Aalto adopts two-year curriculum for 2018–19

Aalto University is shifting to a two-year curriculum planning procedure as of the 2018–19 academic year.

In practice this means that the curriculum for both 2018–19 and 2019–20 will be confirmed in the spring of 2018. The change affects every Aalto University degree programme, whether a Bachelor’s, Master’s or doctoral programme.  This was decided by the Aalto University Academic Affairs Committee in its meeting of 16 May 2017.

“At many Finnish universities, curricula are approved for several years at a time, and the experience of this has been positive,” reports Eija Zitting, Head of Learning Services.

Students and programmes figure prominently in the two-year curriculum design

In the new cycle the strategic planning of programmes will be performed mainly in the autumn term of the odd years, which will enable greater improvements to be made to courses, study modules and programmes. By careful strategic planning of the degree programmes and long-range planning of resources, changes to the curriculum in the middle of the two-year period can be avoided. At the same time, teachers will still retain — and are encouraged to use— the opportunity to make continual improvements to their own course contents and methods of teaching and evaluation or grading.

“Aalto has followed through a significant reform of its degree programmes with the new Bachelor’s programmes launched for 2013–14 and new Master’s programmes for 2013–16. With the degree programmes now in place, we can focus on the continual improvement of learning and teaching methods”, reflects Vice President for Education Eero Eloranta.

Students of the Aaltonaut minor programme at a Bootcamp Weekend. Photo Aino Huovio.

Change supports student long-range planning of studies

The move to a two-year curriculum has been widely endorsed by students, as the two-year degree requirements help them with the work of composing a Personal Study Plan (HOP) and are in line with the goal of long-range planning of study tracks. “A multiyear curriculum allows studies to be planned on a longer term basis and enables teaching to be developed in a more thoroughgoing way”, states Petteri Heliste, a board member of Aalto University Student Union.

The two-year cycle will also give opportunities during the off years to focus on course development and on how to take better advantage of feedback in carrying out the development work.

Detailed guidelines for designing two-year curricula will be given later.

Further information Johanna Söderholm, [email protected]

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