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”The Big Wheel” will roll – renewal of degree programmes in the University of Helsinki



The university management started in early 2015 a project called The Big Wheel, which will bring structural development to the university and to the degrees it offers. The large issues behind the project reach beyond the University of Helsinki: discussion on structural policies, the profiling of universities, students’ mobility between different degree programmes, making study times shorter, and internationalization. The goal of The Big Wheel is to renew university education according to the Bologna Process, that is, to make Master-level and Bachelor-level degrees even more distinct entities. This will entail changes to student admission and also reshape degrees and their contents to meet the requirements of the job market.


The Big Wheel will set each faculty with individual goals which means the renewal process will not be similar in every faculty. For further information, turn to your student representatives in the university administration, Heads of Academic Affairs, or faculties’ Vice-Deans who specialize in teaching.


Vice-Rector Keijo Hämäläinen welcomes student participation in the project! Students can forward their ideas and input to student representatives in the university administration or to their own faculty’s educational administration.


The project holds good promise. For instance, the mobility of students between different degree programmes across faculty borders will increase, and the contents of degrees and teaching will be updated. For The Big Wheel to succeed, HYY calls for openness in all proceedings: students need to be provided ways to participate throughout the entire project and this requires active and transparent communication.


Students must be included in the project from the get-go – particularly when it proceeds to faculty-level. Developmental changes mustn’t neglect the quality of teaching, and students’ legal protection cannot be overlooked. The Big Wheel is not to undermine the university's long-standing educational mission and its wide range of teaching.


More information in Flamma (unfortunately in Finnish only):