Normative Duration of Study

Whilst the University to a limited extent supervises the academic progress made by the students, it is the students themselves who are responsible for the advancement of their studies.

The total number of credits required for a Master’s degree is 120 ECTS including the Master’s thesis (30-40 ECTS). Master’s degree students are expected to complete courses worth approximately 30 ECTS each semester. Please note that extending the student’s residence permit usually requires that you can show a sufficient progress in your studies.

Normative Duration of Study

The normative duration of lower and higher university degrees and the right to study, as well as the extension of right to study are stipulated in the Universities Act (558/2009, Sections 41–43). The regulations are applied to the study rights which lead to a lower or higher university degree and which have started on 1 August 2005 or later.

Duration of Study

A student admitted to study for both the lower and higher university degree has the right to complete the degree in a time exceeding the aggregate normative duration of studies by a maximum of two years (5 + 2 years). A student admitted to study only for the higher university degree has the right to complete the degree in a time exceeding the normative duration of studies by a maximum of two years (2 + 2 years).

The aim of the University of Vaasa is that as many students as possible complete their degrees in the normative duration of studies, or at least by the time exceeding the normative duration of studies stipulated by the Universities Act.

Students may be eligible for a tax deduction for their student loan if they have completed a university degree by the target time. More information about the requirements for student loan tax deduction is available at the webpage of Kela.

Time Counted into the Duration of Studies

The duration of studies and the time used to complete a degree is counted from the moment the student accepts a study place offered by the university. Students can see the expiration date of their study right in WebOodi under the section ’Personal Information’. The duration of the right to study is updated automatically on the basis of the registration.

Present and absent students receive a notice from the University when their study right is about to expire.

The duration of the right to study shall not include leave due to voluntary military service or conscription or due to prolonged maternity or paternity or parent leave.

The duration of study shall not include any other absence of maximum of four semesters for which the student is registered as non-attending. The student is not required to inform the university about the reasons for absence. Temporary interruption of the study right for the minimum period of one year for employment administrative purposes is considered an equivalent status to registration as non-attending.

Students taking part in an exchange programme must register as attending at their home university for the duration of the exchange period, because the studies completed at the host university should be included in the degree pursued at home.

If a student fails to register as attending or non-attending by the deadline, the time in which the registration is missing is also counted into the duration of studies.

Granting the Extension of Right to Study on the Basis of Reasons stated in the Universities Act

If a student has a certificate of a legal reason for absence (leave due to voluntary military service or conscription or to maternity, paternity or parent leave), the student does not have to apply for extension of right to study separately. However, the student should fill in a Notification for Extending the Time to Complete a Degree form and submit to the Supervisory Education Coordinator, Amanuensis or Specialist along with the required enclosures. The new expiration date of the study right is saved to the student register based on the documents submitted by the student.

Granting the Extension of Right to Study on the Basis of Study Plan

Students may apply for extension of right to study from the university. If the study right expires on 31 July, the application for extension must be submitted by 30 April. If the study right expires on 31 December, the application for extension must be submitted by 31 October.

The extension of right to study is applied for by filling in an application form available at the university website (below) and submitting the filled form to the Supervisory Education Coordinator, Amanuensis or Specialist of the student’s School / field of study. The student must enclose a detailed personal study plan for completing the studies in the application. The up-to-date personal study plan should contain a timetable for completing the remaining studies. In the plan, the student must define the studies to be completed and present an estimation of the semester when the studies will be completed. The application should also contain a clarification and certificates of the reasons which have caused the delay in studies.

Reasons for Granting the Extension of Right to Study

The most important factor affecting the decision to extend the right to study is a detailed and feasible plan for completing the studies. The duration of studies shall be extended if it is realistic for the student to complete his or her studies in a reasonable time.

The number and extent of the completed, valid study entities and the missing study entities and any former decisions granting extension to the duration of studies are taken into account in the decision. The university shall also consider the life situation of the student.

According to legislative history, the special reasons favouring the granting of extension of right to study are sickness during the studies or other difficult life situation beyond the student’s control, societal activity, participation in international student or trainee exchange, and systematic world-class sports among other reasons. If the student is applying for the extension on the basis of the above-mentioned reason or reasons, the appropriate documentation must be provided with the application (e.g. medical certificates).

Working or studying towards another degree are not adequate reasons for granting an extension.

The extension of right to study may be granted if the School, on the basis of the submitted plan, considers it possible for the student to complete his or her studies in a reasonable time taking into consideration the number and extent of the completed, valid study entities and the missing study entities.

If the student has completed none or very little of the studies of his or her degree programme, and does not have any of the above-mentioned valid reasons for the slow progression of studies, an extension cannot be granted. If none or very little of the degree studies have been completed, in principle, it is not realistic to assume the student would be able to create a study plan that would enable the completion of the remaining studies within a reasonable time.

If the student is applying for an extension for the first time, the extension is granted if the student has progressed in his/her studies by a min. of 15 ECTS / semester and s/he has completed approximately half of the degree. For valid special reasons (see above), the progression of studies can also be slower.

If the student is applying for an extension for the second time, the extension is granted if the student has progressed in his/her degree studies by a min. of 15 ECTS / semester during the first extension period OR s/he has made significant progress in his/her the master's thesis.

If the student is applying for an extension for the third time, the extension is granted if the student has progressed in his/her degree studies by a min. of 15 ECTS / semester during the previous extension periods or s/he has made significant progress in his/her the master's thesis. If the studies have progressed slower and the student has no valid special reasons related to his/her life situation (see above), no further extensions are granted.

The extension of right to study is granted by the dean of the School.

If an application is submitted, an expired study right may be reactivated and the extension granted. If the original study right expired before the application for extension was submitted or the student did not follow the university’s instructions about the application period and the study right expired before the extension was granted, a re-registration fee (35 euros) will be charged from the student.

Additional information: Registration

Duration of the Extension of Right to Study

The extension of right to study is granted as semesters. The extension is granted for minimum one semester and maximum four semesters at a time. Even though the completion of studies is estimated to take more than four semesters in the accepted plan for completing the remaining studies, the extension of right to study is granted for maximum four semesters at a time. The student should submit another application for the remaining months of extension if necessary.

Possible legal reasons for absence not counted in the normative duration of studies are taken into consideration also during the extension if the student submits the necessary documents to the Supervisory Education Coordinator, Amanuensis or Specialist of his/her School.

Decision

The decision will be sent to the applicant by mail.

If the decision is positive, the student should register for the academic year as instructed by the University. For more information about registration, please visit section Registration for the Academic Year.

Appeal

A person dissatisfied with the decision may submit a request for rectification to the School in writing within 14 days of the day the decision was served. The request for rectification shall be mailed to the following address: University of Vaasa, Registrar’s office, P.O.Box 700, FI-65101 Vaasa, Finland.

An appeal against a decision given by the School in a rectification procedure may be lodged with an Administrative Court within 30 days of the day the decision was served. An appeal against the decision made by the Administrative Court cannot be lodged.

More information is available from the Head of Education at the student’s School / study field.

Application Form

Application for an extension of study right form [pdf]