If you are curious about the student experience of higher education in Finland, which has been a hot topic in the news lately, I highly recommend you read this blog. It is written by Irene Smith, a Canadian and former undergraduate Peer Mentor from the U of S, who is currently studying at the University of Turku in Finland. Her blog posts cover topics as diverse as hierarchies in education and the integration of undergraduate and graduate degrees, and they all deal directly with the contrast between higher education in Canada and her experience of university in Finland.
Finland is currently regarded as a world leader in education, according to a global report, The Learning Curve, published by Pearson in 2012. Irene reflects on the reasons behind Finland’s top place in this report and others in blog posts about the cost of education, the requirements for entrance to university and the way her classes are assessed. Education in Finland is free, students must pass a matriculation exam to gain entrance to a university, and many of Irene’s classes do not dish out regular assignments and exams, but require an end-of-term learning diary instead. I do not feel unsatisfied with my Canadian education, but I am a bit envious about Finland’s free universities and I am interested in finding out whether a single learning diary would lead to deeper learning than regular exams and assignments. I will be following Irene’s blog to learn more about her adventures in Finnish higher education as the term progresses.