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Already one in three university degrees in technology are delayed due to coping issues

29.8.2022
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News article

“Aside from being a human problem, wearing out future talent while they are still at school is socially unsustainable,” says Director of Public Affairs Juhani Nokela from Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK.

Concerns about one’s ability to cope during studies is linked to delayed graduation, reveals the latest TEK Graduate Survey conducted by Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK.

The completion of already one in three university degrees in technology is delayed due to students’ coping issues. Students who are concerned about their ability to cope take four months longer on average to complete their degree than other students. Every year, about 3,000 students graduate from university with a degree in technology or architecture, so this problem concerns about 1,000 degrees.

To ensure smooth studies, the most important thing is high-quality, flexible teaching with sufficient resources.

TEK's Director of Public Affairs Juhani Nokela points out that Finland will need thousands of new experts in technology in the upcoming years and, in addition to increasing the number of study places, we need significant improvements in helping students complete their degrees and providing student mental health services.

“Aside from being a human problem, wearing out future talent while they are still at school is socially unsustainable,” says Juhani Nokela.

“Academic burnout and various mental health problems are some of the biggest reasons behind a slower study pace. To ensure smooth studies, the most important thing is high-quality, flexible teaching with sufficient resources. Mental health problems can be addressed better if students get help as quickly as possible. One cost-effective solution is to provide more low-threshold services and adopt brief psychosocial interventions across the different service channels of the health care system.”

The concerned respondents had a basic salary that was, on average, more than one hundred euros lower than the non-concerned respondents.

The survey showed that coping issues were also associated with the perceived quality of employment. According to TEK’s Analyst Arttu Piri, who is responsible for the survey, it appears that coping issues can also reflect on salary through how demanding the selected job is.

“When it comes to the salary of Finns working full-time in the private sector, there was a significant difference between the groups. The concerned respondents had a basic salary that was, on average, more than one hundred euros lower than the non-concerned respondents.”

Working together with universities, TEK has carried out the TEK Graduate Survey (page in Finnish) for recent graduates since 2011. The survey examines the skills, study progress, working life experience and employment situation and overall satisfaction with the completed degree of academic engineers and architects at the time of their graduation. The survey was open to all academic engineers and architects graduating in Finland. It was answered by roughly 60 percent of the 2021 graduates.