An Evaluation of International Degree Programmes in Finland

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1 An Evaluation of International Degree Programmes in Finland Jussi Välimaa Katarzyna Fonteyn Irma Garam Esther van den Heuvel Christina Linza Minna Söderqvist Jan Uwe Wolff Johanna Kolhinen Publications of The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council 2:2013

2 The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council Tel , fax P.O. Box 133 (Meritullinkatu 1), Helsinki, Finland kka.fi PUBLISHER The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council BOOK DESIGN Juha Juvonen ISBN (paperbound) ISBN (pdf) ISSN PRINTED by Tammerprint Oy, Tampere 2013

3 ABSTRACT Published by The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council FINHEEC Name of publication An evaluation of international degree programmes in Finland Authors Jussi Välimaa, Katarzyna Fonteyn, Irma Garam, Esther van den Heuvel, Christina Linza, Minna Söderqvist, Jan Uwe Wolff, and Johanna Kolhinen Abstract The evaluation team finds that internationalisation has been taken as a serious objective in all strategies of the Finnish HEIs. The IDPs are, in turn, seen as an important instrument for reaching the objectives of institutional internationalisation.the second principle conclusion is the fact that the student bodies of the international degree programmes are quite diverse. Owing to the diversity of the student bodies, they should not be treated as a homogenous group. This diversity can also been seen in the variety of learning styles.third, Finnish IDP managers are very satisfied with the quality of the teachers and students in the IDPs. The approachability of the teachers is one of the strengths of the Finnish IDPs. The fourth, and final, conclusion is that the learning objectives of the IDPs in universities were quite similar to the learning objectives for Finnish degree programmes. Altogether the IDPs do not differ significantly from regular degree programmes with regard to their structure, management, quality assurance, marketing and recruitment of students. One of the main problems discussed during the site visits was the difficulty that international students have in gaining access to the Finnish labour market. One of the main obstacles mentioned was an insufficient ability to speak Finnish. While this serves as a perfect excuse for not discussing more difficult matters such as cultural differences and the reluctance to employ people other than Finns it is also a real problem for students, HEIs and business organisations. One of the issues related to the employment of IDP students is that HEIs do not follow up them after their graduation. This is a problem for two reasons. First, HEIs do not know where their students are finding jobs. Ignorance on this matter may hinder the future development of IDPs. Second, HEIs are not able to use their alumni as a resource for IDPs in finding internships or in recruiting teachers for their IDPs. The evaluation team makes the following recommendations. At the system level the size of IDPs should be considered from the economic point of view as well as the follow-ups on the IDP alumni should be organised more systematically at the institutional and national level. At the institutional level the evaluation team points out that developing services for IDP students should not be a separate process. Increasing cooperation between teachers and support staff, alumni surveys, rewarding teachers for improving their languages skills as well as more active approach on the extra-curricular activities for IDP students are suggested actions at the institutional level. At the IDP level quality boards with internal and external stakeholders and furthermore the role of the professional field in developing and improving the IDPs are recommended. Also when HEIs are offering multiple IDPs it is important to share and compare experiences to improve the quality of the services. Differences in learning styles and cultures should be recognised and improving multicultural competencies of all students can help the international student to familiarise with Finnish society. Keywords Evaluation, universities, universities of applied sciences, international degree programmes

4 TIIVISTELMÄ Julkaisija Korkeakoulujen arviointineuvosto Julkaisun nimi An evaluation of international degree programmes in Finland (Kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien arviointi) Tekijät Jussi Välimaa, Katarzyna Fonteyn, Irma Garam, Esther van den Heuvel, Christina Linza, Minna Söderqvist, Jan Uwe Wolff ja Johanna Kolhinen Tiivistelmä Arviointiryhmä toteaa, että kansainvälistymisestä on tullut suomalaisille korkeakouluille keskeinen strateginen tavoite. Kansainvälisiä koulutusohjelmia pidetään tärkeänä korkeakoulutason kansainvälistymistavoitteiden saavuttamisen välineenä. Toiseksi ryhmä toteaa, että kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien opiskelijat ovat keskenään hyvin erilaisia, eikä heitä voida siten kohdella yhtenä homogeenisena ryhmänä. Opiskelijoiden monimuotoisuus heijastuu myös opiskelijoiden oppimistyyleihin. Kolmanneksi ryhmä toteaa, että kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien johtajat ovat pääasiassa hyvin tyytyväisiä sekä opiskelijoidensa että opettajiensa laatuun koulutusohjelmissa. Opettajat ovat arvioinnin tulosten perusteella helposti lähestyttäviä, mitä arviointiryhmä pitää yhtenä kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien vahvuutena. Neljäs ryhmän johtopäätös on, että kansainvälisten ja kotimaisten koulutusohjelmien oppimistavoitteet ovat yliopistoissa hyvin samankaltaisia keskenään. Ylipäänsä kansainväliset koulutusohjelmat eivät juuri eroa rakenteeltaan, johtamiseltaan, laadunhallinnaltaan, markkinoinniltaan tai rekrytoinniltaan ns. tavallisista koulutusohjelmista. Suomalaisille työmarkkinoille pääsyn ongelmat nousivat yhdeksi pääteemaksi arviointivierailuiden aikana käydyissä keskusteluissa. Pääsyyksi opiskelijoiden hankaluuksiin päästä töihin Suomessa nimettiin riittämätön suomenkielen taito. Vaikka tämä tarjoaakin erinomaisen syyn olla keskustelematta vaikeammista tekijöistä, kuten kulttuurisista eroista ja haluttomuudesta rekrytoida ulkomaalaisia työntekijöitä, kielitaidon puute on aidosti ongelma sekä opiskelijoille, korkeakouluille että rekrytoiville organisaatioille. Kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien opiskelijoiden työllistymiseen liittyy myös ryhmän havainto, että korkeakoulut eivät seuraa opiskelijoidensa vaiheita valmistumisen jälkeen. Tämä on ongelma kahdesta syystä. Ensinnäkin korkeakoulut eivät tiedä, minne heidän kansainväliset opiskelijansa työllistyvät, mikä voi vaikeuttaa kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien kehittämistä. Toiseksi korkeakoulut eivät pysty käyttämään alumniverkostoaan resurssina esimerkiksi harjoittelupaikkojen löytämisessä tai opettajien rekrytoinnissa kansainvälisiin koulutusohjelmiin. Arviointiryhmä esittää raportissa seuraavia suosituksia. Kansallisen järjestelmän tasolla kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien kokoa tulisi tarkastella myös taloudellisesta näkökulmasta. Kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien alumnien seuranta tulisi järjestää systemaattisemmaksi sekä korkeakoulutasolla että kansallisesti. Korkeakoulutasolla ryhmä suosittaa kiinnittämään huomiota siihen, että kansainvälisiä koulutusohjelmia tukevien palveluiden kehittäminen ei tapahtuisi koulutusohjelmista irrallaan. Lisäksi ryhmä suosittaa opettajien ja tukipalveluhenkilökunnan välisen yhteistyön vahvistamista, alumnikyselyiden järjestämistä, palkitsemisjärjestelmän kehittämistä siten, että se tukee paremmin opettajien kielitaidon kartuttamista, ja korkeakoulujen aktiivisempaa osallistumista opiskelijoiden vapaa-ajan toiminnan järjestämiseen. Koulutusohjelmatason suosituksena on sisäisistä ja ulkoisista sidosryhmistä muodostuvien laatutyöryhmien sekä työelämän edustajien hyödyntäminen kansainvälisten koulutusohjelmien kehittämisessä. Etenkin tukipalveluiden kehittämisessä tulisi varmistaa, että tieto kulkee ja kokemuksia jaetaan myös ohjelmien välillä useita kansainvälisiä koulutusohjelmia järjestävissä yksiköissä. Erilaisten oppimistyylien ja -kulttuurien tiedostaminen sekä opiskelijoiden monikulttuurisuuteen liittyvien valmiuksien tukeminen ovat keskeisiä asioita kansainvälisten opiskelijoiden tutustuttamisessa suomalaiseen yhteiskuntaan. Avainsanat Arviointi, yliopistot, ammattikorkeakoulut, kansainväliset koulutusohjelmat

5 SAMMANDRAG Utgivare Rådet för utvärdering av högskolorna Publikation An evaluation of international degree programmes in Finland (En utvärdering av internationella utbildningsprogram i Finland) Upphovsmän Jussi Välimaa, Katarzyna Fonteyn, Irma Garam, Esther van den Heuvel, Christina Linza, Minna Söderqvist, Jan Uwe Wolff och Johanna Kolhinen Abstrakt Utvärderingsgruppen anser för det första att internationalisering har gjorts till ett seriöst mål i alla strategier vid högskolorna i Finland. De internationella utbildningsprogrammen ses i sin tur som ett viktigt led i högskolornas strävan att bli mer internationella. För det andra är de studerande på de internationella utbildningsprogrammen en mycket brokig skara och ska därför inte behandlas som en homogen grupp. Denna mångfald ses även i de olika inlärningsstilarna. För det tredje är de som administrerar de internationella utbildningsprogrammen nöjda med kvaliteten både vad gäller lärare och studerande. Lärarnas tillgänglighet är en av styrkorna hos de internationella utbildningsprogrammen i Finland. Slutligen för det fjärde är inlärningsmålen för de internationella utbildningsprogrammen vid universiteten mycket lika inlärningsmålen för finska utbildningsprogram. På det hela taget finns det inga betydande skillnader mellan de internationella utbildningsprogrammen och de vanliga utbildningsprogrammen i fråga om struktur, förvaltning, kvalitetssäkring, marknadsföring och antagning. Ett av de stora problemen som diskuterades vid högskolebesöken var svårigheterna internationella studerande har att komma in på den finska arbetsmarknaden. Ett av de främsta hindren som nämndes var bristande muntliga kunskaper i finska. Medan detta är en perfekt ursäkt för att inte diskutera mer problematiska frågor, såsom kulturella skillnader och oviljan att anställa utlänningar, är det också ett verkligt problem för studerande, högskolor och företagsorganisationer. En fråga som rör arbetssituationen beträffande de studerande på internationella utbildningsprogram är att högskolarna inte gör några uppföljningar av dem efter examen. Detta är ett problem av två anledningar. För det första vet inte högskolorna var de studerande hittar jobb. Att ignorera denna aspekt kan hindra den framtida utvecklingen av de internationella utbildningsprogrammen. För det andra kan högskolorna inte använda sina alumner som en resurs för de internationella utbildningsprogrammen för att hitta praktikplatser eller rekrytera lärare till dessa program. Utvärderingsgruppen gör följande rekommendationer. På systemnivå föreslås att de internationella utbildningsprogrammens storlek betraktar ekonomiska aspekter. Uppföljningen av alumner från de internationella utbildningsprogrammen bör organiseras mer systematiskt både på högskolenivå och nationellt. På högskolenivå påpekar utvärderingsgruppen att utveckingen av tjänster för studerande på internationella program inte bör vara en separat process. Föreslagna åtgärder på högskolenivå omfattar ett ökat samarbete mellan lärare och stödpersonal, enkäter för alumner, belöning för lärare som förbättrar sina språkkunskaper och större aktivitet i fråga om fritidsaktiviteter för studerande på internationella program. För de internationella utbildningsprogrammen rekommenderas att kvalitetsstyrelser med interna och externa intressenter inrättas och vidare att yrkesområdet beaktas i utvecklingen och förbättringen av de internationella utbildningsprogrammen. Också när högskolorna erbjuder flera internationella utbildningsprogram är det viktigt att dela och jämföra erfarenheter för att förbättra kvaliteten på tjänsterna. Olika inlärningsstilar och kulturer bör värdesättas och genom att förbättra samtliga studerandes multikulturella kompetenser kan man hjälpa de internationella studerandena att lära känna det finländska samhället. Nyckelord Utvärdering, universitet, yrkeshögskolor, internationella utbildningsprogram

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7 Foreword One central type of evaluation conducted by the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council is a thematic evaluation. Evaluations concentrate on themes that are important from different points of view, either problematic or growing in interest for other reasons. Degree programmes taught in English have been a target of thematic evaluations already twice before this evaluation. In 1999, FINHEEC published an evaluation on international programmes with a special view toward language and communication. It reflects the phase when teaching in a foreign language was still new in Finnish higher education. Usually, a follow-up evaluation is organised in three years after a thematic evaluation. Eventually, it took six years to begin the follow-up of evaluation of international degree education, which also meant a clear change in focus. Language, as a tool, was no longer as central as it had been, and the status of international education had changed in the HEIs. That is why the follow-up (2005) not only concentrated on following the implementation of the recommendations given in the previous evaluation, but it discussed more widely the changing context of international education in the Finnish HEIs. In 2013, the situation is again different. International Bachelor and Master level degree programmes at Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences are evaluated as part of the implementation of the national strategy for the internationalisation of higher education in Finland The evaluation also has a clear connection with two other evaluation processes: the evaluation of the Finnish implementation of the Bologna process (conducted in ) and the follow-up and evaluation of the study fee trial ( ). This evaluation focuses on three main themes: how the international programmes are organized, how they relate to institutional strategies, and how the students are integrated into the academic community and Finnish society. The choice of the themes clearly reflects the changes in the position of international education in Finland.

8 At the end of the 1990s, the focus even in the international degree education was on exchange. After graduation, the international students were supposed to return to their home countries. Today, most graduates wish to stay in Finland, and that is also the wish of the majority of graduates themselves. In the 1990s, the main issue was the English language. Now, one of the main issues is Finnish language proficiency as a guarantee for entry into the Finnish workforce. In the 1990s, the same programmes were often offered both in Finnish/ Swedish and in English, and the English programmes were separate from the general education. Now the international programmes form an essential part of institutional and national higher education policy and strategy. Establishing international degree programmes has represented a remarkable exercise in Finnish higher education. I hope that this report offers interesting data and views that can be used in the further development of international degree education, very actual in Finland. It is also my hope that the report will promote further discussion on quality and quality management of higher education in general. On behalf of the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council, I wish to warmly thank the members of the evaluation group for their dedicated expert work. I would also like to thank the Finnish higher education institutions for their contribution in the evaluation. Riitta Pyykkö, Professor Chair of the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council

9 Contents Abstract Tiivistelmä Sammandrag Foreword 1 Introduction: the Process of Evaluation On internationalisation Methods of data collection 16 2 The Development of International Degree Programmes in Europe and in Finland Joint/double degrees The fields of study The managers, teachers and students in IDPs Indications of the quality of students and IDPs 29 3 International Degree Programmes as a Part of the Strategies of the Higher Education Institutions How do your IDPs relate to the institutional strategies? How do your IDPs support the strategic targets of your HEI? Pedagogical strategies of the IDPs Findings 37 4 Students, Staff and Teaching Provision Selection, recruitment and the quality of the students Student experiences Staying in Finland Language and intercultural teaching of students Teachers in IDPs Findings 52 5 The Organization of IDPs in Finnish HEIs General position of IDPs in HEIs On quality assurance Findings 64 6 The Organization of Support Services, Counselling and Mentoring Pre-arrival services Services during studies Services after studies Findings 77

10 7 The Integration of International Students into the Finnish Society and Labour Markets Integration into society Metrics Findings 88 8 Conclusions and Recommendations 89 References 95 Appendices 1: Questions to HEIs (FINHEEC (1)) 97 2: Questionnaire to IDP managers (FINHEEC (2)) 99 3: The themes of the questions presented during the site visits 106 4: IDPs in Finnish HEIs 107

11 1 Introduction: the Process of Evaluation According to the national Strategy for the Internationalisation of Higher Education Institutions in Finland , one of the key aims is to improve the quality of foreignlanguage teaching (Publications of the Ministry of Education, Finland 2009:23, p. 54). Following that strategy, the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC) intended to evaluate international degree programmes (IDPs) in connection with its evaluation of the degree structure reform. It was decided, however, that IDPs would only be evaluated in terms of the degree structure as a whole, but not in terms of their general structure or content. FINHEEC also recorded in its plan of action for that a thematic evaluation of IDPs would be carried out separately (FINHEEC 2010:10). Following a normal procedure, FINHEEC nominated a planning team that was responsible for preparing a project plan for the evaluation process. The members of the planning team were as follows: Jan-Erik Krusberg, Arcada University of Applied Sciences (Chair, a member of the FINHEEC Council); Anita Bisi, Aalto University, School of Electrical Engineering; Irma Garam, Centre for International Mobility (CIMO); Jarmo Kallunki, National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL); and Marja Räikkönen, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, along with FINHEEC Senior Advisors Johanna Kolhinen (Project Manager) and Matti Kajaste. This preparatory team worked from September to November 2011 and, based on the existing background documents and studies, it recommended that the scope of the evaluation should be to examine the quality of teaching and as well as the services that support learning in international degree programmes (IDPs) 11

12 and to help IDP students become integrated within higher education institutions (HEIs) and the Finnish society and labour market. FINHEEC made the decision to evaluate IDPs in November It was decided that the evaluation will focus on international degree programmes in which the language of instruction is other than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi and for which students are also recruited from outside Finland. IDPs refer here to bachelor s and master s level programmes. It was decided that the evaluation will be carried out in English and that it will cover both Finnish universities (yliopisto) and universities of applied sciences (UAS, ammattikorkeakoulu). The scope of the evaluation excludes doctoral education and study programmes that do not lead to degrees conforming to those that are a part of the Finnish system of higher education. The chair of the evaluation group was Professor Jussi Välimaa, University of Jyväskylä, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, and the members (in alphabetical order) were as follows: Global Category Manager Katarzyna Fonteyn, Konecranes Oy, Finland; Research Manager Irma Garam, Centre for International Mobility (CIMO), Finland; International Relations Manager Esther van den Heuvel, Erasmus School of Law of the Erasmus University (Rotterdam), the Netherlands; Vice President, Customer Insight and Analytics Ulla Kruhse-Lehtonen, Sanoma Corporations, Finland (until the end of September 2012); Student Christina Linza, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland; Principal Teacher Minna Söderqvist, Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, Finland; and Dean of Faculty of Technology Jan Uwe Wolff, VIA University College, Denmark. The evaluation was coordinated by Senior Advisor Johanna Kolhinen (Project Manager) and Chief Planning Officer Karl Holm from FINHEEC. It is important to remember that this evaluation process is not part of an academic research project, even though the gathering of information has followed the rules of academic research. The research-based element is quite strong because such a large number of IDPs (399) required a systematic gathering and analysis of the data. However, a general aim of the evaluation one that was followed here as well was to give value to the social phenomena being analysed, whereas in academic research the main aim is the search for truth. The purpose of this evaluation is, first, to give an overall picture of the state of matters in Finnish IDPs at the moment, 12

13 and second, to pay attention to the strengths and weaknesses of IPDs in Finnish universities and UASs. We hope that defining the strengths, good practices and development challenges of the IDPs will help political decision makers, HEIs and IDPs to develop further both existing and future IDPs in Finland. 1.1 On internationalisation Internationalisation as a term began to emerge within the context of higher education in the early 1980s. Today, the social phenomena of internationalisation, as well as its definitions, have broadened to encompass a wide range of activities in higher education. According to a widespread definition presented by Jane Knight, internationalisation is the process of integrating an international, intercultural or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery of postsecondary education (Knight 2003, p. 2). This kind of broad definition pays attention to the fact that internationalisation can take place between HEIs and the individuals (teachers, researchers, administrators) working in HEIs. It may also include the functions of teaching, studying, learning and research at HEIs, where collaboration takes place across national borders. A crucial matter is how these international activities are integrated with and made a part of the activities of HEIs. In other words, what is important is how internationalisation influences the activities of HEIs and how HEIs change their activities to become more internationalised. This is also one of the matters that this evaluation will take into account: how HEIs have adopted the IDPs and made them a part of their pedagogical and administrative structures, and how the curricula of IDPs differ from that of the Finnishlanguage curricula. In Finland, the internationalisation of higher education has been established as one of the national higher education policy goals. According to the Strategy for the Internationalisation of Higher Education Institutions in Finland , internationalisation is needed because The attractiveness of Finland as a business, work and living environment must be increased. Internationalisation of higher education, research and innovation systems is at the core of societal renewal. Moreover, internationalisation of higher education institutions promotes diversity in the society and business community, international networking, competitiveness 13

14 and innovativeness, as well as improves the well-being, competence and education of the citizens. The strategy further states that, the aim is to create in Finland an internationally strong and attractive higher education institution and research community that promotes society s ability to function in an open international environment, supports the balanced development of a multicultural society and participates actively in solving global problems. These societal goals will be achieved when HEIs define the focus areas of their international activities as part of their overall strategies on the basis of the aims of the national strategy. According to the national higher education policy makers, international cooperation is the best way to improve quality, remove overlapping activities and pool Finnish and foreign resources for joint projects. Our own high-level competence is a necessary condition when seeking interaction with leading global centres and actors. Furthermore, HEIs are key to the internationalization of the economy and society. They attract a highly educated labour force and foreign investments. By international networking higher education institutions consolidate the development potential of their region, their overall competence level, available resources, competitiveness and innovation ability as well as make business life in the region more varied. The Ministry of Education and Culture also foresees that, higher education and expertise are significant national exports (Publications of the Ministry of Education, Finland 2009:23, pp. 9 15). In addition to this mainly economical line of argumentation, the strategy of internationalisation also emphasises that HEIs should take an active part in supporting a multicultural Finnish higher education community and civil society by stating that: People with immigrant backgrounds and foreign exchange and degree students, teachers, researchers and other foreign personnel of HEIs in Finland are a resource that promotes internationalisation at home. In addition, it is assumed that Finnish HEIs will utilise their research and expertise to solve global problems and to consolidate competence in developing countries (Publications of the Ministry of Education, Finland 2009:23, pp. 9 15). It is quite easy to see that Finnish higher education policy makers view the internationalisation of higher education as a crucial aim and part of an important process for improving the quality of Finnish higher education and the competitiveness of Finnish society. In this sense, the purpose of the strategy of internationalisation is instrumental because internationalisation will help Finnish society, businesses and 14

15 HEIs become more competitive within a global context. It is also evident that Finnish HEIs are expected to have a strategic approach when planning their international activities. Internationalisation should be related to the strategies of HEIs, which, in turn, should follow the general guidelines of the national internationalisation strategy. This underlying assumption is a quite normal procedure within the context of Finnish higher education policy making, where the Ministry of Education and Culture draws the big strategic picture and HEIs should then find their place within this national strategy painting. This evaluation is also instrumental because one of its aims is to see how the IDPs are related to the institutional strategies and what kinds of purposes they serve at the institutional level. Furthermore, this evaluation will focus only on one of the aspects of internationalisation in higher education: the teaching function of HEIs. We will focus on three main themes and evaluate 1) how the IDPs are organised, 2) how they are related to institutional strategies and 3) how their students are integrated into HEIs and Finnish society and labour market. However, our aim is not to evaluate how HEIs have implemented the national strategy of internationalisation as such. We will evaluate only those IDPs in which the language of instruction is not Finnish, Swedish or Sámi (the official languages of Finland) and for which students are also recruited from outside Finland. In other words, the IDP students may be both Finnish and international students. Therefore, doctoral education and IDPs that do not lead to degrees conforming to those that are a part of the Finnish system of higher education are excluded from the evaluation. Furthermore, we do not evaluate short-term exchange students, even though all of these groups and categories (IDP students, doctoral students, exchange students) are quite often mixed together in the practices and discourses of internationalisation in HEIs, as we will show in the report (see Chapters 4 and 7). Who is a foreigner? Foreigner (ulkomaalainen) is a popular term in Finland. We also heard it many times during our interviews as a natural categorisation of human beings. It seems that a foreigner is a common-sense category in Finland because it makes a distinction between Finns and non-finns. It is also related to Finnish national identity, because Finland as a nation state has been constructed with the help of the Finnish language. 15

16 We are no longer Swedes; we cannot become Russians; we must be Finns was a popular slogan among nineteenthcentury Finnish nationalists. However, when using this term with IDPs, it turns out to be a problematic matter because it can easily be used as a category of exclusion. Namely, who is a foreigner? Is a teacher or a student who was born outside of Finland but who has lived in Finland for many years still a foreigner? Is a person a foreigner if s/he speaks Finnish fluently without being a Finnish citizen? Is a Finnish citizen born outside of Finland a foreigner if s/he does not speak Finnish? The category of foreigner was also criticised by IDP managers in the questionnaire, even though it was used as an unproblematic term by many HEI representatives during the site visits. In this report, we use the terms foreigner and international student interchangeably to make a clear distinction between Finnish and non-finnish students and teachers. However, we do not seek to use foreigner as a term of exclusion. The term international teacher or international student, in turn, refers here to a person who has lived in more than one culture or society. 1.2 Methods of data collection At the beginning of this evaluation, we tried to find the exact number and precise information about the academic fields covered by IDPs in Finnish HEIs. There are several places to look for this information. CIMO maintains a Study in Finland website, which gives quite good information on the current state of IDPs in Finnish HEIs; nonetheless, the information is incomplete for research purposes. Some IDPs are also named in the Universities Act namely those that have a right to collect fees. However, none of the existing sources provided a broad spectrum of comprehensive and up-to-date information on the actual situation of IDPs in Finnish HEIs. For these reasons, we decided to ask for this information directly from the HEIs. We also decided that the data collection process should be conducted in three steps in order to obtain both a comprehensive picture of IDPs at the national level and a more profound understanding of the realities of IDPs at the institutional level. The first step in gathering the information consisted of an open-ended questionnaire sent to all HEIs in March We asked each HEI to answer the questions from the perspective of the HEI 16

17 as an entity. In other words, the questions were targeted at the management level of the HEIs. The aim was to get a strategic, institutional-level perspective on IDPs and to collect general information on the number and content of IDPs offered by the HEIs (see Appendix 1). The response rate was 100%. The answers to this FINHEEC (1) questionnaire were analysed by PhD candidate Leasa Weimer using qualitative methods and reported to the evaluation team. We will refer to this questionnaire as the FINHEEC (1) questionnaire and its report as Weimer 2012a. The second step consisted of a structured survey questionnaire, which was targeted at the IDP level. We developed this FINHEEC (2) questionnaire on the basis of the FINHEEC (1) questionnaire and sent it to all of the IDPs offered by Finnish HEIs in order to obtain a programmelevel perspective on their activities (see Appendix 2). These questionnaires were normally filled out by IDP managers. The answers to the FINHEEC (2) questionnaire were analysed statistically and reported to the evaluation team by PhD candidate Leasa Weimer referred to as Weimer 2012b. This questionnaire was finished in May We received 262 answers from 399 IDPs, which makes the estimated response rate 66%. This is a good response rate for social science research, even though it was only a decent one for a FINHEEC evaluation. The third step in the information gathering process consisted of interviews conducted by two teams during site visits to four HEIs: Aalto University (Otaniemi campus), the University of Eastern Finland (Joensuu campus), Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Leppävaara campus) and Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Lahti. The site visits took place on October 2012, and we interviewed all relevant groups using the focus group interview method. Each interview session lasted one hour and we asked about the same themes in every group, though we did this using slightly modified questions (see Appendix 3). We made memos for each interview but did not transcribe them, thus following a normal FINHEEC procedure. We interviewed 113 persons in total; they represented the following groups of people: HEI management (19 persons), IDP managers (15 persons), IDP teachers (19 persons) and students (24 persons), service staff members (23 persons: study administrators, IDP coordinators and library staff members) and the representatives of stakeholders (13 persons). 17

18 The opinions, interpretations and recommendations expressed in this report are based on discussions and decisions made by the team of experts. Thus, they do not represent team members individual or their home organisations official opinions. Table 1. The phases of the evaluation of International Degree Programs in Finland Evaluation phases in Planning team nominated 19 May 2011 Planning team prepared the project plan 28 Sep 13 Dec 2011 Evaluation team nominated 13 Dec 2011 Questionnaire part I: Institutional level questions 16 Feb 6 Mar 2012 Questionnaire part II: IPD level survey 17 Apr 4 May 2012 Site-visits and interviews Oct 2012 Writing of the evaluation report 18 Oct 31 Dec 2012 Publication of the report March The aims of the evaluation of IDPs The main aims when evaluating the IDPs are to evaluate 1) how the IDPs are organized, 2) how they are related to institutional strategies and 3) how their students are integrated into HEIs and Finnish society and the labour market. In addition to the main objectives, the evaluation also pays attention to 4) the quality of teaching, 5) how the services provided by HEIs support the studies of international students and 6) how the IDP has been integrated within the HEI in question. We will also ask 7) how the HEIs have adopted their IDPs within their pedagogical and administrative structures and 8) how the curricula of the IDPs differ from that of the Finnish-language curricula. 2. The focus of the evaluation of IDPs The evaluation of IDPs focuses on those IDPs in which the language of instruction is not Finnish, Swedish or Sámi and for which students are also recruited from outside Finland. Doctoral education and study programmes that do not lead to degrees conforming to those that are a part of the Finnish system of higher education were excluded from the evaluation. 18

19 2 The Development of International Degree Programmes in Europe and in Finland The number of IDPs has increased rapidly in Europe. In 2002, it was reported that there were only 560 English-taught master s programmes in Europe (in non-english-speaking European countries). The number had grown to 1500 Englishtaught programmes by According to a survey using data from MastersPortal.eu, which is supposedly the most popular source of information about postgraduate studies in Europe, there were at least 3701 English-taught master s programmes in Europe in October 2011 (not including the United Kingdom and Ireland). In addition, 963 programmes listed English as one of their languages of instruction, bringing the total number to as high as By March 2012, the total number had grown to programs in Continental Europe excluding English-speaking countries (Brenn-White and van Rest 2012). The increase in the number of English-taught master s programmes has been quite rapid during the last ten years in Europe no matter what indicator one uses. A similar trend can be found in Finland as well. According to our survey, the fastest growth in IDPs took place between 2006 and 2007, when the number of yearly established IDPs jumped from the previous figure of between 4 and 11 in a year to between 19 and 26 new IDPs per year (see Figure 1). These peaks occur simultaneously with the establishment of new EU programmes that offer financing for the development of IDPs in cooperation with HEIs abroad. 19

20 Figure 1. The year that the IDPs offered by Finnish HEIs were established. Source: FINHEEC (1) questionnaire, Weimer (2012a) According to our survey, there were 399 IDPs in Finnish HEIs in the spring term of 2012 (see Table 2, Weimer 2012a). Two hundred fifty-seven of them were organized at universities and 142 of them at UASs at the time when we conducted our surveys. However, these numbers are somewhat unreliable because they include programmes that enrol students on a yearly basis, IPDs, which take students every second or third year, and programmes that are no longer in operation. In addition, it also includes programmes that will be up and running during the next academic year ( ), but that have started their marketing already this year (2012). However, this is the best information available in Finland at the time of the IDP evaluation. In our survey, the HEIs only provided specific establishment dates for 217 out of 399 IDPs. Some HEIs provided general information, but did not give specific IDP establishment dates. For example, two universities reported that most IDPs were established in or after 2005 in relation to the two-stage university degree reform, but they did not provide an establishment date for the different programmes (Weimer 2012a). Furthermore, when comparing our information with that found on MastersPortal, we noticed that 51 English-taught master s degree programmes are missing from the portal. This reveals the fact that the number of IDPs is a moving target because new programmes are constantly being established and older programmes are merging with other programmes or being discontinued all the time in Finnish and European HEIs. It is more than probable that nobody knows the exact number of IDPs in 20

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