Right to Study and Duration of Studies

The duration of studying for a degree is restricted for students who have received their right to study after 1 August 2005. Students may apply for an extension of the right to study from the university if they have not completed their degree within the normative duration of studies. Students can see the expiration date of their right to study in WebOodi under the section Personal Information. The duration of the right to study is updated automatically based on registration information.

Normative duration of studies

A student admitted to study for both the lower and the higher university degree has the right to complete their studies 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 within 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 on the web page of Kela.

See also

Time counted in 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 right to study in WebOodi under the section Personal Information. The duration of the right to study is updated automatically based on registration information.

Registered students (attending and non-attending) receive an email notification from the university when their study right is about to expire.

The duration of the right to study does not include leave due to voluntary military service or conscription or due to maternity, paternity or parental leave (a so-called legal reason).

The duration of study does not include any other absence for which the student has registered as non-attending for a maximum of four terms (study right has begun before 1 August 2015) or two terms (study right started on or after 1 August 2015). The student is not required to inform the university about the reasons for absence. Another absence of longer than four terms (study right has begun before 1 August 2015) or longer than two terms (study right started on or after 1 August 2015) is included in the duration of studies. 

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.

Extension of the right to study on the basis of the Universities Act

If a student has a certificate of a legal reason for absence (leave due to voluntary military service or conscription or maternity, paternity or parental leave), the student does not have to apply for an extension of the right to study separately. However, the student should fill in the form Notification for Extending the Time to Complete a Degree and submit it to their student counsellor with the required enclosures. (Please note that a child-care leave does not extend the right to study.)

You need to apply for an extension of the right to study when your duration of studies is about to end or when you are moving to another institution of higher education. Absence due to sickness is not a legal reason but will be taken into account as you apply for an extension on the basis of a study plan.

The recording methods and calculation rules for absences due to a legal reason that extend the duration of studies was changed in WebOodi as of 1 August 2016. The reason for the change is to treat students of different universities equally.

  • Legal absences that started before 1 August 2016
    The duration of studies will be extended based on the duration of absence regardless of the number of academic terms with which the period of absence overlaps. For each five (5)-month absence, an extension of one academic term is granted. If the absence lasts less than five months, an extension of one academic term is granted. If the absence lasts five to ten months, an extension of two academic terms is granted; if the absence lasts 10–15 months, an extension of three academic terms is granted, etc.
  • Legal absences that started on or after 1 August 2016
    The duration of studies will automatically be extended only if the student has registered as non-attending for the academic term in question and the legal reason for absence has been recorded in the student register based on a document delivered by the student. The duration of studies will be extended by one term if the student has registered as non-attending for that term and the period of absence applies to at least one day of that term.

The new expiration date of the right to study is saved to the student register based on the documents submitted by the student.

Extension of the right to study on the basis of a study plan

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

The extension of the right to study is applied for by filling in an application form and submitting the filled form to the supervisory education coordinator, amanuensis or specialist of the student’s school/field of study.

You need to enclose the following documents to your application.

  • a detailed personal study plan for completing the studies in the application. The personal study plan should contain the remaining studies and a timetable for completing them. In the up-to-date plan, the student must define the studies to be completed and present an estimation of the term when the studies will be completed. You are expected to complete courses worth approximately 30 ECTS each academic term. Please note that extending the student’s residence permit usually requires that you can show sufficient progress in your studies.
  • a clarification and certificates of the reasons which have caused the delay in studies.

Reasons for granting an extension of the 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 their studies in a reasonable time.

The number and extent of the completed, valid study entities and the missing study entities and any previous decisions for granting an 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 in favour of the granting of an extension of the 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 based on 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.

An extension of the right to study may be granted if the school, based on the submitted study plan, considers it possible for the student to complete their 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 their 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 that 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 their studies by a min. of 15 ECTS / term and 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 their degree studies by a min. of 15 ECTS / term during the first extension period OR has made significant progress in their 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 their degree studies by a min. of 15 ECTS / term during the previous extension periods or has made significant progress in their master's thesis. If the studies have progressed slower and the student has no valid special reasons related to their life situation (see above), no further extensions are granted.

The dean of the school grants the extension of the right to study.

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

Further information: Registration for the Academic Year

Duration of an extension of the right to study

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

Possible legal reasons for an absence not counted to 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 their school.

Decision

The decision will be sent to the applicant by email or 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 see 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 that the decision was served. The request for rectification shall be mailed to the following address: the 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.

Renouncement of the right to study

A student may renounce their right to study for a degree entirely with a form that is sent to Oodi Support (oodituki(at)univaasa.fi). Ask your student counsellor for the required form.

The right to study for a degree will be marked as terminated from the date of the notification. The right to study can be regained only through the normal application process.

Further information on applying is available on the web pages for applicants.

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