The Changing Education programme at the University of Helsinki offers a fresh perspective on education. It is a relatively new programme, launched in 2020, and is always being further developed in collaboration with the university staff, teachers and students. One of CE’s biggest distinctions is that there are two aspects that can hardly be found in any other educational science programme: the focus on neuroscience (which is very rare in the field of Education) and the focus on social justice. Changing Education is very unique in its field, our students report that they didn’t know something like that existed, but the programme has fulfilled and exceeded their expectations.
The CE programme offers education to tap into different domains that are linked together and allows you to address educational and societal issues and work towards societal and educational changes. CE helps you to define the root causes of problems. If you ever thought something's not right, CE will help you figure out what the problem is, what the theoretical answer is, and develop a practical solution. This way theoretical knowledge and practical approaches and experiences are combined. CE allows you to get deeper into what you are interested in through group work and collaborative learning, assignments, your own research, and finally, a master’s thesis.
The attractiveness of the programme is the possibility to research things you are interested in in the broad field of education.
Changing Education can be easily characterised by words such as “inter-disciplinary”, “life-changing experience”, “invigorating”, and “collaborative learning” but what really defines CE is its community.
“I always felt welcomed and belonging to the group, I easily click with classmates, they’re easy to open up and talk to, and most of the teachers are also like that, which makes it easy to give and receive feedback.”
“The community of people is amazing, the quality of people is fantastic, like everybody is extra in some way, no one is boring, it’s a place for not-boring people.”
Everyone that is part of the programme will tell you that the community created by students and teachers in Changing Education is unique and among the best things about CE.
“CE is a network and a community of future change makers and is a supportive and safe environment. Changing the world through education is a wide concept with many opportunities to use your skills, we are not competing with each other because everyone can find their spot in this field.”
Changing Education opens many doors for your future. As diverse as the CE students are as diverse are their aspirations for their futures. Some would like to expand their studies and apply to doctoral programmes all over the world and pursue a PhD, while others would like to explore different careers in the education field. Current CE students and graduates are working as teachers and educators, training officers and project coordinators at Universities, research assistants, in different EU programmes, with the OECD, as a sushi chef and chef trainer, and taking part in incubator programmes to set up their own businesses.
The Changing Education programme allows you to gain expertise to apply to your potential current work and career path but also encourages you to explore new pathways. The inter-disciplinary approach and students from diverse backgrounds will expand your horizon and create a unique network and community.
“It is both exciting and scary how open-ended CE is, they don’t tell you what to study and how, that is overwhelming, but the open-endedness also means that if you have an idea this is the place to develop it.”
Changing Education will spark your creativity and will help you find your path, no matter where you are at now.
Muutto Suomeen = Moving to Finland
As Changing Education is an international programme, and many of our students come from different parts of the world, one thing that many CE students have been concerned about is the move to Finland. Here ’s what our current students had to say about moving to Finland.
Moving to Finland and starting the CE programme is a big chance and an intense experience, our advice: be calm and trust the process. Finnish bureaucracy can be a bit complicated and may take some time, however, be pro-active, there is a tremendous amount of services, opportunities and possibilities. You have to go and seek them out, look for opportunities and ask for help and support. The University and your student tutors will organise a welcome week for you during which you will receive all the help and advise you need. Students have found it “surprisingly easy” to adjust to Finland, just remember: be calm and trust the process.
If you can, we would advise you to get/move to Helsinki before you actually start your studies so you can adjust before your courses start. It might be helpful to get a hotel room while moving. When settling in in Helsinki, make use of the wonderful and numerous second-hand stores in Helsinki like the recycling centres and stores like UFF and Fida, or Tokmanni for some cheap shopping.
The Finnish language is very unique and has a very interesting history. You can read about it in one of your professors' books ‘Phenomenal learning from Finland’. If you want to learn Finnish you can make use of the language courses offered at the Language Centre at the University of Helsinki or for example at the Työväenopisto (The Finnish Adult Education Centre of City of Helsinki). But don’t worry if you can’t master the language, most Finns are very good in English. You will have no problem living in Helsinki and using English as your everyday language.
You want to read even more student opinions about CE? Watch our video interview on Instagram.
If you wish to hear more from the Changing Education students themselves, you can find our Student Ambassadors at the Chat with our Students page by selecting “Changing Education” as the Area of Study.
We hope to welcome you to our CE community very soon!