Tampere3 is an excellent opportunity in many ways. It is possible to build something exceptional from the merger of the University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences, something that will have many far-reaching consequences for the future of the Tampere region. Students are already enjoying the first positive changes in the form of joint studies and cross-institutional study possibilities. However, if we do not have the courage and openness these reforms require, we might miss a great opportunity.
It is important that we do not settle for just building new study modules on the basis of the existing ones. If we dare to dig deep enough in the educational contents and learning outcomes of the three universities, we will have the opportunity to design markedly different study modules and curricula. However, this is no easy feat and a new kind of thinking will also be required. Just listing the learning outcomes is not enough; what we need is a deeper contents analysis.
In order to be able to combine the strong points of the universities in a way that makes the result more than just a sum of its parts, the learning outcomes must be chopped into atoms. This is the only way to see the similarities in the contents and the links that exist between the versatile studies offered by the universities. And at the same time that we do this, we will also develop the educational contents in significant ways.
This will take time and effort, but the work will certainly be rewarded because there will be multiple benefits in the years to come. It is also a part of “overcoming the rigid educational structures” Rector Liisa Laakso from the University of Tampere called for in the Aamulehti newspaper (7 September 2016). This is certainly an opportunity we cannot afford to miss!
The author, Doctor of Science (Technology) Aki Korpela, works at Tampere University of Applied Sciences as principal lecturer of electrical engineering.