Finnish Universities have announced changes regarding spring student admissions. At the beginning of April the universities had to cancel traditional entrance exams and change springs admission criteria. Changed selection criteria which were published yesterday and today show an increase in selections based on school certifications in multiple disciplines.
Increasing the amount of students chosen based on school certifications has risen concerns about the applicants’ equality. The key points of critique are that these changes lead to neglecting the legal rights of the applicants and that only students who have completed the matriculation exams can be accepted. For example, the applicants who have completed a vocational degree are not eligible in school certification based admission criteria.
“Due to the protection of trust concerning the applicants the best decision would have been to maintain the quotas as they were. The differences in the changes of admission criteria between different fields of study are enormous and some fields have clearly chosen the path of least resistance. Some fields of study have thrown equality out of the window and prevented the possibility for (upper) secondary school graduates to participate in the entrance exams altogether”, says TREY’s chair of the board Annika Nevanpää angrily.
Due to the increase of applicants chosen based on school certificates, threshold conditions on some fields of study have been lowered. For example, in the DIA admission the threshold grade required may have been lowered as low as cum laude depending on the field of study. The quota for first time applicants in the admission is not tied to the amount of applicants chosen by their school certificates, so the risen quota does not increase the amount of first time applicants chosen.
“In this situation it’s challenging that the applicants have not been able to advocate for themselves or appeal about the changes since according to the universities act there is no common appeal right about changing the admission criteria. The responsibility of universities would have been to defend the rights and equality of all applicants, not to think about the easiest way to arrange the entrance exams”, states the educational affairs responsible of TREY’s board, Ville Jäppinen.
Tampere University has published the changed admission criteria of their fields of study on their website. The information about the process of each field of study can be found at the “How to apply”-section of the field of study in question. In addition, the university will inform the applicants about the changes via email.
UNIFI’s news https://www.unifi.fi/uutiset/universities-decided-on-changes-to-spring-student-admissions/