University study skills

University study skills

Effective study skills are an important element in achieving academic success. Studying at a Finnish university may differ considerably from studying in some other country, and international students may discover that they need to adapt their study habits to be able to meet the academic requirements.

Academic freedom is one of the basic values of the Finnish university system. It emphasises independent study and opens up many possibilities to students. In most cases, students can basically choose what to study and when to study. Some lectures, for example, may not be compulsory.  However, the practical sessions are usually always obligatory. Academic freedom goes hand in hand with academic responsibility – it is up to students themselves to plan, schedule and complete their studies.

Courses can last for one semester or they may start and finish at any time of the semester. Some courses are intensive with up to six hours of lectures and/or laboratory exercises per day. The other courses are less intensive with only a couple of hours a week. So the duration of a course may vary from a few days to several months.

University studies are characterized by the fact that the manageable study units are extensive and can also be conceptually difficult. In that case, mere mechanical knowledge is not necessarily enough. New and different study strategies are needed. Adding new things helps criticality, reflection and persistence. There must be enough time for learning. University studies include that the student can reasonably justify things. The use of foreign language teaching material is also part of academic studies.

An important skill for university students is also to learn the skill of learning. This means awareness of one’s own learning and the style of learning, the ability to vary and adapt learning strategies to the lessons learned, as well as the ability to assess what kind of learning a thing is required.

To support this, different academic study skills trainings are offered:

  1. University Study Skills (8031003, 1 cp) course develops students’ academic study skills. The course gives an overview of academic studying at the University of Eastern Finland
  2. University Computing Skills (8031006, 2 cp) course helps student to effective work for example with the text processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs in the university environment
  3. Information skills and sources courses are offered to learn the most important subject-specific scholarly information sources and basic skills in systematic information retrieval.

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