TAMK Student's Handbook
As a student at Tampere Universities
Studying in a Finnish university might differ quite a lot from what you are used to. Below we have collected information explaining some of the central issues and characteristics of studying at the university community.
Hierarchy in Finnish universities is usually very low and the relationships between students and teachers are very informal. Most teachers and other staff often invite you to call them by their first name. Teachers may also share your joys and sorrows quite openly. Finns respect privacy, so if you confide in them, your secret is safe.
The Finnish system of academic education gives students a lot of freedom in planning and scheduling their studies. This requires you to schedule your work efficiently. We trust you to take responsibility and progress successfully in your studies. This does not mean that you are on your own, as the academic and administrative staff are there to support you.
We encourage our students to participate actively in learning situations: ask questions and comment, state your case and argue your point of view. Active conversation doesn't come naturally to everyone, so remember to give room to other students' views as well.
Finns are very strict about cheating and fraud, and this is no different in universities. Our values are based on high ethics, openness and equality. We wish our students to adhere to good scientific practice and good artistic practices and we have guidelines for handling misconduct. If you cheat in exams or in written assignments, there is no room for negotiations. You are removed from the exam room immediately and your course is failed. The matter is never taken lightly and may result in a temporary dismissal.
Bring your own device
TAMK is a BYOD (bring your own device) institution. This means that there is only a limited number of common use computers on campus and classrooms have been furnished with extra power sources for you to be able to work on your own device.
Informal but confidential
Relationships between students and teachers are very informal. You can even call your teachers by their first names. On one hand, this means that teachers may surprise you by asking about your private life and share your joys and sorrows quite openly. Finns respect privacy, so if you confide in them, your secret is safe.
On the other hand, you will be expected to participate actively in class – ask questions, comment, and interrupt. State your case and argue your point of view. We’re looking for independent thinkers who choose their own path. We will even help you carve out your very own path, just in case you make those bold choices no-one has made before.
Independence and individuality
Most students at TAMK are over 18 years old, and as such, are considered adults. Most Finns live on their own by the time they start university studies. We therefore expect you to take responsibility for your life and your studies. This does not mean that you are on your own. Remember, we offer many types of support throughout your studies.
When you start your degree programme, you receive a curriculum to follow for your whole 1 – 4.5 years of studies (depending on your degree). Some courses are mandatory, some are optional. You may also include in your personal study plan some completely free electives from any university-level courses completed in other institutions. Add some international flavour by completing a part of your degree abroad in a form of student exchange at a partner university or a training placement in a company of your choosing.
Finns are very strict about cheating and fraud, and this is no different in universities. If you cheat in exams or in written assignments, there is no room for negotiations. You are removed from the exam room immediately and your course is failed. There is a fair hearing and a process that’s followed set by the National Advisory Board on Research Ethics. The matter is never taken lightly and may result in a temporary dismissal.
TAMK uses plagiarism prevention programmes frequently on written assignments and all final thesis will go through analysis.