Tamy is once 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.
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 stand up 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 your additions regarding legislative matters or university rules via email to Tamy's Specialist in Academic Affairs and Specialist in Social Welfare Affairs. The specialists are also there to help students hold on to their rights. Please 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.
The student’s main source of income is the financial aid for students, which consist of three different components: the student grant, the housing supplement, and the state-guaranteed student loan.
In addition, the student are entitled to income support in the case their income is not enough to cover their necessary expenses. If your necessary expenses exceed your disposable income, you might be eligible for income support.
Income support is a last-resort financial support measure of the social welfare system, and its purpose is to secure the applicant’s immediate income security. Because income support is a last-resort measure, all income is considered primary income. All assets which can be realized are taken into account and are considered as income (securities and investments, shares, savings).
For a single person living alone, the basic part of the income support is EUR 450,50 at the moment. The basic part should cover the necessary daily expenses, such as groceries. Other expenses which are taken into account are only the necessary basic expenses such as reasonable rent, the electricity bill, the public healthcare costs, and the costs of description medications. Unfortunately, the FSHS payments are not taken into account when the income support is determined. The student loan, which part of the student financial assistance, is calculated as income together with the student grant and the housing supplement, regardless if the student has actually been withdrawing the money or not. The withdrawal of the loan is not required, but it is calculated in the estimated monthly income. The student loan is not taken into account if the student has not been granted the loan because he or she has a bad credit history, for example.
The student has an equal right to income support, just like all other groups, if the applicant meets the approval conditions! There’s no harm in applying for income support, even if you are not sure if you are eligible or not. The decisions are made on the grounds of the application, so be sure to attach all relevant documents, such as receipts of healthcare costs or proof of bad credit score, with the application.
* Most of the information presented above assumes the student is a Finnish national or a permanent resident. You can find more information on who is eligible for financial aid and income support on Kela’s web page and on the web page of the City of Tampere.
The Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS) is the primary healthcare provider for students, and it is specialized in student healthcare. However, in July, during the evenings and weekends the centres of the FSHS are closed. During these times, the students should contact the municipal healthcare services which are on call during the summer time as well. As a student, you have the right to municipal healthcare services regardless of your home municipality. Post-graduate students are not eligible for student healthcare services.
Studying at the expense of one’s health is not at the best interest of the student, and it is not a good idea to do so. A student has a right to take sick leave, and thus, to receive sickness allowance. The sickness allowance is paid after the ten working day qualifying period from the start of the sick leave has passed. Despite the qualifying period, you should apply for the allowance if the sickness is not short-term and it will prevent you from studying normally. Applying for the sickness allowance will save you months you are eligible to receive student financial aid, and it will also make sure you will not be at risk of losing your financial aid because your studies have not progressed enough to qualify for the financial aid for students. The amount of sickness allowance you will receive depends on your work-related income or benefits you were receiving before the sick leave started.
* Most of the information presented above assumes the student is a Finnish national or a permanent resident. You can find more information on health care services, costs, etc. for international students in the International Student’s ECTS Survival Guide, page 48 onwards.
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.
You can receive a maximum of 10 credits for your positions of trust within the University or the Student Union, in exchange for a report. Instructions for writing the report can be found in the curriculum of each degree programme. The credits can be accepted through substitution or inclusion within a year after the time spent in a position of trust has ended.
For more information, ask the Head of Study Affairs of your school.
Examples of tasks you may receive credits from (3 credits per list item):
a) At least one academic year in a multi-member organ of the University (University Collegiate Body, University Board, Board of Appeals and the Management Boards of schools) defined in the Universities Act or the University’s rules of procedure.
b) At least one academic year in an advisory council of an independent institute, the University’s Student Financial Aid Board, or a curriculum working group of a school or a degree programme
c) At least one academic year in the board of a student association
d) At least one academic year in a position of trust within the Student Union (as a member of the Council of Representatives or the Executive Board, or as a chair of a section or a committee)
Students have the right to nominate representatives for themselves in study-related working groups. This enables the students to participate in preparation and decision phases of decision-making.
A preparatory working group working within a school is to request student representation from a student association or a school association. A preparatory working group with relevance to the entire University is to request student representation from the Student Union.
Student representatives must be called to participate in the working group immediately after its establishment, and the convener of the working group must brief appropriately.
According to the Universities Act, the students must have a right to a safe learning environment. The university can adopt regulations to guarantee this safety. According to the Health Care Act, student healthcare must also include the monitoring of the health and safety in educational institutions, and the monitoring of the welfare of the learning communities. This means that the University and the FSHS together are responsible not only for making sure that the learning environment is physically functional, but also for the community and for the promotion of welfare. To address any issues you might encounter, contact the University.
The Universities Act permits the university to transfer credits from studies completed at another Finnish or foreign institution of higher education or other educational institution, or to substitute completed studies which are at the same level as the studies required for the degree. According to the policy of the University of Tampere, if a student has completed studies on language, communications, or methodology which are equal in content with the courses offered at the University of Tampere, the student can apply to have their credits transferred into his or her degree.
In addition, in many different fields of study have their own separate practices on recognition of prior learning (RPL). Depending on the field of study, it might be possible to substitute courses with work experience or an internship. According to the University’s General Regulations on Degrees, a student cannot substitute a thesis. Knowledge and learning which has been previously acquired should always be reviewed when the student is drafting his or her personal study plan (HOPS). However, the RPL-process can be initiated later as well by learning about the specific practices in your School.
To find out more, contact…:
…the Specialist in Social Welfare Affairs, if you are in need of information on issues regarding social security, accessibility, health and harassment.