Teaching Council Policy Guidelines 5: The internationalization module in degree programmes

The Teaching Council has approved this document on 28 November 2011.

This is a summary of the guideline. Whole document can be found from the page Teaching Council Policy Guidelines in intra.

Background

According to the National Framework for Qualifications and Other Learning (NQF), a person who has completed a Bachelor’s degree possesses the capability to communicate at an international level and to interact in one official language and at least one foreign language, while a person who has completed a Master’s degree possesses the capability to communicate at an advanced international level and to interact in one official language and at least one foreign language. At the same time, the Strategy for the Internationalization of Higher Education Institutions in Finland requires institutions of higher education to incorporate into all their degrees a module that supports internationalization. This internationalization module is to be completed in the form of a mobility period or high-quality international courses.

In its own strategy, the University of Tampere has committed itself to promoting social justice, equality, the well-being of the citizens of Finland and the rest of the world, intercultural interaction and sustainable development. The strategy states that a core task of the University of Tampere is to educate students to become responsible academic citizens and experts who feel at home in national and international working environments. The strategy highlights the fact that the university aims at educating visionaries who understand the world and change it.

The learning outcomes of the internationalization module

The curricula of degree programmes starting at the University of Tampere after 1 August 2012 are based on learning outcomes. The following learning outcomes are defined for the internationalization module.

Intercultural learning

The student

  • is aware of and understands his or her own background and culture as the basis for meeting, understanding and appreciating other cultures
  • is aware of and identifies differences between cultures and their effects on work in his or her field
  • values the diversity of languages and cultures and can interact in a foreign language

Increasing knowledge and understanding

The student

  • understands the most important local, national and global dimensions of his or her field
  • understands the effects of multiculturalism on working life and society
  • is aware of the effects of local decisions and measures on international communities and the effects of international decisions and measures on local communities

 Application in working life

The student

  • understands and is able to apply international standards and established practices in his or her own field
  • is able to study phenomena at a global level and from different perspectives
  • is able to cooperate as an expert in his or her own field using a foreign language

The internationalization module in curricula, degree programmes and the student register

The internationalization module may comprise courses already included in a degree programme that are considered to include elements that promote internationalization (see possible completion methods below).

Students may be required to provide a reflective report on the expertise they have gained from activities for which the attainment of learning outcomes are otherwise difficult to evaluate. No credits will be rewarded for the report itself. The faculties shall define and notify students and the faculty of the requirements of the report.

A fully completed internationalization module will be recorded in the student register along with the number of credits it includes. However, the internationalization module shall not be graded.

The contents and extent of the internationalization module of each student are ultimately defined by the students’ own course choices. The completion of the internationalization module should be planned as part of the personal study plan (HOPS) process.

Bachelor’s degree programmes must include study units that are considered to include elements that promote internationalisation. However, such study units can also be included in Master's degree programmes.

No maximum amount will be defined for internationalization studies. However, the minimum extent of studies to be included in the internationalization module is 20 credits.

The faculties themselves shall agree upon how to structure their internationalization studies, how they are approved and who is responsible for approving the completion of the internationalization module.

The faculties are responsible for ensuring that students can successfully complete the internationalization module:

  • students should have an adequate number of student exchange places available in different language areas
  • students should be able to incorporate training carried out abroad in their degrees
  • the faculty’s foreign partnership universities should offer studies that can be included in degree programmes
  • faculties should offer Finnish-language internationalization courses as well as foreign language courses that can be included in the internationalization module.

Studies that can be included in the internationalization module

The internationalization module shall consist of the following study attainments and activities for which credits may be awarded as detailed below:

  1. international student mobility (student exchange, training abroad or separate studies to be included in the degree that have been completed abroad as part of current or previous university studies, including intensive courses completed abroad)
  2. foreign language studies (maximum 10 credits)
  3. Finnish-language studies that adequately result in the aforementioned learning outcomes (maximum 10 credits)
  4. courses completed in a foreign language and participation in courses given in a foreign language (including foreign language degree programmes; maximum 10 credits)
  5. international tutoring, other activities that support learning outcomes in the university’s international sector, as well as positions of trust that promote the learning outcomes of the internationalization module (maximum 5 credits)