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Finnish universities join to create alternatives for certificate-based student admission

The purpose of the Another Path to University project (Toinen reitti yliopistoon, TRY) is to develop and test alternative admission routes to degree studies at universities, as the student admission in higher education will be renewed by 2020.

With 2.9 million euro funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture, the TRY project aims to increase opportunities for students to prove their eligibility to university studies.

“The project involves 11 universities and around 30 disciplines. We are designing three different routes to supplement admission based on certificates. One route is for upper secondary and vocational students, one for those who have completed a matriculation examination or a vocational degree and one for the needs of the business world. We also cooperate closely with liberal adult education institutions,” says Project Manager Paula Savela from the Open University of the University of Jyväskylä, which coordinates the project.

In practice, students would prove their competence and readiness for studies through open university studies. After agreed amount of work, the student could be admitted to a university as a degree student. In addition to the alternative routes, the project develops guidance and counselling services related to the new routes. The development work started in September and the first pilots are expected to take place in 2019.

“We encourage faculties to try new admission routes and, hopefully, are able to test new admission routes in some disciplines already in spring 2019,” says Jukka Lerkkanen, Director of the Open University of the University of Jyväskylä. He also is a member of the steering group of the TRY project. In addition to the University of Jyväskylä, the steering group includes representatives from Universities Finland UNIFI, Finnish School Counsellors’ Association SOPO, Summer universities in Finland, Suomen Kansanopistoyhdistys (the association of Finnish folk high schools) and Hanken School of Economics. The voice of students is expressed by the Union of Upper Secondary School Students in Finland and the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL). The versatility of the steering group helps to observe various perspectives comprehensively. The forthcoming change must be able to serve people applying for studies as well as student services and faculties that make student selections.

Another Path to University is a part of a higher education key project of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.


More information

Paula Savela

Project Manager

University of Jyväskylä, Open University


050 428 5293