Student's Rights and Obligations

A university is a scientific community whose tasks include scientific activities and generation of new information. Members of the scientific community include all parties in the university, from professors and lecturers to students.

Students must be aware of their role as a responsible party within the scientific community, to act honestly and to promote a positive atmosphere. The starting point is equal, fair and respectful treatment of everyone, as well as appreciation of their work contribution.

Universities Act and degree regulations

Students' rights and obligations are defined in section 5 of the Universities Act. Additionally, matters concerning students' rights and discipline are recorded in the Degree regulations of the University of Vaasa.

Students are expected to also familiarise themselves with the university's internal rules and guidelines and to comply with them. You will find these on the website Regulations and guidelines concerning studying and degrees. Below, you can also read about the university's internal appeal process (for example, assessment of study attainments) as well as about the concepts of academic freedom and academic responsibility.

University's internal appeal process (for example, assessment of study attainments)

The University of Vaasa has a Council of Education, which is the administrative body responsible for the quality of education (University Act § 82, paragraphs 3 and 4; University Regulations § 10). The Council of Education also acts as the university's degree committee.

In accordance with §10 of the University Regulations, the Council of Education is tasked with issuing decisions concerning appeals regarding

  1. the evaluation of a doctoral dissertation or thesis as part of a licentiate degree or post-graduate studies (Master's thesis)
  2. decisions issued in relation to appeals concerning the evaluation of other study attainments (incl. Bachelor's thesis) or studies completed elsewhere or credit for expertise demonstrated in other manners.

An additional task of the Council of Education is to handle other matters related to students' legal protection and issue relevant statements.

Internal appeal process in a nutshell

  1. A teacher or another party performing the assessment assesses the study attainment, or a decision is made about granting credits (incl. RPEL - Recognition of Prior Experiental Learning).
  2. A student can request a rectification of an assessment of a study attainment, a decision on crediting knowledge and skills, or an assessment of a bachelor's thesis from the teacher, from another party performing the assessment, or from the party that made the decision on crediting knowledge and skills. The appeal can be requested orally or in writing.
    a) The appeal against an assessment of a study attainment must be submitted within 14 days of the date when the results and the evaluation criteria applied to the work first were accessible to the student.
    b) The appeal against credit transfer must be made within 14 days of the date on which the student first was informed of the decision.
  3. The teacher or another party who has performed the assessment provides a written decision concerning the appeal.
  4. The student may appeal to the Vaasa University Council of Education against a decision within 14 days from the date on which the student first was informed of the decision. The appeal must be submitted in writing.

    An appeal against an assessment of a Master's thesis, a licentiate thesis and a doctoral dissertation is submitted direct to the Council of Education of the University of Vaasa. A written appeal must be made within 14 days of the date on which the student first was informed of the decision.

    The appeal is delivered to the University's Registry and addressed to the Council of Education. The appeal must contain details of the amendment the student is seeking, as well as the grounds for the appeal.
  5. The Council of Education requests a statement from the party that performed the assessment or issued a decision on the credit transfer.
  6. The Council of Education reviews the matter, issues a decision and communicates the decision. A decision of the Council of Education cannot be appealed (Universities Act 558/2009, § 84); Degree regulations of the University of Vaasa 19 §).

Submission of an appeal

Appeals addressed to the University of Vaasa's Council of Education are delivered to:

University of Vaasa Council of Education
P.O. Box 700
FI-65101 VAASA

See also

Academic freedom and responsibility

Concepts of academic freedom and academic responsibility associated with a scientific community.

Academic freedom

Academic freedom refers to the freedom and right of a student to learn, make choices concerning his or her studies, plan his or her studies, as well as the freedom to participate in teaching, among other things. A student has the right to expect the university to provide high quality education, equal treatment, as well as well-functioning study support functions.

Appreciation can be shown for the teaching and research work of teachers by actively participating in teaching and by providing relevant feedback concerning teaching. A student has the right to be informed about an assessment of a study assignment within a month from its completion, among other things. Furthermore, a student has the right to file an appeal against an assessment of a study attainment or a decision on crediting studies.

Everyone has the right to provide feedback concerning teaching or other operations of the university. Students may also present ideas for development to improve the common studying environment. The provision of feedback and influencing the university community are, except rights, also a part of the academic responsibility.

Academic responsibility

Academic responsibility refers, among other things, to an obligation to study actively, as well as the responsibility for your learning and the progress of your studies. The student makes the decisions concerning the actions and the participation through which he or she will learn in accordance with the targets set by him or her.

A responsible student acts in an honest manner and gives him- or herself, as well as the fellow students, an opportunity for good learning. For example, peaceful working conditions in teaching and exam situations also guarantee a good studying environment for everyone. In accordance with the Universities Act, a student may be punished with a warning or with fixed-term dismissal for cheating at an exam or for other violations of teaching activities. For example, if a student is suspected of cheating at an exam, the student's completion of an exam can be interrupted immediately and the exam may be failed.

Being aware of common wellbeing and safety matters is also associated with academic responsibility, as well as appropriate behaviour towards all those operating within the university community. For example, when making contact with teaching and guidance personnel, the reception hours should be observed, as well as remembering appropriate use of language. Further information is available for example on the website Support and Study Guidance.

A student should also have knowledge of information security and data protection norms. You can start the familiarisation for example at the Rules of IT Service Use. These and other regulations have been prepared to help users belonging to different groups to identify the rights, responsibilities and obligations relating to their access rights.