degrees from the point of view of the degree disciplines and the students.