University of Jyväskylä principles for handling applications for extension to the duration of studies in accordance with the Universities Act

extension to the duration of studies

 

Rector’s Decision of 29 February 2016

Sections 40–42 of the Universities Act (558/2009) include provisions on the normative duration of studies for bachelor's and master's degrees, the duration of the right to study, and the extension of the right to study. The provisions apply to students who have begun their studies on 1 August 2005 and thereafter.

This decision provides guidelines for handling applications to extend the duration of studies, in accordance with the Universities Act, at the University of Jyväskylä.

According to Section 40 of the Universities Act, the normative duration of studies for bachelor’s degrees is three academic years.

The normative duration of studies for master's degrees is two academic years, except for the Master of Psychology degree, in which it is two and a half academic years.

The normative duration of studies is degree-specific.

According to Section 41 of the Universities Act, students admitted to complete both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree are entitled to complete the degrees in a time exceeding their total normative duration (referred to in Section 40) by a maximum of two years. Students admitted to complete only a bachelor’s degree are entitled to complete the degree in a time exceeding the normative duration of studies by a maximum of one year. Students admitted to complete only a master’s degree are entitled to complete the degree in a time exceeding the normative duration of studies by a maximum of two years.

Transfer students’ right to complete a degree is based on the degree for which they have obtained a study right through the transfer. The attendance and non-attendance periods in the studies that provide the basis for the transfer are also calculated as part of the student’s duration of degree studies. For students who have begun their studies before the academic year 2005–2006, the duration of studies does not include the attendance and non-attendance periods in the studies that provide the basis for the transfer.

The duration of studies does not include absences resulting from the completion of services in accordance with the Conscription Act, the Non-Military Service Act or the Act on Women’s Voluntary Military Service; furthermore, the duration of studies does not include maternity, paternity or parental leaves. If a student registers for attendance in spite of a statutory reason for non-attendance, his or her maximum duration of studies will be reduced. Furthermore, the duration of studies is not affected by an absence of a maximum of two terms (four terms for students who have begun their studies before 1 August 2015) for which the student has registered for non-attendance in accordance with Section 39 of the Universities Act.

In accordance with Section 42 of the Universities Act, the University grants an extension to the duration of studies on application to a student who has not finished his or her studies in the time referred to in Section 41, provided that the student presents a goal-oriented and feasible plan for completing the studies. In the plan, the student must itemise the studies to be completed and the schedule for completing the degree.

The duration of studies is extended if it is possible for the student to complete the degree in a reasonable time, considering the number and scope of completed, valid study entities and the ones missing, and considering potential earlier decisions on extending the duration of studies. In granting extension to the duration of studies, the University must take into account the student’s life situation.

Principles for handling applications for extension to the duration of studies

 A student can be granted an extension to the duration of studies based on an application that includes a goal-oriented, feasible personal study plan and a statement of reasons for the extension. When considering whether to grant the extension, the University takes into account the student’s possibility to graduate within a reasonable time, potential earlier extensions, and the student’s life situation.

A student who has completed no or only very little degree studies at the University cannot be granted an extension without significantly weighty grounds related to his or her life situation and without an account of how the studies will be completed. For example, employment or studies for another degree are not valid reasons. Significant positions of trust, distinguished scientific or artistic activities, and world-class sports may be grounds for slow progress in studies.

If a student’s progress in studies is not sufficient, the student’s own or a relative’s illness as well as another difficult life situation can be accepted as grounds for extension. The grounds must be evidenced by certified documents.

The extension includes a certain number of terms. As a rule, the maximum length of an extension is two terms; only in exceptional cases can it be four terms. If finishing the studies according to the study plan would take longer than this, the student must submit a new application for the missing terms.

Extension decisions are made by the dean of the student’s faculty. The decision is sent to the applicant by post.

Student’s notification of extending the duration of studies based on statutory grounds


If the right to study (i.e. the normative duration of degree studies) is about to expire, and the student has a certificate of a statutory reason for absence (maternity, paternity or parental leave; conscription or voluntary military service), the student need not apply for extension.

In this case, the student must fill in

  • a notification of extending the time to complete the degree either online or in Word and send it electronically or in paper format to Student and Academic Services, where the information is entered in the student information system (a certificate of the aforementioned absences must be attached to the notification). Absences based on statutory grounds do not reduce the maximum duration of studies during the terms of absence.

Applying for extension to the maximum duration of studies


If a student needs additional time for completing the degree, it is applied for
  • using the application form for extending the maximum duration of studies online or in Word.

The completed form is submitted to the service centre of the faculty in question either electronically or in paper format.

The dean makes decisions on extending the duration of studies.

Students must apply for extension well in advance if it seems likely that they do not graduate within the normative duration of studies. If the right to study expires on 31 July, the extension must be applied for by 15 April. This way the student will know about the expiry or extension of the right to study in good time.

An extension can be applied for even after the expiry of the study right. Students should apply for an extension at the stage when they actually are able to continue their studies. In this case, students should also be prepared to pay a re-registration fee.

Attachments to the application

1. An updated and scheduled plan for the studies to be completed

The plan must specify:
  • The studies to be completed and the terms during which they will be completed
  • Supervisor’s report on the progress of the thesis
  • The time that can be spent on studies and the possibility to attend instruction
  • The reasons for the delay in studies
  • A report on the use of potential earlier extensions and the reasons for delay, if needed
  • If life situation or other similar grounds are used as reasons for delay in studies, they must be detailed and proved with the necessary certificates. Medical certificates and other possible confidential documents must be submitted in paper format to the faculty’s head of student and academic affairs.
2. Statement of reasons

 

Applying for the first extension to the duration of studies

In granting the first extension to the duration of studies, the student’s personal study plan for completing the targeted degree is reviewed.

A student can be granted an extension if he or she, upon the expiry of the normative duration of studies, has completed a minimum of two thirds of the studies required for the degree. However, there is some flexibility regarding the maximum amount of uncompleted studies. The more credits the student is missing from the degree, the better grounds he or she must have in the application for extension. In evaluating the feasibility of the graduation plan, the student’s recent progress in studies is also significant. Good progress pace preceding the expiry of the normative duration of studies is regarded as an advantage to the student even when more than one third of the degree has not been completed on applying for the first extension.

Applying for a new extension to the duration of studies

If the granted extension proves to be insufficient, the student’s progress in compliance with the study plan during the previous extensions is taken into account when granting new extensions.

A new extension cannot be granted if the student’s studies have progressed significantly more slowly than scheduled in the original study plan and the student has presented no grounds related to his or her life situation for the slow progress.

Refusal and appeal

A negative decision must be provided in writing. It must state the reasons for refusal, and the instructions for appealing must be attached to it. A student who is not satisfied with the decision can appeal in writing to the Appeal Committee of the University of Jyväskylä within 14 days of receiving notice of the decision. The request for rectification is sent to the following address:       

Appeal Committee / Registry Office and Archive
                    PO Box 35
                    FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä

A decision given by the Appeal Committee on the request for rectification can be appealed against to the Hämeenlinna Administrative Court within 30 days of receiving notice of the decision. A decision issued by the Administrative Court may not be appealed against (Universities Act, Section 84.3).

Archiving of the decisions

Documents concerning extensions based on statutory grounds are preserved at the Admission and Student Services until the student completes the degree. Decisions by faculties on granting extensions are saved in the archives of the faculties.

Appendices: Annual agenda and a form template for extension decisions

 Appendix 1: Annual agenda

 January: Instructions for extending the duration of studies or for applying for extension are sent from the student register by 15 March to students who have begun their bachelor and master’s studies seven academic years earlier, and whose study right is expiring on 31 July.

 January: Instructions for extending the duration of studies or for applying for extension are sent from the student register by 15 March to students who have begun in a master’s degree programme four academic years earlier, and whose study right is expiring on 31 July.

 April: Students must apply for extension to the duration of studies by 15 April if their study right is expiring on 31 July.

 April–May: The faculties make (favourable or unfavourable) decisions on extending the duration of studies.

 June–July: Students who have extended the duration of their studies, or who have been granted an extension, enrol at the University.

 September: Instructions for extending the duration of studies or for applying for extension are sent from the student register by 15 October to students who have begun their bachelor and master’s studies seven academic years earlier, and whose study right is expiring on 31 December.

 September: Instructions for extending the duration of studies or for applying for extension are sent from the student register by 15 October to students who have begun in a master’s degree programme four academic years earlier, and whose study right is expiring on 31 December.

 October: Students must apply for extension to the duration of studies by 15 October if their study right is expiring on 31 December.

 

 


 

Appendix 2: DECISION ON EXTENSION TO THE MAXIMUM DURATION OF STUDIES

 

Name of the applicant: ________________________________________

Date of birth: _________________

 

Based on your application, the Faculty of ________________________________________________

 

                      □ has granted an extension to the duration of your studies

for completing the _______________________________ degree

 

                      at the latest on ______________________.

                     

 

□ has not granted an extension to the duration of your studies. The study right for the degree in question will end on ________________ (date).

 

 

Justifications for the decision: ____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________________

 

Appealing:

 An unfavourable decision on extending the duration of studies can be appealed against in writing to the Appeal Committee of the University of Jyväskylä within 14 days of receiving notice of the decision. The date of receiving notice of the decision is not included in the appeal period.

A decision given by the Appeal Committee on the request for rectification can be appealed against to the Hämeenlinna Administrative Court within 30 days of receiving notice of the decision. A decision issued by the Administrative Court may not be appealed against.

 

Jyväskylä, _____________________________
                               date

 

Dean  ________________________________________________
                                            Signature

Head of Student and Academic Affairs ________________________________________________
                                            Signature

 

Distribution: Student, Faculty, Admission and Student Services

 

The restoration of study right and extension to the duration of studies are entered in the student register seven days after the decision

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