SAMK’s double degrees open doors to the world
At SAMK, it is possible to complete a double degree in some fields. This means that a student can obtain a degree from both SAMK and one of its partner higher education institutions.
Eva Nefen, Director international MBA office GSRN, Ayesha Khan, Katharina Avellino and Prof. Dr. Andreas Gissel, Program Director in Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society on the night Ayesha and Katharina graduated and received their diplomas.
SAMK offers a double degree in both international bachelor’s and master’s programmes in business administration. For example, there has been a long-term cooperation with the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society in Germany on the Master’s degree in Business Administration.
– The design of double degrees starts with higher education institutions comparing their curricula. If they are close enough and of equally high quality, they can start to develop a double degree together,” says Salla Lehtonen, Head of Teaching.
– Higher education curricula should be sufficiently similar, but also different, i.e. complementary, to ensure that students benefit from the whole.
Salla Lehtonen has been involved in the whole process, from the design of the double degrees to the practical implementation. Cooperation between higher education institutions is close and, for example, theses can be done under the joint guidance of the higher education institutions.
The content of the double degree has also been continuously developed according to needs. For example, the Master’s degree which is currently offered as a double degree is focused on sustainability and responsibility.
– The degree programme in Sustainable Business Management has attracted a lot of interest. Sustainable business management is the number one topic in the world,” says Salla Lehtonen.
She sees the importance of double degrees growing in the future.
– I hope this will increase. There have been a lot of people coming to SAMK in particular.
The studies of the degrees are interlinked
A few years ago, Ayesha Khan, who works full-time for a leasing company, was inspired by the opportunity to study online for a Master’s degree in Business Administration at Ludwigshafen. For Ayesha Khan, who has a family and works full-time, it was the only study option.
Originally from Pakistan, Ayesha Khan says she started studying for a double degree because she wanted to advance her career. She has been living in Germany already for twenty years. It had been a long time since her previous degree, so she felt it was time to upgrade her skills.
– I heard about the double degree and felt it was a great opportunity. Of course, I knew it would mean extra work, but I stayed to think about it. I found out more about SAMK and then decided to take the opportunity,” she says.
– And I certainly don’t regret it. This definitely pays off, even if you are already working. Of course, you have to sacrifice weekends sometimes, but it’s worth it,” she adds.
The timing of the semesters in the partner countries was different, which sometimes posed a challenge. Teaching methods and subjects also differed.
– In Ludwigshafen, the focus was particularly on management issues. At SAMK, the focus was specifically on entrepreneurship studies and the approach was more practical. However, all studies were interlinked.
– If my children ever consider this possibility, I would certainly recommend it to them,” she says.
A journey through the double degree challenged and rewarded
Katharina Avellino, also a double degree graduate from Germany, works in logistics. She has lived in several countries, so internationality is part of her everyday life. However, she says that studying has been challenging.
– Completing two degrees was time-consuming. The approaches of the higher education institutions were quite different, so it brought its own challenges to the studies. For example, SAMK had more independent study than Ludwigshafen.
However, she says she has always received support when she needed it. She felt that the two degrees complemented each other well.
– Even though there were similarities, I still didn’t feel like I had heard of this before. Everything we learned complemented each other,” she says.
Although there were challenges, she never thought of giving up. She says she learned a lot not only professionally, but also personally and made new friends.
– I am open-minded and like to challenge myself. It was also a great opportunity to get a degree in Finland, the higher education of which is valued worldwide.
– Never before would I have imagined that I would one day have a master’s degree from a Finnish higher education institution,” she laughs.
SAMK offers the possibility to complete double degrees in different fields. For example, in the degree programme in Sustainable Business Management (Master’s degree), it is possible to complete a double degree at the Ludwigshafen University of Business and Society in Germany. The studies are conducted entirely online.
The degree programme in International Business (Bachelor’s degree) offers a double degree at EPHEC University College in Belgium or IDRAC Business School in France. The double-degree students spend one academic year at a partner higher education institution.