FACULTY OF THEOLOGY

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Faculty of Theology
P.O. Box 4
(Vuorikatu 3)
00014 University of Helsinki

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Email addresses: firstname.lastname at helsinki.fi

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Nordic Master's degree programme, The Religious Roots of Europe, has received good feedback from its students

One of the International Master’s degree programmes offered by the University of Helsinki, the Religious Roots of Europe (RRE), like other Nordic study programmes, scored highly in the Student Survey of the Nordic Master Programme 2012.

Respondents consider that the programmes have clearly lived up to their expectations. Figures given for mobility (73%), interaction with fellow students (69%) and the quality of the English in teaching (63%) indicate the satisfaction they feel towards their studies. The results also show a high level of satisfaction with the various teaching methods, which respondents scored between 85-98%. Up to 99% of the respondents would happily make the same choice again, and would heartily recommend the study programme to others.

The Nordic Master Programme (NMP) is a Nordic higher-education programme for students from all over the world. The programme started in 2008 and at present consists of 15 programmes at 24 different Nordic universities. Each study programme is offered in co-operation with at least three Nordic universities.

Collaboration − the key to success for The Religious Roots of Europe (RRE)

Jakob Engberg, Associate Professor in Church History from Aarhus University, who teaches in The Religious Roots of Europe programme and also acts as its main coordinator, comments:

− The evaluation shows that the students [in the RRE programme] think that we could not have pulled this off individually and that the programme would not have been nearly as interesting and rewarding had it been offered by a single university. The key to the success has been and is collaboration.

RRE is a joint programme, combining the strengths of the theological faculties at six Nordic universities: Aarhus, Bergen, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lund and Oslo.

One in three of all the students admitted to the programmes within NMP were admitted to RRE (in all 96 students). Thus, in terms of numbers, The Religious Roots of Europe is the most successful programme within the NMP.

Areas of improvement

Improvements that respondents would like to see included more group work in teaching and better marketing; students wish for more professional websites and the use of social media. Academic guidance as well as information on career opportunities after studies was also seen as very important.

Most students felt very welcome at the university where they were enrolled, and were satisfied with the support they had received from the project coordinators. Finding an apartment was sometimes considered the most difficult practical question, along with high living expenses.

Financing the programme and future career opportunities

As for financing the Nordic Master Programme, 83% of the respondents say they have had sufficient resources to comply with their mobility needs during their studies. The top 3 means of funding were for the respondents as follows: income from work, grant from public students support institution, and financial support from parent.

Students were generally positive about the career opportunities that NMP offers them. The majority of the respondents believed that employers see NMP as an advantage in terms of improved possibilities with  both finding work (63%) and research posts (54%).

The evaluation was carried in summer 2012 by Oxford Research on behalf of the Nordic Council of Ministers, which has financially supported the planning stage of the programmes, including the Religious Roots of Europe. The full evaluation report can be read at the Nordic Council of Ministers website.

The Religious Roots of Europe (RRE):

  • A high-mobility, two year master’s programme, started in the fall 2009
  • RRE is a joint programme, combining the strengths of six Nordic universities: Aarhus, Bergen, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Lund and Oslo.
  • RRE exposes students to traditions, formative processes and mutual interaction in the ancient world of the three most influential religions at the root of European culture and history: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Lines are also drawn to the modern interaction between these religions.
  • RRE will qualify students for innovative scholarly work and for a number of different career paths offered by corporations, organizations and in society in general, where expertise in religion is needed.
  • Further information: http://www.helsinki.fi/rre/

TEXT: Pekka Rautio & Anne Hopia
20.5.2012