1.1 The planning of education

Managing education

The university’s educational management which UEF’s Academic Rector is responsible for, supports the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of strategic objectives. The university has a Council for Teaching and Guidance in accordance with the University Regulations for supporting the management of education. The faculties’ designated deputy deans are responsible for education, together with the deputy heads of departments and divisions of education. The persons responsible for education form a network of pedagogical leaders which develop and share good practices of teaching. Students are represented in the Council for Teaching and Guidance, and in faculty/departmental/unit-specific teaching development groups.

Network for the development of education at UEF
Figure 5 Network for the development of education at UEF

The Education Leadership and Development Network organises webinars and other events on education development topics to engage teachers and students in jointly planning, evaluating, and implementing development measures. The network also supports the dissemination of good practices.

Curriculum work, relevance to working life, and continuous learning

The university’s degree structures and curricula are based on the national frameworks and laws of each field. The Council of Teaching and Guidance prepares guidelines for curriculum work which are approved by the Academic Rector. The guidelines of UEF Doctoral School are prepared by the Steering Committee for Research. Curricula are prepared by the faculties/units/departments and are approved by the faculty councils. Staff and students are involved in the preparation and decision-making process.  To support curriculum work, UEF organises training sessions for teachers. UEF has also developed a calculator for teachers (ECTS meter) for estimating students’ workload. Course surveys ask for feedback on course workloads.

For relevance with working life, stakeholders are consulted in education development, for example through work-life seminars and stakeholders’ meetings. This cooperation is deep especially in medicine, pharmacy, and teacher training. In generalist disciplines in the humanities, the HUMUS project has incorporated cooperation with working life partners on courses, developed internship opportunities, and created principles for cooperation on theses.

The curricula include generic, transferable skills to apply substantive skills in new situations and for learning new skills. The Peppi system describes a set of these generic competences, for example digitalisation, ethics, internationalisation, sustainability and responsibility, critical thinking, and interaction and communication for qualifications with common headings. From these sustainability and responsibility themed courses have been included in the curricula. Questions about general competences have been added to the university’s student feedback from 2021 onwards for assessing the implementation and effectiveness of the development activities.

UEF offers a wide range of courses/services to help students learn skills and opportunities for entrepreneurship, and substantive entrepreneurship skills-based elements are included in various fields’ curricula. UEF offers a minor subject in entrepreneurship open to all students.

The university has implemented a systemic change in continuous learning, with closer, more streamlined collaboration between the faculties/units and the Centre for Continuous Learning. The curricula for 2022-2025 were prepared in cooperation between the Centre for Continuous Learning, the Language Centre, and the faculties. Forecasting is used systematically and cooperation with working life is modelled as part of a continuous learning approach to strengthen the relevance of education to the world of work.

Internationalisation is reflected in curricula

The university offers more than twenty international master’s programmes and two international bachelor’s programmes. The number of international degree programmes is growing. The university’s degree programmes offer courses in English, the number of which s constantly increasing, especially at the basic and intermediate levels. Finnish as a second language (S2) is compulsory in all English-language programmes. In addition to the international degree programmes, students can complete a free minor in internationalisation (25-35 credits).  International student exchange is open to all students.

The UEF Trainee internship programme enables students on international master’s programmes to undertake paid internships. In autumn 2021, the programme was opened to external companies. The university will assist in recruiting trainees and pay their salary.

The university belongs to the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) alliance, which is an alliance between ten young European research-intensive universities. UEF is a part of YUFE Virtual Campus, which offers academic courses in English and various language courses. UEF is also a part of the European Bioeconomy University (EBU).

Supporting the development of teaching in a variety of ways

Teaching development has been supported through separate programmes and funding for several developing areas: online and multi-modal pedagogy, innovative teaching methods, cross-institutional study opportunities, and other collaborative teaching, developing lifelong learning products, student guidance and well-being, commissioned education products, and generic skills development.

Chosen teaching methods and learning assessment support the achievement of learning outcomes. The university has systematically developed learning environments and digital pedagogy.  The university has provided teacher training for activating and diverse teaching methods, the most significant of which is Flipped classroom teaching. Support for teachers is extensive and available for all and includes: university pedagogical training, teaching development projects, seminars on learning environments , online and multi-modal pedagogical facilitators, and a wide range of support services.

The university has hastened the expansion of distance learning/hydrid education and has developed its activities via various pilots. For example, DigiErko training (60 credits) is offered for teachers. The university rewards annually talented teachers who form the Excellent Teaching Practitioner Network, which aims to increase appreciation of, and develop teaching.

Researchers transfer the latest knowledge/methods of research to teaching and almost all researchers teach. The degree programmes are developed based on feedback/statistics on teaching, learning, guidance, and qualifications.

Students can take courses were they can familiarize to do research. The university has an active doctoral school. Doctoral studies include discipline-specific studies based on current research. The doctoral school provides joint training in the philosophy of science and research ethics for all doctoral programmes.

Strengths Enhancement areas
Free minor subjects Systematic use of student feedback in the development of teaching and highlighting the effectiveness of feedback
Online and multi-modal pedagogy and facilitators
Regular assessment and renewal of competence objectives
Generic competence development process 2021-2023 Including higher education-related development projects into teachers’ work plans in such a way that they don’t overburden teachers
A multidisciplinary package of sustainability studies Increasing support for student career planning, including entrepreneurship opportunities
UEF – trainee programme
An effective education management and governance system
Lecturer in the Philosophy of Science and Research Ethics (Doctoral School)