The Open University is an opportunity to high-quality learning for learners with different kinds of educational backgrounds

Open Universities are independent institutes of universities. Their objective is to provide university-level studies also for people without degree place. In the Open University of the University of Jyväskylä the high quality of studies and services, digitally skilful staff and online collaboration are the key elements of our operations, says director Jukka Lerkkanen.

Open University of the University of Jyväskylä, founded in 1984, is open to all students, having no entrance requirements or tests. As a part of the University of Jyväskylä, our mission is to provide science, competence and opportunities for all.

JYUOpen offers open university courses based on the curriculums of the faculties of the University of Jyväskylä. Nowadays we have approximately 20 000 students, most of them working and studying simultaneously.

Long tradition in education

We have long tradition and rich heritage in education. The first Finnish-speaking teacher seminar was founded in Jyväskylä in 1863. The University of Jyväskylä has six faculties ranging for humanities to natural science. The Open University cooperates very closely with all of them.

Nowadays the secret of success is collaboration. For example, the faculty of education and psychology combines two strong subjects in the same faculty. Both are high ranked in the international rankings. Collaboration between these two are essential to our quality and success. We believe in cooperation, so in the University of Jyväskylä there is several top research groups with topics like

  • Interaction in learning, education and therapy
  • Learning
  • Family and childhood
  • World of work
  • Teaching, guidance and education

In these areas, we have close connections with the world’s top researchers in these fields.

Life-long learning is also one of the important, emerging areas of research. We want to support and create learning opportunities for everyone to enhance knowledge and skills in the constantly changing world.

Tiger’s jump to online education

We moved to online education already in 1990s, but in my opinion, we took the biggest step – or more like a tiger jump – in spring 2020 due to COVID-19. Even before the global crisis caused by corona, we did most of our teaching online, but as a security measure against the virus, we switched also other parts of our work to home offices.

It was brilliant to see, how our people at JYUOpen adapted to the new situation and took over new tools with solid experience of online work. In addition to open university lessons, all projects and meetings had been changed to be online, just few days after the COVID-19 restrictions had laid in mid-March.

Students are priority

Our core values are quality, ethicality, openness, trust, and communality. Students are always in a key role when we are planning our educational activities at JYUOpen.

According to the received feedback, JYUOpen is known of our close-to-human services and interactive online education. Many of our students study alongside their work, so we want to provide the best possible support to reconcile work and study.

And what’s in it for you? We want to offer human-to-human teaching based on the cutting-edge academic research. We don’t provide degrees in the Open University, but our high-quality online courses are a great way to get familiar with the University of Jyväskylä. If you get excited about studying, you can apply to Master’s programmes at JYU or became an exchange student, if you are already a university student.

As in the beginning in 1984, the Open University of University of Jyväskylä offers studies to anyone despite their educational background, now also internationally. You don’t need to be a degree student to study in JYUOpen – the only requirement is your own will to learn.

Join our learning community through our online courses. This might be your first step to life-long learning. Welcome!

Jukka Lerkkanen
Director of the Open University
University of Jyväskylä

Director Jukka Lerkkanen