What is university teaching like?

Research-based and learning-oriented teaching is central to carrying out the University’s most important mission – the education of academic experts.
University instruction is based on research

At the University of Helsinki, teaching is based on research, which has several concrete effects on teaching. Teaching is provided by researchers well versed in their discipline, teaching the topics of their research. Consequently, the content of teaching is based on research conducted in the field specifically at the University as well as elsewhere. Familiarising yourself with research methods and the conduct of research constitute an integral part of academic education in all fields.

In addition to relevant research-based knowledge, university education utilises diverse teaching and assessment methods as well as digital tools known, on the basis of pedagogical research, to promote students’ learning, the development of scholarly thinking and the establishment of expertise.

Students are members of the academic community

From the beginning of their studies, students are part of the academic community where students’ learning and the establishment of their expertise hold a key role. In their studies, students get to familiarise themselves with the latest research and receive an introduction to the work carried out by research groups. In many fields, students have the opportunity to complete the thesis required for their degree in collaboration with research groups.

Students’ learning is at the heart of teaching

Students’ learning is the central objective of research-based teaching at the University, with all of our degree programmes employing a learning-focused approach. The goals, educational content as well as the teaching and assessment methods of degree programmes have been designed to support students’ learning and development into experts of their field. To appropriately support learning, many teachers at the University of Helsinki have completed studies in university pedagogy. All of our teachers are continuously educated pedagogically.

Research-based development of teaching

At the University of Helsinki, teaching is being continually developed on the basis of research-based knowledge. Degree programmes gain diverse data on students’ learning and progress all the time, utilising them in their measures of pedagogical teaching development.

The Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HYPE) at the University of Helsinki investigates students’ learning and teaching in all fields of science, applying these efforts to supporting all faculties, the University as a whole and teachers in the development of teaching.

Opportunities in continuous learning

The University of Helsinki offers a wide range of opportunities in continuous learning, which means learning and development from childhood to old age, including alongside work. Thanks to its offerings in continuous learning, the research-based knowledge and expertise in the University’s different fields are broadly available to all interested audiences. Many of our courses are accessible to those with a budding interest in university studies as well as graduates of the University or other institutions. Through Open University courses or supplementary studies, you can obtain new research-based skills in a sensible and fit-for-purpose manner.