The Finnish government is encouraging universities to increase their admission rates and to shorten study times, thus lengthening professional careers. The aim is to raise the overall level of education in Finland as well as provide workforce in different fields and geographical areas.
As a consequence, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture is renewing its education portfolio for 2022. President Ilkka Niemelä has verified the School’s proposal for programmes and its plan for study options on 31 May 2021, as part of the whole Aalto University portfolio renewal package.
Why a renewal?
The renewal aims at streamlining studies, better controlling the workload of both faculty and students, and making sure that the quality of teaching stays high all the while student intake numbers grow. Also, the renewal brings more transparency as well as dialogue and engagement in the whole university community. Students will have more areas of influence. At the same time the School will make some necessary savings. Resources will be kept allocated to School’s core activities, teaching and research, but the overall focus will shift to quality and impact as opposed to quantity.
What will change?
The present Aalto ARTS bachelor’s programme will be divided into four separate bachelor’s programmes, and the present 14 master’s programmes will be combined into four master’s programmes, excluding multidisciplinary joint programmes, which will continue in the present model. After the renewal, the study fields will offer major tracks in both bachelor’s and master’s programmes. The study paths will remain intact.
On top of the education portfolio renewal the study offering is being renewed at large. Aalto ARTS has an exceptionally wide offering, and some courses will be ended and others merged into similar courses. All in all, our study offering will remain abundant, and the study content will not be subject to big changes. In order to streamline study paths, this renewal brings more clarity to study structures. Nevertheless, our students will have a wide range from which to choose the most meaningful study combination.
A new feature will be the degree programme committees, in which each major has its representatives and a student representative will also be nominated. The degree programme committees offer a forum for equal discussion and decision-making. The degree programme committees’ mandate applies only to studies beginning in the fall of 2022 and its decision-making. Studies within the term of 2021-2022 and its decision-making follows the present model. The new stucture of governing in itself does not enhance efficiency or savings, but it does bring more transparency and activates and engages the community in decision-making. This is important in a situation where the School is heading to a new decade.
The Aalto ARTS education portfolio renewal is a response to the Finnish government programme, but at the same time it has given a possibility to examine and reflect the School’s education offering in a holistic manner. The School continues to look forward to the future, and focuses on our internationally recognised quality teaching, research and artistic activity.