New credits make students' work visible

The degree structure reform will do away with the irregularity of the former credit system.

Students in Alexandria learning centre The degree structure reform will come into effect in less than a year. From next autumn, new students have to complete the Bachelor’s degree before moving onto a Master’s. In addition to the reformed credit system students, will no longer be awarded a three for perfect performance in an examination but a five.

But will this mean a revolution in the everyday toil and labour of a student? “The most visible change will be in the way studies are measured,” says Päivi Aronen, who is the project manager of the reform at Strategic Planning and Development at the University of Helsinki.

“The old credits will not be converted into new credits using conversion factors. Instead, faculties will estimate the actual amount of work required for each study period. In other words, the credit system will make visible the full amount of work required of students.”

Another reform that has a clear effect on studies is the period system. From next autumn, the academic year will divide into four periods separated by a week-long break. The beginning and end of teaching will coincide with the beginning and ending of the periods.

According to Aronen the reform will not eradicate academic freedom, although students will be recommended to complete their degrees in the set time and extent. Minor studies will be made easier and freer and it will still be possible to include more credits into a degree than required.

Existing students can decide whether to finish their degrees under the old or the new system. Completed studies will be recognised in the new degree as fully as possible.

For more information, please visit the page Reform of the degree structure at the University of Helsinki on the University’s website.

Text: Liisa Voutilainen
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
24.9.2004
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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