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Article

Joint courses of the wellbeing field offer competences needed by professionals in different fields

21.8.2018

The social and health care course package open to all students is almost ready. There will be modules on for example management and development of the wellbeing field, client work, and wellbeing technology.

“We have tried to achieve an ambitious module for future needs of the field,” Professor of Social Policy Liisa Häikiö describes.

Häikiö has worked as the chair of the group coordinating curriculum work in the field of social and health care. The group’s task has been to establish a joint course package for the wellbeing field.

The group has representatives from all faculties and degree programmes which practise research and offer education in the field. In addition to the self-evident fields, staff members from philosophy, history and technology have participated in the cooperation.

“TUT offers a different angle to the cooperation. Industrial engineering for example practises research on organisations and occupational wellbeing,” Häikiö points out.

Searching for joint competence

There are differences between social and health care degree programmes in universities and universities of applied sciences regarding for example the degree objectives and contents, legislation, operational culture, and pedagogy.

“Yet it has not been difficult to find contents and matters that could be done together,” states coordination group member Outi Wallin from TAMK.

The head of the Degree Programme in Social Services believes that the closer cooperation benefits the teaching staff more and more in the future as they can do things together and learn from one another.

“This has been typical networking. We have established what competences we have and who want to participate in teaching cooperation. Each course must have a responsible party who commits itself to organise the teaching for a minimum of three years,” Liisa Häikiö ponders.

She hopes that the now established basis will make curriculum update a less arduous process in the future.

Technology comes into social and health care

Planning has taken place in small groups and workshops. The latest workshop was organised at the beginning of June. In order for the first courses to begin in autumn 2019, the course package structure and competence descriptions have to be ready in October 2018. The actual implementation plans and planning of teaching can be done next year.

“We have already come a long way. We have considered in a multidisciplinary manner what the key competences in the field are. We have identified what we should do together,” Liisa Häikiö rejoices.

During the curriculum work they noticed that issues related to client relations, administration, finances and management are shared by different social and health care professionals.

“We particularly need to work at offering students better working life abilities in wellbeing technology and digitalisation. It requires courage to try something new as many things are changing and we do not know what the national social and health care structure will be,” Outi Wallin ponders.

Nursing student Milla Hiitti, who represents students in the steering group of the social and health care field, is excited about taking wellbeing technology into consideration.

“Wellbeing technology is the order of the day. It may offer one solution to the growing cost problems,” Hiitti states.

Preliminary structure ready

“We now have the preliminary structure ready for further discussion. The end result will be four or five modules with 2-4 courses of five credits,” Liisa Häikiö tells.

The course package will be open for all Tampere3 higher education students. The aim is not to limit the number of students on most courses. Some courses can only take a limited number of students but even then the aim is to offer popular courses twice or three times in a year.

Teaching will use virtual learning environments. Milla Hiitti reminds that the Tampere3 institutions need a joint platform for the purpose.

“Flexibility is important when a large number of students from different campuses participate in the studies. I have wanted to stress the importance of being able to complete studies flexibly and individually as I have a family and work as midwife alongside my studies,” Hiitti emphasises.

Outi Wallin is pleased that professional groups who will work together later can already cooperate during the studies. She believes that the cooperation enhances students’ professional identity and their understanding of others’ competence.

“Many continue from the university of applied sciences to master’s degree and doctoral studies. Flexible possibilities to continue studies and to have prior studies accredited have been considered in the joint studies,” Wallin tells.


Text: Sabina Mäki
Photo: Essi Kannelkoski