Record number of graduates from the Faculty of Arts

A record-breaking 450 Bachelors of Arts and 502 Masters of Arts graduated at the last graduation ceremony held this spring at the Faculty of Arts.

The graduation ceremony held spring 2008 at the Faculty of Arts

A new degree system according to the Bologna process entered into force in 2005, but older students were permitted a three-year transitional period as the previous degree system also remained in force alongside the new one.

The reason for the unprecedented number of graduates this spring is that the transitional period will end in August; consequently, the graduation ceremony on 10th of June was the last chance for students at the Faculty of Arts to graduate without transferring to the new system.

The Faculty of Arts has 16 departments and two institutes, with a total of about 8,000 undergraduates and postgraduates. There are about 80 subjects taught at the Faculty, of which 51 can be major subjects in a degree. The largest numbers of students are found in English Philology and Finnish.

Although the Faculty is the biggest in Finland, it is exceptional to have a graduation ceremony with several hundred new graduates. On average, about 500 Master's degrees are awarded in a year.

“This time, we are up to 791 for the spring so far; we are nearing the thousand mark,” says Ulla-Maija Kulonen, Dean of the Faculty of Arts.

She adds that gratifying activity has been noted among students who have been procrastinating for years. Many people who have already found jobs have decided to finish their degrees now that the transitional period ends.

“The full spectrum of arts subjects was represented at this final graduation ceremony in the spring,” Kulonen says.

In order to avoid overcrowding, two ceremonies were held, one for Bachelor's degrees and another one for postgraduate degrees. At the latter ceremony, three Licentiate degrees and four Doctorates were awarded, in addition to all the Master's degrees.

Due to the exceptionally large number of participants, special instructions had been given in advance to all those who enrolled for the graduation ceremony, in order to ensure that the big event would progress in an orderly fashion.

It is likely that graduation ceremonies in the autumn will also have more participants than usual as they may include students who have finished their degrees according to the old system but not in time to make it to the graduation ceremony this spring.

Text: Riikka Hemmilä
Photo: Mika Federley
26.6.2008
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy


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