Goal orientation supported in various stages of studies
Metropolia has created various tools and practices to strengthen its student-centered approach. Degree students participate in an orientation specific to each degree programme to strengthen their study skills. Competency matrices linked to the curricula offer a competence-based description of the development of expertise during education. Study Guide describes the curricula and individual courses. The implementation and assessment plans that are in line with the curriculum describe the practical arrangements for teaching and learning. During the courses, students have the right to receive feedback on their performance, have access to their evaluations and receive information on the evaluation criteria. The feedback methods vary by sector and degree programme.
Students can flexibly choose courses from the CampusOnline catalogue and from the offering of an extensive partner network (3UAS, 5UAS, cooperation with Aalto University and the University of Helsinki, international partners, U!REKA) and accumulate studies through work-based learning or RDI projects. An international aspect for the studies is provided in the form of student exchange, work placements abroad, optional language studies, foreign-language teaching and tutoring international students, for instance. There are student exchange agreements in place with approximately 300 foreign HEI partners.
During studies, students develop their working life skills and strengthen their connections to the business world through a work placement (part of the studies), thesis work and multidisciplinary innovation project studies (MINNO, 10 credits). The thesis work process is supported by the digital Wihi system. Connection to the business world is also achieved through degree-specific means, such as active alumni connections or in futures seminars attended jointly by students and representatives of professional life.
Metropolia offers advanced learning environments to students on all campuses (figure 6). The environments provide opportunities to organize simulations of various fields of education and to practice in environments that fully correspond to working life environments. Students have actively participated in designing these facilities. One example of these is the HyMy Village (see 2.4). There are also digital learning environments, such as Moodle.
Figure 6 Metropolia’s four campuses
Guidance and counselling and student services promote studies and maintain well-being
Students have been assigned PSP (personal study plan) counsellors for their degree programmes to help them progress in their studies. The counsellors conduct personal study plan discussions with the students. A PSP counsellor monitors the progress and refers the student to a student well-being advisor or a psychologist in the Student Well-being Services, if required. In addition, the student is provided support and guidance in their studies in the degree programmes (programme coordinators, academic tutors and study counsellors). Titles and practices vary between sectors and degree programmes. The Opo application, which is currently undergoing testing, helps a new student find information and receive guidance at the beginning of the studies by means of a service recommendation feature.
In a self-assessment, the need to monitor studies in a student-centered, more personalized and more comprehensive manner was identified. Doing so would make it easier to address a situation where the study progress is slower than planned, for example. An answer to this is provided by the learning guidance model (figure 7) which is being developed together with students as part of the Metropolia Match® model. The model makes use of existing good practices. The guidance model supports the student’s active approach in self-development and in progressing towards the direction they have chosen.
Figure 7 Student-centered guidance model at Metropolia
The student services coordinators in the Student and Admission Services provide study guidance to those interested in Metropolia’s offering. SIMHE (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education) guidance and services for the identification of prior learning are available to immigrant customers. The SIMHE service activities that are today provided nationally in various higher education institutions were initiated by Metropolia in 2016 to address the refugee situation of that time.
Metropolia’s Academic Services, or Student and Admission Services, Student Well-being Services, International Relations and the Library and Information Services, serve applicants, students and personnel on all four campuses. Special needs teacher services are offered on a school-specific basis. The Student Well-being Services promote the well-being of students in cooperation with education. Student well-being advisors, psychologists and a well-being coach provide personal guidance via online discussions and on campus, facilitate small groups and distribute information related to student well-being. Metropolia’s degree students are covered by student health care services (YTHS). University chaplains are also available to support student well-being.
Student admission and RPL are transparent
Student admissions are based on the national joint admission process for higher education institutions, developed under Metropolia’s leadership, and a joint electronic entrance examination. The responsibilities and processes related to student admission are included in Metropolia’s degree regulations. The admission criteria for each study programme available for application are drawn up in the steering group for student admission, which ensures that applicants are treated equally. The Director of Lifelong Learning makes the decisions on the policies concerning student admission and the selection criteria. The Student and Admission Services apply a centralized method in the publishing of degree-awarding programmes and other studies that are available for application. Information on the criteria applied in any admission decisions and the admission criteria is available to applicants at Opintopolku.fi and Metropolia.fi. The student admission criteria related to the provision of lifelong learning and the open UAS studies are available in the Peppi system. This is also where applicants submit their applications for these options. An area of identified enhancement is the need to assemble all admission-related information in one place.
The degree regulations outline the identification and recognition of prior learning (RPL). The student initiates the process of RPL. A uniform electronic RPL form (eAHOT) is used to apply for the recognition of prior learning. Any prior learning shall be confirmed and acknowledged by the teacher responsible for the course or a person designated by the head of the degree programme. The degree-specific RPL principles are published in OMA (Metropolia’s intranet). The RPL process is applied in studification. In self-assessment, it was recognised that there is a need to separate studification into its own process. This allows various methods of learning on the job to be identified and developed more systematically.
|Campuses equipped with modern, relevant learning environments, designed together with students.||A system for monitoring progress for both students and personnel.|
|Competency matrices are a part of curricula.||Process and methods for studification.|
|Admission criteria for each application period are prepared in a coordinated manner in degree programmes in line with Metropolia’s policies and published before the application period begins.||Information related to admissions should be stored in one place.|
|Multidisciplinary and highly networked student well-being services.|
|Extensive educational offering (see 1.4) provides degree programme students and other learners with numerous opportunities to study.|