On this page you'll find an overview of students' rights.
The following list is not all-inclusive but it gives you a brief overview of the basic and practical rights that the University of Tampere is obligated to offer their students. The list is a tool for constructive dialogue between students and the university staff. If you want to stick out for your rights, the best results are often gained by engaging in a dialogue and validating your own perspective, as well as being open to opposing arguments.
This list will be expanded over time, and if you would like to contribute, you can send additions regarding legislative matters or university rules via email to Tamy's Secretary for Academic Affairs and Secretary for Social Welfare Affairs. The secretaries are also there to help students hold on to their rights. Don’t hesitate to contact us!
The university community consists of three parties: teaching and research staff, other staff, and students. Each party has individual rights but also responsibilities in relation to other members of the community, helping the university to become the best possible place to carry out the university’s mission, which is "to promote free research and academic and artistic education, to provide higher education based on research, and to educate students to serve their country and humanity. In carrying out their mission, the universities must promote lifelong learning, interact with the surrounding society and promote the impact of research findings and artistic activities on society." (Universities Act, Section 2.)
You can read more about the principles and obligations of a good university community here.
A short list of what you are entitled to as a student:
As a student, you have a right to receive guidance counselling and the university is obligated to provide it.
For a student, it is extremely important to receive guidance counselling to be able to choose the most suitable and interesting optional subjects from the university’s wide selection. Good education includes counselling, but each student should take time for planning and reviewing their study programme, finding out where their interests lie and discussing those interests with a professional. Receiving guidance counselling is a primary concern for a smooth progress of studies and maintaining motivation. Professional guidance counselling cannot be replaced with peer counselling, which should always only be supplemental to professional guidance counselling. Optional subjects help the student profile their own skills and market themselves to the ideal employer.
Students are also entitled to proper thesis counselling. If the person responsible for the counselling seems uninterested e.g. because they are not an expert on the thesis subject, the student is entitled to receive proper counselling from someone else. Systematic guidance counselling is an important part of planning your personal curriculum, which is in no way binding but extremely useful.
The University has to arrange its curricula flexibly, so that students can graduate within the specified time frame. The time frames vary between different programmes. Of course, you can apply for extension to finish your degree. At the moment, the minimum extension time is half a year, with the maximum being two years.
Curricula include many different methods of completing courses, and student can complete courses in all the methods that are mentioned. The latest of these flexible methods is taking electronic exams. In addition, you also have a right to take courses during the summer term.
Furthermore, you can credit some of your previous courses to your current degree, if you can prove that the previous courses were similar in quality and content. It is possible that a student has to do a few compensatory exercises in order to receive full course credit. A student can receive course credit also by demonstrating his/her expertise in other ways.
Students have a right to complete their studies unimpeded and receive assessments of their own coursework in proportion to their impediments.
Equality is one of the basic human rights written in the Constitution of Finland. This also applies to unimpeded studying. No one can be put in an unequal position because of an illness, disability or any other reason pertaining to the person in question. All students must be guaranteed equal opportunity to their studies. The Non-Discrimination Act also covers education and forbids discrimination in receiving education. In addition, the education provider has to, if need be, take measures in assuring a disabled person’s access to education and progression in their career.
If a student has an impediment and has a proven limitation like sensory impairments, dyslexia or panic disorder, they can qualify for special assessment practices and alternative ways of completing courses, provided they inform of their impediment in advance. The municipality provides seriously disabled people with personal assistants, should they need it. You can find more information on the University's accessibility here and on Tamy's accessibility page.
Assessing an exam or other coursework can take a maximum of three weeks. If the maximum time is exceeded, the student has a right to demand a grade for their coursework. Usually exam results show up on time, and if the assessment time is exceeded, it’s usually due to a human factor, like an illness. The three week assessment period is also valid with electronic exams. Coursework done during the summer has a longer assessment period.
If a student is dissatisfied with the grade received from coursework, he/she has a right to appeal to the instructor who graded the course or to the person who decided on the number of credits to be transferred. An appeal against a grade received for a course must be lodged within 14 days of the date the student has access to the grade. A student can appeal in writing to the administrator of his/her School of study. If the student expresses his/her dissatisfaction with the decision on the request for rectification in aforementioned coursework or thesis included in intermediate studies, he/she can appeal to the University of Tampere’s Appeals Committee.
A student dissatisfied with the assessment and grade received from coursework in advanced studies can appeal in writing to the Board of Directors of his/her School of study. An appeal against a grade received for an advance studies course must be lodged within 14 days of the date the student has access to the grade.
When looking to appeal on coursework, you should first contact the Head of Student Affairs, who will be able to advise you in the appeal process. If the Board of Directors of your School of study will deem it necessary, they will name a third assessor for your coursework, whose assessment will be decisive. The University of Tampere’s Appeals Committee cannot reassess advanced studies coursework that has already gone through the appeal process.
’Even studies assessment is a learning situation.’
This sentence is rarely remembered after coursework is completed. For a student to learn, it is extremely important to receive feedback of their coursework. A grade is not enough, so to guarantee learning it would be good to go over all the work done during a course. Written or oral feedback of coursework gives a student a more comprehensive picture of what areas he/she might need to work on. In addition, a student can request for a copy of their exam answers from the teacher responsible for the course up until six months from receiving the exam results. Students are entitled to information about the application of assessment criteria regarding their coursework, and have a right to know the basis for their assessment.
A teacher must give a student a change to retake a failed exam at least once, or if they want, try for a higher grade for an already passed exam. The new exam must be taken within reasonable amount of time from the date the student has access to the grade, and the retake exam time should be known to the students well ahead of time. While the Regulations on the Assessment of Studies doesn’t explicitly state it, this should be obvious when organizing a retake exam: the retake exam should be timed so that there is enough time to prepare for the new exam between the announcement of the grades and the retake exam time.
A thesis that has been examined and approved cannot be retaken. If a student completes the same course unit more than once, the highest grade and/or higher workload prevails.
A student’s primary income is the student grant, which consists of three parts: study grant, housing benefit and government guaranteed student loan.
A student is also entitled to financial aid when their income isn’t enough to cover necessary expenses. If your necessary expenses exceed your income, you are entitled to financial aid.
Financial aid is a last resort aid provided by the social services that aims to assure necessary livelihood. Because it is a last resort aid, all income is primary compared to financial aid. All realisable property is perceived as income when you are applying for financial aid (for example bonds, shares, and savings).
At the moment, that basic amount of financial aid for a person living alone is 444.26 EUR. The basic amount should cover necessary daily expenses, such as food. Other expenses taken into account are necessary daily expenses like a reasonable rent, electricity bill, public health care expenses, and prescription medication bills. Unfortunately, the Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS) fees aren’t taken into account with financial aid. Students loans are part of the student grant, and a government guaranteed loan will be counted as income for students regardless of whether the student has actually taken a loan or not. Taking a loan is not required, because the share of the loan will be counted as part of the monthly income automatically. The loan share won't be taken into account if the student, for example due to poor credit history, isn't eligible for a government guaranteed loan.
Students are equally entitled to financial aid, if the terms for granting the financial aid are fulfilled! Applying for financial aid is never a bad idea, even if you are not sure if you're entitled to it. The decisions are made based on the information written in the application form, so remember to include all the necessary documents, like receipts for health care fees or loss of credit.
The primary health care for students is through Finnish Student Health Service (YTHS), which specialises in student health care. However, all YTHS offices are closed in July, during evenings and weekends. During these times a student should contact municipal health care services, which are on call during summer as well. Students are entitled to use the municipal health care services of their place of study regardless of their place of domicile. Postgraduate students are not entitled to student health care.
A student should not study on the expense of his/her health. Students are entitled to sick leave and consequently entitled to sickness benefit. Sickness benefit is paid after a 10 working day waiting period from the start of the sick leave. Despite the waiting period, applying for sickness benefit is worth the trouble, if you are suffering from a long-term illness that hinders your studies. By switching to being sick on sickness benefit you can save your study grant months and avoid getting your study progress monitored due to lack of credits. The amount of the sickness benefit depends on the income or other benefits you received before the sick leave.
According to the Constitution of Finland: 'Nobody may be discriminated against on the basis of gender, age, ethnic or national origin, nationality, language, religion, belief, opinion, health, disability, sexual orientation or other personal characteristics.' Everyone should respect other people's right to be who they are without direct or indirect discrimination, like intentionally ignoring them.
The Non-Discrimination Act gives a more detailed definition of discrimination. The treatment of a person less favourably than the way another person is treated, has been treated or would be treated in a comparable situation (direct discrimination), an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice that puts a person at a particular disadvantage compared with other persons (indirect discrimination) as well as an instruction or order to discriminate are all counted as discrimination. In addition, according to law harassment is a form of discrimination.
According to law, sexual harassment denotes to verbal, non-verbal, physical, unwanted sexual behaviour, that deliberately or actually aims to violate a person's mental or physical integrity, in particular by creating a threatening, hostile, demeaning, degrading or oppressive atmosphere. Gender-based harassment refers to unwanted behaviour that is based on the gender but not sexual in nature that aims to deliberately and actually to violate a person's mental or physical integrity and aims to create a threatening, hostile, demeaning, degrading or opressive atmosphere. Harassment is not easy to define unambiguously, but trusting your own instincts is always a good idea. If another person’s behaviour feels like harassment, it is harassment.
If you feel you have been harassed by another student, professor or another member of university staff, you can contact, in private, Tamy's anti-harassment contact persons, who can help you with any harassment situation. Read more about recognising the signs of harassment here.
The University Board has to guarantee a student the right to be heard, if his/her right to study is going to be revoked. In addition, the board has to write a report on the student's situation before the board can make a decision.
A student can lose their right to study, if, for example, he/she hasn't registered as present/absent at the beginning of the term, or if he/she hasn't completed studies on time, or if he/she hasn't completed studies after getting an extension to finish a degree. A student can apply for his/her right to study to be reinstated by contacting the Student Services or, depending on the situation, the Dean of the School by using this form on the University website. The website also contains additional information on regaining a right to study.
If a student has lost his/her right to study due to unsuitability to their chosen field, he/she can ask for a revision by proving that the reason for losing right to study no longer exists. The student must provide the university with statements pertaining to their health. The University Board decides whether a student's right to study should be reinstated.
If there is any doubt that a student isn't suited for his/her chosen field, the University is obligated to work out, together with the student, their chances of applying for different education. Upon the student's permission, the student can be transferred to study another field within the university, whose conditions for becoming a student the student in question fulfils.
A student can apply for revision for the loss of right to study or on the decision reinstating that right within 14 days of receiving said decision from the Students' Legal Protection Board.
Post-graduate degree students at the University of Tampere can join the Student Union on a voluntary basis, unlike basic degree students. In any case, Tamy actively supervises and promotes the interests of post-graduate students as well.
You can become a Tamy member by paying the membership fee as you enrol for the term. You can also pay the fee later on, after the enrolment period has ended (usually by 31 August).
However, be sure to use your personal reference number while paying the membership fee. The reference number is visible in the bank transfer slip which was sent to you in May, and in case you have lost it, you can find the information on NettiOpsu in the “Enrolment” section during the enrolment period. The Registrar's Office (aktuaarinkanslia) can also help you locate your reference number.
The membership fee for post-graduate students is EUR 48 in the academic year 2013-2014. You can fill in the student card application form while paying the fee. Submit your application either to the Tamy General Office or the Registrar's Office. Card manufacturers receive card requisitions every Monday in the autumn term, later twice a month. The cards are generally delivered in two weeks and can be collected at the Tamy General Office.
The card costs EUR 5 and must be paid in cash, as credit cards are not accepted at the General Office. Likewise, you must present an identification card (with a photo) while collecting your student card.
Post-graduate student's green card differs from a degree student's blue card in many ways. You should remain aware of the following while making the transition from basic degree studies to a post-graduate degree programme:
Post-graduate student's green card does not contain a chip, so it cannot be used as an electronic key card to computer rooms or Atalpa sports facilities. A post-graduate student may collect a separate key card at the customer service point in the Computer Centre for a cash deposit of EUR 20.
Post-graduate students have access to Atalpa's facilities for the same price as basic degree students. However, the payment cannot be charged on the post-graduate student card but rather on a deposit card you can get from Atalpa.
Post-graduate students do not have access to the services of the Student Health Care Service (YTHS). This is the reason why their membership fee is considerably lower than that of a basic degree student's.
Post-graduate student card does not entitle you to discounts on train or bus travel (VR and Matkahuolto) or to Kela's meal subsidy.
As a post-graduate student you are entitled to same services provided by the Student Union as basic degree students are. More information on Tamy's services can be found in the Services section of this page.
Although post-graduate students are not entitled to student meal discounts, Juvenes restaurants offer post-graduate students the opportunity to purchase relatively affordable lunches.
Furthermore, a post-graduate student card largely entitles you to same benefits as a basic degree student's card does. There's an extensive list of such benefits on the webpage of Opiskelijan Tampere.
It's springtime, and Tamy is yet again looking for a recipient of the annual Good Teacher award. The University of Tampere Foundation rewards the Good Teacher of the year with fame, glory and money in the annual graduation event. The award is particularly significant to teachers because students nominate the candidates. The purpose of the distinguished award is to give positive feedback, pay attention to the importance of teaching and carry on discussion about teaching.
A new Secretary for Academic Affairs, Joachim Kratochvil, has started work in Tamy. The previous secretaries, Johanna Roihuvuo, have proceeded towards new challenges after having served UTA students for a long time.
Joachim is a 29-year-old Political Science student and a devoted Kate Bush fan. Prior to coming to Tampere, he has been supervising students' interests in the Student Union of the University of Jyväskylä.
Essential to the smooth progress of your studies is your study ability, i.e. how personal resources, study skills, study environment and teaching and guidance promote your studies. Essentially, study ability is a student's work ability. Your study ability influences your learning results, study success and well-being. The good news is that you can do a lot to improve your study ability! Some factors related to study ability might be difficult to change if you're fighting for them alone, but together with your student association, Student Union or the staff of your school, you can even change matters that touch all students.
1. Personal resources
Personal resources include your personality, situation in life, social relations, physical and mental health and habits related to health. Moreover, social support, life management and a sense of your resources and abilities being enough are important factors in study ability.
2. Study environment
Study environment encompasses your physical, mental and social environment. Your physical environment is made up of different study environments and study conditions, such as recreation rooms and the organization of studies. Your mental and social environment include e.g. interaction between the staff and students, study atmosphere and study communities. Peer activities also play a central part in study ability.
3. Study skills
Study skills are a student's professional skills and correspond to a worker's expertise. Study skills include e.g. computer skills, problem solving skills, learning styles and strategies, critical thinking skills, social skills and the significance you place on your studies. Other important study skills include planning skills and time management.
4. Teaching and guidance
Receiving competent teaching and guidance is a crucial factor in study ability. Teaching and guidance include e.g. interaction between the student and teacher and receiving and giving feedback. Also central to teaching and guidance is how students are connected with the study community.
Campus Conexus II
Tamy participates in the Campus Conexus II project, whose purpose is to promote the engagement of students to their studies, communality and study ability holistically. The project is financed by the European Social Fund and it is carried out in 2011–2013.
An amendment to the Student Union's Rules turned Tamy's sections into committees in autumn 2011. Exception proves the rule, however, and Culture Section remains a section. Sections were mainly replaced with corresponding committees, but some new committees were also set up; the Committee for Academic Affairs is one of these. The function of the committees is to act as discussion forums and drafting bodies in the Student Union. Committee members can receive recompense for their work.
The purpose of the Committee for Academic Affairs is to follow and influence both national and local general educational politics, draft and/or comment on items concerning educational politics handled by the Executive Board, arrange briefings and discussions on current academic affairs (e.g. student forums), make motions and take stands on matters in academic affairs and attend to any other duties determined by the Executive Board. The first Committee for Academic Affairs will also formulate and approve Terms of Reference to organize its activities.
The Committee for Academic Affairs operates in Finnish.
The duties of the Secretary for Academic Affairs include knowing the legal institution that concerns students – all the way from course waiting list rules and local standing statutes to the Universities Act, Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution of Finland. Student associations, student representatives and all individual students are welcome to contact the Student Union's Secretary for Academic Affairs if they should need advice on academic affairs or legal protection.
Your problem can concern e.g.:
supervision of your Master's thesis
study arrangements in your department
assessment of theses, exams or other works
interpreting laws and orders.
The Student Union's Secretary for Academic Affairs can help you with e.g.:
acquiring more information
preparing requests for rectification
offering information about different scopes of action
acting on the administrative level to solve your problem.
Students play a central role in preparing and making decisions on matters concerning the University of Tampere. Students are able to influence matters on all administrative levels from preparatory working groups to the highest executive bodies. Official bodies such as the decision-making bodies in schools and units are obliged to comply with the statutory tripartite principle. This means that there are representatives for professors, other staff members and students, respectively. Furthermore, students have statutory representation in several different committees and preparatory working groups.
Since the administrative language of the University is Finnish, most administrative bodies operate in Finnish. If you don't speak Finnish, you may still contact the student representatives of different bodies and request that they promote matters that are important to you. Student members of the governing bodies in different units, for example, should be conscious of the wishes of international students, so don't hesitate to contact them!
Contact information of the representatives
E-mail addresses of student members mainly follow the example of firstname.lastname@example.org See the e-mail search engine of the University's Intranet for exceptions.
Tamy collects the contact information of student representatives from all organs to which it usually appoints students. If you need more detailed contact information, contact the Secretary for Academic Affairs.
Moreover, you can easily reach the "hallopeds" (as called in Finnish) appointed by Tamy through a moderated e-mail list, email@example.com
Multi-member bodies at the University
The University involves many multi-member bodies which, by law, must be represented by students. An updated list of the line-up of these bodies in the current term is available at the University's homepage.
University Board (2+0) 1 January 2013 – 31 December 2016 Board members
University Collegiate Body (15+15) 1 January 2012 – 31 December 2013 Collegiate members (Opiskelijajäsenet = Student representatives)
Governing bodies of schools (27+27 in total) 1 January 2013 – 31 December 2014 Institute of Biomedical Technology (3+3) School of Information Sciences (3+3) School of Management (3+3) School of Education (3+3) School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies (3+3) School of Medicine (3+3) School of Health Sciences (3+3) School of Communication, Media and Theatre (3+3) School of Social Sciences and Humanities (3+3) Members of governing bodies (Opiskelijaedustajat)
Appeals Board (2+2) 1 January 2011 – 31 July 2014 Board members (Opiskelija)
Other collaborative organs at the University
In addition to statutory organs, the University also hosts other collaborative organs, the composition and student representation of which is determined in the rules.
Advisory boards of independent institutes January 2013 – 31 December 2014
Language Centre (2+0): Veikko Mäkelä Maria Tervonen
Science Council (2+2 postgraduate students elected by the University) 28 January 2011 – 31 July 2014 Leo-Pekka Lyytikäinen (Katri Leinonen) Laura Valkeasuo (Elias Pekkola)
Teaching Council (3+3) January 2011 – 31 July 2014 Veera Kaleva (Tiina M Heikkilä) Mervi Eskelinen (Mikko Kutinlahti) Timo Perälä (Jouni Markkanen)
Established groups at the University
Upon the decision of the Rector and directors of independent institutes, different groups have been established on a permanent basis. Tamy has elected members for these groups upon request.
Welfare group Kehrä (2+1) 1 August 2012 – 31 July 2014 Julia Johansson Secretary for Social Welfare Affairs Ann-Marie Norrgrann
Student Financial Aid Board (3+3, vice chair) 1 May 2010 – 30 April 2012 Anssi Rantala, vice chair (Suvi Vainio) Ulla-Mari Kuusinen (Antti Kiiskinen) Satu Riihinen (Jenna Asikainen)
Information Resources Management group of directors (1+1) February 2011 – 31 December 2013 Tytti Karvonen (Jere Myyryläinen)
Environmental group (1+1) 1 August 2012 – 31 July 2013 Anni Heinälä (Pirita Ruokonen)
Current working groups at the University
Upon request, Tamy has elected members for some current working groups in the University and the schools.
Campus Conexus Project group of directors (1+1) Secretary for Academic Affairs (Secretary for Social Welfare Affairs)
In addition to the official governing bodies, the University also involves a group of unofficial organs such as groups of directors for schools and degree programmes, study programme planning groups and many others. It's the responsibility of student associations and individual students to apply for these organs. If you are interested in, for example, planning the curriculum of your study programme or wish to contribute to matters at your school more extensively, contact Tamy's Secretary for Academic Affairs.
The purpose of Tamy's academic affairs sector is to promote the study opportunities of the students of the University of Tampere. We supervise students' interests closely in different problem situations and in university reformations.
For students, the most concrete form of supervision of interests is Tamy's legal counselling service. In order for us to improve the position of students, it is vital that students tell us about the problems they face, give us feedback on our activities and suggest how we could improve our sector. Moreover, Tamy arranges events related to academic affairs – and everyone is welcome to take part! These events include committee meetings, discussions and theme weeks. For more information about our events, follow our website and email lists.
Tamy's supervision of interests is mostly “invisible supervision”, which means that we follow current affairs and, when needed, intervene or make motions both through official and unofficial influencing work. On a national level, we work on the development and improvement of the qualification structure, university financing and university-level teaching in association with SYL, the National Union of University Students in Finland.
At the University of Tampere, Tamy keeps a hawkeye on teaching and assessment procedures, the quality of teaching, guidance services, the sufficiency of teaching resources, employment situation and the influencing opportunities students have in their department. Tamy's representatives participate in administrative bodies, working groups and projects as experts on studying. In addition, Tamy unofficially collaborates extensively with the University management and central administration.
From a student's point of view, influencing work probably seems slow, unclear and bureaucratic, but its results have a significant impact on everyday studying. Some concrete examples of the results of invisible supervision of interests include the introduction of electronic exams and quickening the circulation of course books. No concern is too small for us: due to Tamy's initiative, students may now take a bathroom break during long exams!
An essential part of supervision of interests is cooperating with student associations and student representatives. Promoting important matters in the university community requires seamless influencing work with the students. Tamy assists student associations and student representatives by giving advice, arranging training and keeping all parties up to date on current issues.
In addition to contact information, Tamy's website for academic affairs has useful information about issues in educational politics, instructions for influencing parties and practical tools for supervision of interests. Don't hesitate to contact us or join our work. You can improve students' position!
In recent years, the quality of teaching has been a talking point among university students and teachers. The University of Tampere is a traditional teaching university that has put its heart into improving teaching – with the help of students, of course. Several projects aimed at improving teaching are under way in schools, and the University arranges voluntary pedagogical training for its teachers.
The University gives two quality awards every year: the Ällästikku award and the Good Teacher award. Of the two, the Good Teacher award is given to a single teacher whereas the Ällästikku award is usually given to larger group of people or a department.
The University's Academic Development Unit, which prepares items related to the improvement of teaching to support the Board of Trustees and the Rector's decisions, is vital to the improvement of quality. The Academic Development Unit's field of operation includes e.g. the pedagogical education of teachers, the management of the local level of the virtual university, the evaluation of teaching and the implementation of development projects in teaching in general. The Student Union has its own representatives in the Academic Development Unit – even the vice-chair of the Academic Development Unit is a student!
Good Teacher award
The University of Tampere Foundation awards a Good Teacher with fame, glory and money every year. The Good Teacher award is especially significant to teachers because students nominate the candidates. The purpose of the Good Teacher award is to give positive feedback, pay attention to the importance of teaching and sustain conversation about teaching.
In 2011, the University of Tampere Foundation awarded Jari Kylmä the Good Teacher of the year. In 2012 Tuula Juvonen and Pekka Nykänen were awarded.
The Ällästikku award is an award for quality teaching. It is awarded annually for a department, group or network distinguished in teaching and developing or supporting teaching. The Ällästikku award has no official criteria. Instead, the Academic Development Unit decides on the grounds of the honour and proposes an award winner.
An ällästikku is a fescue, a small stick used for pointing out the letters for children learning to read. The Ällästikku award includes a certificate of honour, a fescue (different every year) and a money reward.
The Ällästikku award was given in 2012 to the Degree Programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media.