University of Oulu, 2016

Music education programme continues at the University of Oulu, astronomy will be offered as a minor subject

More emphasis will be put on research.

The cooperation negotiations at the Faculty of Science have now been completed. The astronomy research unit will not be facing any redundancies, but astronomy will no longer be offered as a major subject. Between 2014 and 2018, the average annual number of people completing a Master of Arts with astronomy as their major has been below one. In the future, astronomy will be offered at the University of Oulu as a minor subject, and through cooperation with other universities it will be possible to expand this minor subject into a major. This will also make it possible to carry out doctoral studies in astronomy at the University of Oulu. The change will come into effect for students starting their studies in autumn 2020. Students who have started or will start their studies before this date have the right to complete their studies according to the current degree structure.

There are currently eight people working in the astronomy research unit, and the unit’s strength is its high quality research and publications. The research conditions will be strengthened by changing one of the astronomy professorships from a fixed-term position to a non-fixed-term one. At the same time, financial support will be directed towards teaching-focused tasks that broadly support physics education. The tasks will be organised as part of a larger entity within the Faculty of Science. The objective is to safeguard astronomy research, strengthen physics education and even out the workload for teaching staff.

At the Faculty of Education, the negotiations dealt with the programme of measures for the teaching of music education, music, music performance and singing. The need for change and development stemmed from the cost structure of the music education programme and the small numbers of graduates.

There are currently 14 employees involved in teaching music pedagogy, music, music performance and singing. The job descriptions will be condensed in order to bring this number down to nine. In addition, a professorship in music education is currently being filled. The challenge faced by the department is to develop research. The job descriptions will be updated so that a greater number of personnel will carry out research as well as teaching. In the beginning of the cooperation negotiations, the maximum estimated need for job reductions was set at six, of which a maximum of five will be implemented. Those who are made redundant will be offered support measures for finding employment or obtaining further training.

The music education subject teacher programme will be reformed so as to place greater emphasis on the pedagogical development of the teacher. For the teaching of the minor subject in music, the number of contact hours will be brought into line with the department’s other minor subject teaching through measures such as developing teaching methods and utilising peer learning. The teaching will shift from individual instruction towards increasing amounts of peer and group teaching.

Last updated: 3.4.2019