Tuesday August 03, 2021

Students prefer universities to interest to polytechnics

Published : 18 Feb 2021, 02:15

Updated : 18 Feb 2021, 12:29

  DF Report

Press Release Photo by Ministry of Education and Culture.

The student admissions reform carried out in 2018 -2020 will affect the division of applications between different fields and options available for application, according to an interim report of a monitoring study on the student admissions reform published on Wednesday.

In most fields in universities of applied sciences (Polytechnic), the trend in has been falling in recent years, said the Ministry of Education and Culture in a press release, referring to the report.

The fall has been the sharpest in the healthcare and welbeing fields, where the percentage of applications has dropped from 27 per cent to 21 per cent over the past three years.

In universities, interest has grown particularly in the fields of trade and commerce and administration as well as law and medicine. In 2018-2020, the percentage of applications in the fields of law and medicine actually doubled compared with earlier figures.

The objective of the student admissions reform is to streamline the transition to higher education and to improve the allocation of student places.

As a result of the student admissions reform, higher education institutions have shifted to admitting the majority of their students based on certificates, instead of using field-specific or programme-specific entrance exams for admissions.

Universities of applied sciences have introduced a common admissions examination, and universities have increasingly adopted common admissions exams for different subjects. In addition, the institutions have endeavoured to restructure the content of the admission exams so that the time required to prepare for them is shorter.

One of the benefits of the reform is that applicants can apply for study programmes available for application in different localities without having to prepare for several admission exams and without having to travel to different localities.

Based on the study, the number of options applied for increased slightly (from an average of 3.0 to an average of 3.4 between 2017 and 2020).

The objective of the student admissions reform is to streamline the transition to higher education and to improve the allocation of student places.

In the monitoring study commissioned by the Ministry of Education and Culture, researchers from the Labour Institute for Economic Research (PT) and the VATT Institute for Economic Research examined whether the reform succeeded in its objectives. The study will be completed in spring 2022. This interim report presents provisional data on the study.

This report focuses on describing changes in application behaviour and student admissions between 2015 and 2020. The material used in the interim report covers only one post-reform year.

Since the results only describe the post-reform situation, the researchers underline that far-reaching conclusions should be avoided at this stage. The changes observed do not necessarily stem from the reform, but instead from other underlying factors that change over time.

For example, the COVID-19 epidemic and the introduction of additional student places in higher education institutions are likely to have an impact on admissions.

“The interim report successfully compiles and combines the angles of expediency, equality, and non-discrimination in the transition to higher education. As research data accumulates, higher education institutions must examine all of these aspects when they develop their student admissions practices. The report contributes to the preparation of the accessibility plan for higher education,” said Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko.