DESCRIPTION AND METHODOLOGIES
The INTEGRA project develops an educational model that integrates university language and content studies for immigrants who have completed or are qualified for higher education and aim to finish their interrupted degree studies or complement a prior degree in compliance with Finnish qualification requirements. The aim is to create a permanent model that can be applied in other higher education institutions as well. In addition to the educational objectives, the model seeks to promote immigrants’ integration into society as well as the development of multilingual competence and university pedagogy.
The programme includes Finnish and English language courses, university studies in the participant’s own discipline, and individual and group counselling. The scope of the programme is 45 ECTS credits: 24 ECTS credits of Finnish according to the individual level; 6 ECTS credits of English according to the individual level; 5–10 ECTS credits of studies in each student’s own discipline, or other optional studies; 5 ECTS credits of counselling. The training develops different academic skills needed in studies and expert tasks. The programme involves full-time study for about nine months and consists of daily face-to-face studying, independent learning and group work. Regular attendance is required for completing the programme.
At the beginning of the training, the student and the counsellor of the SIMHE project (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland) collaboratively create an individual study plan for the student. The participant’s prior education, current educational needs as well as Finnish, English and other language skills are mapped in the plan. It is possible to receive unemployment benefit during the programme, which can also serve as self-motivated integration training. Participants can complete an internship or a work try-out during the training. SIMHE helps and supports students in finding the placement. In addition, an individual follow-up plan will be created for each student towards the end of the training.