Hello dear readers! Jitesh here, again. Previously I had talked about how learning law at a business school felt like having the best of two different worlds (link to that blog is here). This time, I’d like to talk about a third world that is open to all Hanken students: the JOO study system.
The JOO or Joopas is a flexible study rights system based on an agreement between all Finnish universities. Under this system, students can include courses from other universities, which are not taught at their own universities. The wiki page for the Joopas system lists the following universities as a part of the system:
- Aalto University
- Hanken School of Economics
- Lappeenranta University of Technology
- National Defence College
- Tampere University of Technology
- Univeristy of the Arts Helsinki
- University of Helsinki
- University of Tampere
- University of Turku
- University of Vaasa
- Åbo Akademi
- University of Eastern Finland
- University of Jyväskylä
- Univerosty of Oulu
- University of Lapland
As a Hanken student, this system allows you to take courses which are taught at other universities, and to include the credits from those courses in your transcript at Hanken. But the process to apply for the flexible study right and to obtain the credits requires a bit of homework, so I thought I’ll share with you the details about the process here:
- Reading up about Joopas.
A good starting point is to read Hanken’s own webpage which talks about the joopas system. Be sure to make a note of the different deadlines, as the application process to study any course in one semester usually begins much in advance, in the previous semester.
- Visit the study counsellors
A visit to the study counsellors is always helpful, as they are always willing to help students with issues they might have about the credit requirements or transcripts etc. And when it comes to the JOO application, the visit is essential! Usually the study counsellors would like to know more about why you want to study a course outside Hanken; and also if you have your study plan ready.
- Make a study plan
For master’s degree students applying for the JOO right, a study plan of 120 credits is a must, laying down all the subjects that the student plans to study for the duration of the degree, and also how the relevant course outside Hanken fits into the plan, both in terms of credits and in terms of how the course for which the student is applying, will help them in their degree.
- Complete all formalities at Hanken:
The study counselors may make some requests from the student, about their study plan or their reasons for choosing to study outside Hanken. I recommend that the student complete these formalities as early as possible because there are additional steps required after the application is accepted by Hanken.
- Waiting for acceptance from the Finnish university.
The next step, after the completion of formalities at Hanken, is that the study counsellor (or their equivalent person) checks the JOO application to see if everything is in order as per their requirements. Usually the student would receive an email from the university asking for any clarifications or additional requirements.
- Enrolling in the course!
The JOO is essentially a “right to study”, so it does not act as a guarantee that the student will be able to take up the course for which they enter the JOO process. So it is vital that the student also apply to the course in the internal system of the university where their application has been accepted. Usually, applying for the course would occur through a portal like weboodi.
- Completion and transfer of credits.
Once the student successfully completes the course, it again becomes the student’s prerogative to apply to get the study credits (and grades) back to Hanken. This process also does not happen automatically!
How I had done this:
I had first become aware of the JOO study application system because I wanted to study Competition law and such a course was not offered at Hanken. I found out that the University of Helsinki’s faculty of Law offered such a course which would begin around March 2020. So to enroll myself in that course, I had applied through the JOO system around October 2019. I went through all the seven steps listed above and now I have the credits for the same course registered in my own weboodi!
The process might seemed a bit daunting to begin with, but the study counsellors at Hanken and the JOO coordinator at the University of Helsinki were really cooperative and friendly, and so it was pretty straightforward in the end!
I hope reading all of this was useful for you, dear reader! As always, feel free to reach out to me at Jitesh.Gupta@student.Hanken.fi