Tampere3 education cooperation has come a long way in the field of construction engineering. The aim of the upcoming educational reform is to make sure that the best construction engineers and Masters of Science in Technology continue to be educated in Tampere.
Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) are major education providers for the construction field in Finland. Combined, they will form the most significant hub for construction expertise in Finland.
TUT President Mika Hannula and TAMK President Markku Lahtinen find the reform to be an apt example of functional Tampere3 cooperation.
Joined lectures, separate project work
Students pursuing the degrees of Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Bachelor of Engineering (UAS) will share some of their studies from autumn 2018 onwards, provided that the higher education institutions reach approving decisions. The share of the mutual studies will amount to approximately 100 study credits, which is roughly a half of the degree programme contents. A course worth five study credits could have joint lectures for all, for example, but the UAS students and university students gather in separate groups for project work.
The students will have joint studies during their first three study years, after which their paths will diverge: the UAS students will complete their degrees while TUT’s students will continue on to Master’s studies after completing the Bachelor stage.
“The contents of the new degrees have been planned in outline and we are currently in the process of specifying the plans for individual courses. The fact that the contents covered by the degrees are rather similar made it easier to plan the joint teaching. Studies in construction production, structural design and infrastructure construction, for example, are included in both study programmes. Building services are currently only taught at TAMK, but with this collaboration, our students will also have the opportunity to take these studies,” Head of TUT’s Department of Civil Engineering Matti Pentti points out.
Improved teaching quality, two different profiles remain
The ultimate goal of the partially integrated studies is to improve the quality and flexibility of both degrees.
“For the students, this reform translates into added options and flexibility. A wide selection of construction studies in the prospective new institution will enable students to improve their competence and seek various qualifications during their studies and also later through continuing education,” says Hannu Kauranen, Head of Degree Programme at TAMK.
The different paths for application will be retained in the reform: applicants will continue to apply either through the joint application for Master of Science in Technology and Architecture (DIA) degrees or the application for Universities of Applied Sciences. The plan is to also maintain the different profiles of the existing degrees: the Master’s degree provided at the university is more strongly founded on mathematics and natural sciences and the studies are more theoretical while the UAS degree is designed to provide more practical skills. However, students will have flexible options for applying to Bachelor of Science studies (and further to Master’s studies) from a UAS-based degree, and vice versa.
Approximately a hundred new students start their studies both towards the degree of Bachelor of Civil Engineering and that of Bachelor of Engineering (UAS) every year.
Pleasant and functional collaboration
The teachers and researchers of construction engineering at TUT and TAMK have collaborated for decades, but the Tampere3 process has made the cooperation even closer. Students have also contributed to the preparatory work.
“We have planned the syllabuses in a functional and pleasant spirit, and the collaboration has been very smooth. We still have a long way to go and we will continue to solve any open questions as they come our way. Another indication of the functional education collaboration between TAMK and TUT in construction education is the jointly coordinated RAKSA-ERKO planning project. The purpose of the nationwide project is to co-design specialisation degrees for the construction field,” says Head of Degree Programme Jouko Lähteenmäki from TAMK.
Even though the education collaboration in civil engineering mainly applies to TUT and TAMK students, the students of the University of Tampere will also benefit from it: they will be able to take minor subject studies in the field of built environment.