Erasmus Policy Statement
Erasmus policy statement, Tampere University of Technology 2014-2020
TUT has different cooperation agreements concerning student and teacher mobility with more than 200 foreign universities around the world. In addition, the departments have their own agreements concerning researcher mobility. It is important to keep the majority of these agreements in force to ensure that the University can continue offering diverse opportunities for student and researcher exchange in different continents and across different fields.
The university is, however, currently attempting to select two or three high-ranking universities from among the partner universities as TUT's strategic partners. These partners should have similar profiles as TUT, their degree programmes should resemble TUT's programmes as closely as possible, and they should offer a sufficient number of courses taught in English. Concentrating student mobility to partner universities like this will create new opportunities for reciprocal mobility.
The studies completed at the strategic partner universities could be more flexibly incorporated into the study plans of both the host and home university. The partners could also implement social solutions that make students’ everyday life easier. This kind of close collaboration would, for example, enable the partner universities to agree upon joint degree programmes. The benefits of these partnerships are obvious also from the point of view of teacher mobility.
A strategic educational partnership could also mean that students would be able to complete specific subject study modules abroad based on agreements between partner universities. In practice this could, for example, mean that TUT would no longer keep these modules in the curriculum. The partner university would correspondingly discontinue some modules implemented at TUT. The strategic partners are not chosen, however, based on the geographical area.
In research, the situation concerning the strategic partnerships is different. The mechanisms whereby research consortia are formed vary from case to case, and it is neither easy nor meaningful to create research partnerships on a contract basis, because it is difficult to accommodate the interests of different departments, the criteria set by financiers and the research topics investigated in collaboration with research groups from a limited number of selected universities. Strategic research partnerships may be formed between TUT’s departments and several other universities. In addition to research projects, the partnerships may be related to the discontinuation of overlapping operations as well as joint and supplementary procurements. Establishing a partnership is primarily a matter to be decided between the departments.
Besides the strategic partnerships it is important to have several other partner universities in order to maintain a large network and to provide both students and staff the opportunity to go to many geographical areas. TUT has not set any geographical area as a priority but it wants to have high level partner universities all around the world. Moreover, the target groups of our mobility activities are all equally as important. The university strives to increase the mobility of all the groups (students in all levels, teachers and other staff members).
The university is striving to establish double degree programs and there are a couple of agreements under negotiation but they have not been signed yet. The international office provides the departments help and assistance in planning the double degrees. Moreover, the importance of forming high-level double degree programs is also listed in the university’s Plan for Internationalization.
TUT’s strategy can be found at:www.tut.fi/en/about-tut/strategy
Both the EU office and the International Office of TUT provide support for the university staff and students related to EU and non-EU projects. The University is a sought-after partner for collaborative research and development projects with business and industry and a fertile breeding ground for innovation and new research- and knowledge-based companies. Experts from the university maintain close ties with national and international networks and actively contribute to public debate. Many development projects are done with international partner universities.
TUT collaborates closely with other higher education institutions in Tampere (Unipoli cooperation) and several local and regional actors, e.g. City of Tampere, Council of Tampere Region, Baltic Institute of Finland located in Tampere, Regional Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, Tampere Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as local and regional enterprises. TUT’s objective is to apply funding to establish a Knowledge Alliance with regional stake-holders to promote the higher education – business cooperation and the knowledge transfer infrastructure as well as to create regional hubs of excellence.
TUT has introduced alternative entry schemes that allow people with different types of qualifications to seek admission to the University. TUT complies with the Finnish National Framework of Qualifications and recognizes degrees in accordance therewith. All educational institutions in Finland are committed to the fair and equal treatment of all applicants. Since tuition is free, everyone has an equal opportunity to pursue higher education. TUT has adopted a policy on the recognition of prior learning that applies to all degree programmes. TUT offers a diverse range of guidance and counselling services that aim to promote the academic progress of students and improve retention rates.
For many years, TUT has monitored graduate employment rates and the labour market relevance of degrees by conducting a mandatory Graduate Survey. The survey is part of the University’s quality assurance system and the results are taken into account while preparing the curriculum. TUT supports multiple learning styles by actively developing new learning environments and teaching facilities. To facilitate transfers between degree programmes, TUT has developed flexible pathways towards degrees.
TUT has various incentive schemes for different staff groups. The schemes support the achievement of strategic goals and improve the quality and effectiveness of TUT’s operations.
TUT has an outcomes-based curriculum. Expected learning outcomes are defined in accordance with the Bologna Process. Student workload is measured in ECTS credits, enabling the full academic recognition of studies completed abroad.
Faculty members maintain close ties with industry and business. Real business cases as used as the basis for class discussion and assignments. The majority of master’s theses are commissioned by companies and guest lecturers are frequently invited to campus. The innovation hub Demola brings together students and companies to address real-life business challenges. Courses that expose students to entrepreneurship and innovation have been incorporated into the curriculum and students can choose to minor in entrepreneurship.
TUT promotes regional development by working in close collaboration with the Council of Tampere Region and other local stakeholders.
Finnish universities receive public funding based on their performance. In addition, TUT has its own performance-based funding model that determines the allocation of funds to the departments. TUT operates in the form of a foundation, which ensures a greater degree of autonomy and more leeway in decision-making within the framework of national development programmes. TUT receives relatively more supplementary funding than other Finnish universities. Strategic leadership is an integral part of daily routine and, among others, unit-specific annual plans are prepared based on TUT’s overall strategy.
TUT is currently implementing the HRS4R process and has submitted the application in autumn 2013.
The Erasmus Charter
The Erasmus Charter awarded to Tampere University of Technology is found below: