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How to move into the new degrees starting on 1 August 2017 – popular Master’s programmes to include restrictions on access


The transition to the new degree programmes in Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees occurs in the University of Helsinki on 1 August 2017. How can you move from the old degrees into the new ones or continue onto the new Master’s programmes from the new Bachelor’s programmes? The Rector of the University has decided on the general principles of transitions and continuations in March, and faculties will base their own, detailed decisions on the Rector’s decision.

We have collected the most essential information for students concerning the decision into this article.

The university has also sent an info package to subject organisations' mail lists Tuesday 25 April.

How to move from the old degrees into the new ones?
You can move from the old degree programmes and subjects into the new degree programmes according to the faculties’ own equivalency tables. These tables are still in the process of being made. Students moving from an old programme into a new one have the right to choose their programme as long as their major is suitable for the new degree programme and they have completed the courses required by the faculty’s and the subject’s equivalency tables.

Students have the right to continue in their old programme until the end of the transition period, which ends on 31 July 2020.  Students can move into the new programmes at the time of their choosing. Fast transition is not necessarily in the students’ best interests even if the University generally recommends this option. When considering the transition, you should consider matters such as your possibilities of getting accepted into an especially popular Master’s programme (see below). If your Bachelor’s or Master’s studies are almost finished and graduation before 31 July 2020 is certain, moving into a new programme is not necessarily worth it in the middle of the degree.

How to move from the new Bachelor’s programmes into the new Master’s programmes?
According to the Rector’s decision, certain Bachelor’s programmes have alternative ‘Master’s programme options’. Students can choose between these options when they continue onto Master’s studies. This means that all students who have completed the new Bachelor’s degree and want into a specific new Master’s programme – especially if it is popular – will not be accepted into it as they must meet certain criteria. Selection criteria that faculties set for their degree programmes may include completed studies and their contents, study success and time used for studies. The criteria won't be applied to students who move from old degree programmes to new ones.

In practice, these restrictions mean that all students will not get into the Master’s programme of their choosing after having completed their Bachelor’s degree. However, everyone’s right to study at the University of Helsinki will continue. Students who are not accepted into popular programmes receive a place from an alternative Master’s programme.

How does the Student Union attempt to influence the transitions between degrees?
Before the Rector’s decision, the transition and continuation rules were discussed in the University’s Academic Affairs Council (ONE). The Student Union’s representative in ONE is Specialist Heikki Isotalo, whereas Minna Mäkitalo is the student member. During the discussions in ONE, HYY has emphasised that faculties must decide on the degree programmes’ selection criteria and inform the students about them as early as possible. Students must already know what is expected of them to get accepted in the Master’s programmes when they are applying to study at the University.

The Student Union’s opinion is that as many Master’s programmes as possible should be kept open to all willing students so that a new, completely unnecessary barrier is not created into the middle of studies. HYY is having discussions with the deans of the faculties and supporting the student members in faculty councils so that students’ freedom of choice remains as extensive as possible.

More information:
Heikki Isotalo
+358 50 543 8458