International MDP in Public and Global Health receives UTA’s prize for excellence in education

Submitted on Tue, 12/19/2017 - 14:30

The University of Tampere awarded its annual Ällästikku prize for excellence in educational quality and development to the Master's Degree Programme in Public and Global Health. The prize is 10,000 euros.

The Master’s Degree Programme in Public and Global Health (PGH) was founded by health sciences in 2003 and since then, the programme has admitted new students every other year. The programme was substantially renewed before the previous intake of students when the two specialisms of public and global health were merged into a single programme. In the reform, feedback from former students was taken into account and their input was reflected in the amended curriculum in many ways.

The programme utilises versatile communication channels already before and during the studies. The programme uses many inclusive teaching methods that emphasise students’ interaction and interaction between the teachers and students. Such methods include, among other things, problem-based learning, the “flipped classroom” and various teamwork settings. The students are included in research groups where they can conduct the studies they need for their master’s thesis. It is also possible to do an internship in one of the projects in the research group.

According to its strategy, the University of Tampere wants to recruit more students who are international. The Teaching Council considered it important that versatile means are used to integrate international students into the university community. International students find it challenging to get to know their own student community and other programmes, their Faculty and the entire university community at the same time that they are also becoming familiar with the Finnish culture and working methods. The PGH Programme and the Finnish-language Master’s Programme in Health Sciences also have joint instruction and meetings, which promotes interaction between international and Finnish students, thus contributing to the integration of international students into the University community.

The Ällästikku Prize for educational excellence does not have fixed rules. Instead, the Teaching Council annually decides on the recipient of the award as well as the grounds and methods for finding the awarded innovation. This year, the Council organised an open call and decided to award the prize in recognition of good practices and support of integration into studies and the University community.

The group that prepared awarding the prize paid attention to the following issues in particular: How is the interaction between students and teachers supported? How do supervision and communication practices support the students’ integration into the university community? What kind of teaching methods are used to promote students’ engagement in the community and the development of interaction between students?  How is the development of student tutoring supported? The award-winning Master's Degree Programme in Public and Global Health has concrete examples of all the aspects above.

The working group that prepared awarding the prize consisted of Educational Policy Expert Veera Kaleva, Member of the Board of the Student Union Tamy Sanni Lehtinen, University Lecturer Paavo Arvola, Study Coordinator Maarit Moberg and Education Specialist Kati Toikkanen. The Teaching Council of the University of Tampere made the decision on the winner. Vice-rector Harri Melin presented the award to Professor Clas-Håkan Nygård who is in charge of the MDP in Public and Global Health and International Coordinator Catarina Ståhle-Nieminen in the Graduation Ceremony organised on 15 December 2017.