Open University of the University of Jyväskylä is involved in project work that enables different research and development activities. Often in these projects the Open University acts as a part of a larger project consortium and is responsible for certain tasks or activities within the project. These projects work both in Finnish and in English. 

Alternative path to university (APU)

Traditionally, entrance exams and the matriculation examination have been the ordinary ways to apply for a university in Finland. Besides these, also the channel through Open University has been available, though it has not yet worked as desired in universities’ student admission. Anyway, as the student admission system of higher education will be renewed by 2020, we also need new alternatives for students to show their capacity for higher education studies.

Our project is called Alternative path to university. The aim of the project is to develop, pilot and establish different paths to higher education in addition to the previous methods: Firstly, we aim to revise the existing Open University route so that an increasing number of applicants would be admitted to university degree studies and that the admission criteria for study options could be predicted more accurately. Secondly, we will develop routes for secondary level students and for the needs of working life. In addition, we will develop guidance and advice services related to these routes. Open University studies give students an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and eligibility for university studies.

Alternative path to university is a higher education development project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland. The project includes 11 universities and around 30 subjects.

Partners: University of Jyväskylä, Aalto University, University of Eastern Finland, University of Helsinki, University of the Arts Helsinki, University of Lapland, University of Tampere, University of Turku, University of Oulu, University of Vaasa, Åbo Akademi University.
Time: 1 August 2018 – 31 December 2020
Financer: Ministry of Education and Culture of Finland

Further information:  Project website and Paula Savela, Project Manager, paula.savela(a)

European Short Learning Programmes (E-SLP) for continuous professional development and lifelong learningeSLP_Logo1_72dpi.jpg

Developing a new European education concept for adult students

Target: This project develops and pilots a new kind of education concept that is directed for European adult students. The duration of the education is shorter than in current degrees (5–60 ECTS credits), it can be completed as distance studies alongside work, and the studies may constitute a part of a larger degree. The goal is to raise the educational level of adults and respond to the needs of the business world in flexible ways.

Partners: Twelve universities, specialised in distance and online teaching, and two national organisations from thirteen European countries. The project is coordinated by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU).
Time: 1 January 2018–31 December 2020
Financer: ERASMUS+, Initiatives for Policy Innovation - European Forward-Looking Cooperation Projects
More Information: Project website 

Further information: Päivi Kananen (project contact person), paivi.kananen(a), and researcher Virpi Uotinen, virpi.uotinen(a)   



Adaptive Trust-based e-assessment System for Learning

The European Commission has approved the TeSLA project (Adaptive Trust-based e-assessment System for Learning) to define and develop an e-assessment system to authenticate students and identify the authorship for learning activities on both, partially or wholly online learning environments.

The aim of TeSLA is to improve the online assessment process by introducing tools and resources in learning activities that gather data that enable students to be authenticated and identified. By means of this innovative online assessment system, TeSLA opens up new opportunities for educational institutions. The universities involved in the project will undertake a series of large-scale pilot tests with over 14,000 students from all over Europe, respecting social and cultural differences, guaranteeing equal opportunities and providing an inclusive solution.

The TeSLA consortium is made up of 18 organizations that are experts in different knowledge and research areas across Europe. The project is funded under the EU Horizon 2020 programme with a consortium budget of 7 million euros in three years and it has started in January 2016.

The project leader at the University of Jyväskylä is Tarja Ladonlahti, the pedagogical head of the Open University. Within the University of Jyväskylä, the Open University participates in technology testing with IT Services. The coordinator of the consortium is the Open University of Catalonia.

The project will offer a free standard version of the online assessment system for educational institutions and a professional commercial version for distribution on the international market. 

More information:

Tarja Ladonlahti,