A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

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khan200us
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A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by khan200us » Tue May 17, 2011 10:15 am

Hi. I met the student advisor in Oulu University in September last year in order to start my application of a Ph.D in Information Processing Science. I got my Master Degree from UK, Middlesex University. The advisor informed me that I was eligible to apply for a Ph.D. being a Master Degree holder and I had the proper academic background. He then gave me the names of three potential supervisors. I met them during all these months, had over 50 meetings with them, we discussed about the research topic and how to prepare the proposal. I was advised that the research committee decides on applications three times a year, 15 jan, 15 may and 15 sept.
I prepared the proposal, discussed it with supervisor, two of them agree to accept me as their Ph.D. student.
I submitted final research proposal on 12 April 2011, but my supervisor was away on business travel and after his coming back at the end of April, he sent me an email to discuss my application and informed that I am not eligible to apply to the Faculty of Science in University of Oulu because my Master Degree was from Middlesex University.He asked me to meet another senior member of the faculty who then provided me an email circulated to all supervisors which had a complete list of universities, graduates of whom are barred from applying(Sadly they are all UK Universities all other countries are providing brilliant level of education I guess with the exception of the UK). Let me copy their email at the end of this message. This is all in Finnish so I don't know what is it. I only take the verbal explanation.

I then met the Head of Faculty of Science who said that this was not a new rule at all. This rule existed for ages and they would not even take my application for consideration.
I asked for a written response but they refused it.

My concerns are as follows:
1. Considering it is a new rule,and the student advisor was not aware of it when I met him in September 2010, I feel that the Department should consider my application based on my commitment time-wise and for the fact that two of the department professors believe that my Research proposal is good enough to qualify me for P.hD. study right.
2.This information whether new or old should be in public domain and must be mentioned on the University's website so that graduates from all these British universities in the "black" list are clear about their position before they travel to Oulu.
3. The faculty should take my application anyway and if they feel that my application does not qualify for any reason such as the validity or relevance of my previous qualifications, they may reject my application in writing. This I believe should be the proper procedure.
4.If the Faculty is not prepared to accept my application, they should let me know why in writing.Whenever I email my supervisors or the members of the faculty, they ask me to meet them. They don't say anything in their email. At the meeting, they say it is the faculty's decision and they cannot comment on it. Well, I agree to them to some extent that they are not the policy makers. But they should advise me what I should do under such circumstances.
5.If I accept that this was an old information and not a new policy, then I think I have all the reasons in the world to be upset about it. The student advisor or the three supervisors should have been aware of this and this info should be on the faculty's website.I am fair to assume that they have mislead me and wasted my time and efforts.
The student advisor in question is on leave to have a knee operation so I cannot get in touch with him in person. I sent him an email to no avail because I received no response.
6. I am presently studying a Master course in Information Engineering at the Faculty of Technology but only passed 10 credits because I do not want another Master degree when I am already eligible for a Ph.D(well, that's what I assumed in September last year). Even if I waste my two years and pass it, they won't accept me because this degree would not meet academic background of my Research proposal or the faculty of science.
7. I have worked so hard on preparing the proposal and following the tough instructions of the supervisors to make this amendment and that change, and I feel very depressed about this.

Does this country has a "Higher Education Ombudsman" or an authority where students can takes such matters and file the grieviences? Can Student Union help me?if not who can?

Begin forwarded message:

From: Mikko Siponen <[email protected]>
Date: 21. huhtikuuta 2011 14.35.58 UTC+3.00
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]
Subject: jatko-opiskelijakelpoisuus

Hei

Tiedekunta on todennut Heikki Kuoppalan mukaan, että AMK tai siihen rinnastettava tutkinto - eikä myöskään AMK-jatkotutkinto - ei anna jatko-opintokelpoisuutta Lutkissa. Tämä eroaa monista muista maista. Pyydän ystävällisesti ohjaajia tulevaisuudessa tarkistamaan, että heidän ohjattavansa tulevat ns. "oikeista" yliopistoista. Ohessa on esimerkiksi lista brittiläisistä opinahjoista, jotka vaikka ne ovat nimeltään "yliopistoja", ne ovat entisiä paikallisia ammattikorkeakouluja, ja sellaisiksi ne tulkitaan tiedekunnassa. Oletus, että tulevassa Oulu Graduate Schoolissa tämä tulkinta ei muutu.

Tämä on tiedekunnan linjaus, jota joudumme noudattamaan.

Hyvää pääsiäistä.

-- Mikko


Anglia Ruskin University, formerly Anglia Polytechnic, (located in Cambridge and Chelmsford)
Birmingham City University, formerly Birmingham Polytechnic
University of Brighton, formerly Brighton Polytechnic
Bournemouth University, formerly Bournemouth Polytechnic
University of Central Lancashire, formerly Lancashire Polytechnic
Coventry University, formerly Coventry Polytechnic
De Montfort University, formerly Leicester Polytechnic
University of East London, formerly Polytechnic of East London
University of Greenwich, formerly Thames Polytechnic
University of Hertfordshire, formerly Hatfield Polytechnic
University of Huddersfield, formerly Huddersfield Polytechnic
Kingston University, formerly Kingston Polytechnic
Leeds Metropolitan University, formerly Leeds Polytechnic
University of Lincoln, formerly Humberside Polytechnic
Liverpool John Moores University, formerly Liverpool Polytechnic
London Metropolitan University, formerly City of London Polytechnic and Polytechnic of North London
Manchester Metropolitan University, formerly Manchester Polytechnic
Middlesex University, formerly Middlesex Polytechnic
University of Northumbria at Newcastle, formerly Newcastle Polytechnic
Nottingham Trent University, formerly Nottingham Polytechnic
Oxford Brookes University, formerly Oxford Polytechnic
University of Plymouth, formerly Polytechnic South West
University of Portsmouth, formerly Portsmouth Polytechnic
Sheffield Hallam University, formerly Sheffield Polytechnic
South Bank University, formerly South Bank Polytechnic (in London)
Staffordshire University, formerly Staffordshire Polytechnic
University of Sunderland, formerly Sunderland Polytechnic
University of Surrey, formerly Battersea Polytechnic Institute
Teesside University, formerly Teesside Polytechnic
Thames Valley University, formerly Polytechnic of West London
University of the West of England, formerly Bristol Polytechnic
University of Westminster, formerly Polytechnic of Central London and the Royal Polytechnic Institution
University of Wolverhampton, formerly Wolverhampton Polytechnic



A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

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sinikala
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by sinikala » Tue May 17, 2011 11:19 am

Appears that Oulu don't like the look of the UKs former Polytechnics. Generally Oulu's approach is correct, the UK's former polys do tend to be of a lower standard than the original universities, but this is not always the case and it depends on the department / subject you are studying.

Every 5 or so years there is a RAE where they grade the standards of the individual departments are graded according to the reputation of the individual professors, you can see that in the area "UOA 23 Computer Science and Informatics" http://www.rae.ac.uk/results/qualityPro ... 3&type=uoa Middlesex is by no means the worst, but at first glance, they did score significantly lower than all the traditional universities.

I suggest you take the issue to the head of the faculty where you did your Masters at Middlesex University and tell them what the situation is & try to get them to support you. Ultimately it is their qualification which is not being recognised. It's essentially someone saying that they are crap - they won't like that. Perhaps try to get them to push the matter under the Lisbon Recognition Convention.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lisbon_Rec ... Convention
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Rip
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by Rip » Tue May 17, 2011 11:37 am

Tiedekunta on todennut Heikki Kuoppalan mukaan, että AMK tai siihen rinnastettava tutkinto - eikä myöskään AMK-jatkotutkinto - ei anna jatko-opintokelpoisuutta Lutkissa. Tämä eroaa monista muista maista. Pyydän ystävällisesti ohjaajia tulevaisuudessa tarkistamaan, että heidän ohjattavansa tulevat ns. "oikeista" yliopistoista. Ohessa on esimerkiksi lista brittiläisistä opinahjoista, jotka vaikka ne ovat nimeltään "yliopistoja", ne ovat entisiä paikallisia ammattikorkeakouluja, ja sellaisiksi ne tulkitaan tiedekunnassa. Oletus, että tulevassa Oulu Graduate Schoolissa tämä tulkinta ei muutu.

Tämä on tiedekunnan linjaus, jota joudumme noudattamaan.
"The faculty has the position that a UAS ("ammattikorkeakoulu") or comparable degree does not qualify for doctoral studies at the Faculty of Natural Sciences (my assumption for the name behind "Lutk"). This policy is different form the one applied in many other countries. Councillors (advisors) are asked in the future to check that their students come from "proper" universities. Attached is as an example a list of British educational establishments which, although called "universities" are former local UAS, and are considered such by the faculty. It is assumed here that the policy will not change in the future Oulu Graduate School.

This is a faculty level policy that we need to respect."
Last edited by Rip on Tue May 17, 2011 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Beowulf_Agate
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by Beowulf_Agate » Tue May 17, 2011 12:18 pm

I doubt there's any ombudsman in education, but this may be right place to appeal:
http://www.oph.fi/english/mobility/reco ... ifications

Despite appealing, and even succeeding to get result as "person's Master's degree is comparable to MSc in Finland" one should note that Finnish universities have quite big freedom to choose whoever they like to Doctoral studies (and likely you get the ok reply as in official/professional level no distinction is made between Uni or AMK Master's, but distinction is made in academia). Even the faculties can have different set of rules within the University. I'm also pretty sure Oulu Uni listed only English former polytechnics, similar listing is also made e.g. German former polytechnics who have upgraded their name to sound more "university" than UAS/polytechnic/AMK...

I afraid you have very little chances to proceed, and likely you should just give another try with some other university. Or get the MSc degree first from Oulu, then give another try to proceed for PhD


tudorcounter
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by tudorcounter » Tue May 17, 2011 6:52 pm

Already 10 years ago I have heard about that Finnish PhD studies have problem with UK master's degree.
So nothing new.


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odon
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by odon » Tue May 17, 2011 8:47 pm

Just have to respect the University policies, the Finnish University system is fair, and try to find a way to move forward!!

There is no utter motives or something, which people from other countries think!!


AldenG
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by AldenG » Tue May 17, 2011 10:59 pm

odon wrote:Just have to respect the University policies, the Finnish University system is fair
Saying it doesn't make it true, no matter how many times you repeat it.

Providing false information, leading a candidate on in this fashion, wasting his time and money, and then telling him he never had any chance in the first place and it's just his own damn bad luck that they screwed up -- that is hardly what any reasonable person calls fair.

An honorable person or institution not only admits such serious mistakes but makes amends for them as well.

For the university not to do so in this case would simply be further illustration that certain parts of Finland have still not entirely freed themselves of their old East-European style bureaucratic heritage. But some of the faculties in Finland's traditional universities are increasingly turning themselves into dinosaurs, anyway. They are evolution made visible, and cannot seem to choose whether to evolve or become extinct.
Last edited by AldenG on Tue May 17, 2011 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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onkko
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by onkko » Tue May 17, 2011 11:02 pm

Date: 21. huhtikuuta 2011 14.35.58 UTC+3.00

21.4.2011 so new and only few weeks from your post.
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Upphew
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by Upphew » Wed May 18, 2011 8:18 am

AldenG wrote:An honorable person or institution not only admits such serious mistakes but makes amends for them as well.
So we are going to see quite a lot of Universities changing their name back to polytechnic?
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inkku
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by inkku » Wed May 18, 2011 8:43 am

Master's student acquire exprience in conducting research which might be questionable when talking about polytechics. I think this is not an isolated case, for instance I know people who have been posed the same kinds of demands by good UK universities.

Potentially the first persons who replied to OP's inquiries where not aware of the different categories of UK universities.


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Pursuivant
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by Pursuivant » Wed May 18, 2011 9:17 am

I suggest you take the issue to the head of the faculty where you did your Masters at Middlesex University and tell them what the situation is & try to get them to support you. Ultimately it is their qualification which is not being recognised. It's essentially someone saying that they are crap - they won't like that.
Ask for a refund as they are not a "real university", that should get them active.
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Something wicked this way comes."


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odon
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by odon » Wed May 18, 2011 11:12 am

another way is to make the Uk qualification equalent to a master's qualification in finland,

you have to go to the Opetusministeri pages and do that, i did it a long time ago,

you put in all your information and they give you a statement to the effect if it is equal on not.

http://www.infopankki.fi/en-gb/acceptan ... n_finland/


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odon
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by odon » Wed May 18, 2011 11:18 am

AldenG wrote:
odon wrote:Just have to respect the University policies, the Finnish University system is fair
Saying it doesn't make it true, no matter how many times you repeat it.

Providing false information, leading a candidate on in this fashion, wasting his time and money, and then telling him he never had any chance in the first place and it's just his own damn bad luck that they screwed up -- that is hardly what any reasonable person calls fair.

An honorable person or institution not only admits such serious mistakes but makes amends for them as well.

For the university not to do so in this case would simply be further illustration that certain parts of Finland have still not entirely freed themselves of their old East-European style bureaucratic heritage. But some of the faculties in Finland's traditional universities are increasingly turning themselves into dinosaurs, anyway. They are evolution made visible, and cannot seem to choose whether to evolve or become extinct.
The fact is the person handling the application, has no clue with the applicants different background and the small technical differences because so few land up here with these variations.

then it comes up for the selection process and the person sitting there knows the nice details.....

it is the same in almost all matters that deal with official paperwork here ...the person who takes the paper has no idea about the process other than about the mainstream applicants and the one important person who knows it, has not put the information out there for students from different background to see!!


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Beowulf_Agate
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by Beowulf_Agate » Wed May 18, 2011 1:27 pm

odon wrote:another way is to make the Uk qualification equalent to a master's qualification in finland,

you have to go to the Opetusministeri pages and do that, i did it a long time ago,

you put in all your information and they give you a statement to the effect if it is equal on not.

http://www.infopankki.fi/en-gb/acceptan ... n_finland/
I think it's not a problem to get statement of qualification, the poster anyway has that Master's degree and it's surely considered as Master's in Finland, e.g. when applying a public sector job that requires Master's degree - but not as *required degree* to enter for doctoral studies. Appealing can give false hope, as Universities still can refuse taking in for PhD studies anyone with "AMK-level" Master's. Politically accepting foreign "AMK-level" may end up unwanted discussion to accept applicants with domestic similar level. Universities tend to protect the academia (and in my mind for the good reason as AMK in Finland do not give required basis for research skills required from PhD student).

If it makes poster any happier there are quite a few who have applied (with "real degree"), who have done months of work to prepare the subject for dissertation, who have got promising feedback - but who have ended up being not approved for the reason of other.

Do the long route, study the required MSc, but plan your studies and topic of thesis to support also the desired PhD degree. Benefits may be found also by getting in to University's "researcher school" already during Master's studies, securing better resources from University and even getting scholarship/financing for Master's thesis and/or PhD dissertation work :)


vagrant
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Re: A Serious Problem with University of Oulu

Post by vagrant » Wed May 18, 2011 4:58 pm

Ask them if they could hire you as a research assistant in the lab, then apply to MSc programm, depending of their funding it might work.
At lab where I wasted pretty much of my time always were MSc students hired by Uni. (Actually you also could be a student at another uni., but this is very rare case)


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