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Students at Minerva.

Sisu will replace WebOodi in March 2021. What should students know in autumn 2020? 

The WebOodi system of academic administration, used at the University of Helsinki for the past 20 years, is reaching the end of its lifecycle. Stepping up to replace it is the Sisu system, which many students are already familiar with as a study planning tool. The actual transition from WebOodi to Sisu will take place in March 2021.

One of the most visible changes to students is that that they must plan their studies before registering for teaching. In practice, they must first add a course to their study plan and then register for the course. However, the planning and timetabling of studies does not mean that the selection of studies available will be reduced. All the courses offered by the University of Helsinki can also be found in Sisu.

The purpose of the study plan is to help students keep up to date on their progress and portray in a visual format which studies they have completed and which studies they must still complete for their degree. After March 2021, Sisu will be used not only for planning, timetabling and registering for studies, but also for applying for the transfer of credits completed elsewhere and for submitting graduation requests.

Students will receive information on the changes brought about by the staged deployment of Sisu over the course of the current academic year. The University will offer continuous support, training and instructions relating to the use of Sisu. The majority of the training sessions will be organised in the spring term.

Gradual transfer to Sisu:

  • Most degree programmes have already begun to use Sisu for study planning, with more than 20,000 study plans created so far.
  • By March 2021, all degree students will use Sisu to create study plans. Detailed instructions and technical support will be provided for the planning in the autumn and spring. Students graduating before the end of the transition period (18 December 2020) in accordance with the old degree requirements need not devise a study plan for the degree in question. However, students completing a bachelor’s degree during the transition period in accordance with the old degree requirements and continuing to pursue a master’s degree in a degree programme based on the new degree requirements must devise a study plan by March 2021. 
  • The technical transfer to the new system will take place in March 2021, when WebOodi is decommissioned. However, course registrations for the 2020–2021 academic year will primarily be done in WebOodi. Sisu will be widely in use at the beginning of the 2021–2022 academic year.   
  • The development of Sisu will continue after March, and new features will be introduced. In the spring, Sisu will only contain the essential features of WebOodi, so there is no need to worry if you cannot immediately find in Sisu all the features you are familiar with from WebOodi. 

Why Sisu?

Sisu (Student Information System for Universities) has been developed as of 2013 by six Finnish universities. They decided to create their own system because the ones on the market did not meet all their needs. Sisu has already been deployed by the University of Jyväskylä and Tampere University, and the Lappeenranta–Lahti University of Technology LUT will follow suit in autumn 2020. This means that the University of Helsinki will be able to use the experiences of these universities in deploying the system and that the system it will introduce in the spring will be a more advanced version.    

The aim of the reform is to replace the previous WebOodi system and provide students with a modern user interface for planning and managing their studies. Thanks to Sisu, students will have a clearer path to follow from the commencement of studies to graduation, as well as smoother access to digital services. For teachers, Sisu will offer a platform for guiding and supervising students, a visual outline of degree structures and curricula, and a feature enabling them to give personal feedback.  

Frequently asked questions about Sisu

How have students been able to influence the system features?

The development of Sisu is highly student-oriented. The University of Helsinki has used the Sisu study planning tool since 2017 and has collected feedback and development proposals from students. Students can continue to have their say on the further development of Sisu after the system is deployed in March. They can, for example, submit feedback to sisu-info@helsinki.fi.  

Will Sisu restrict students' academic freedom? Can students continue to select courses freely, as they have done in WebOodi?

Sisu contains all the courses offered by the University of Helsinki. Students can add courses to their plan based on the curriculum for their degree programme. In other words, students can continue to register for the optional studies offered by other degree programmes. The only difference is that they must first add the optional studies to their study plan. Students can always update their study plan to include the courses they wish to register for.  

Can we expect challenges relating to the deployment of Sisu?

The system to be deployed by the University of Helsinki will be a more advanced version than the one deployed earlier by the University of Jyväskylä and Tampere University. The University of Helsinki will have access to the experiences and user feedback of other universities, which will also help it prepare for challenges. The transition to the new system has been carefully prepared behind the scenes, and possible challenges have been identified. However, a major change of systems in an organisation the size of the University of Helsinki may always involve surprises.

Transitioning to a new system also means changes to existing practices, which has been taken into account in the preparations. In many areas, the new system will do automatically what used to be done by hand or in several systems. As Sisu develops into a more sophisticated system, some of the resources of academic administration staff will be freed up and can be used for supporting students and teachers. 

Why is information on my right to study not displayed in Sisu?

Information will be updated in Sisu at a delay as long as WebOodi is still in use. Information on the right to study granted to new students will be updated in Sisu at the beginning of the academic year, before which time they can check the latest information in WebOodi. This delay does not prevent students from creating their study plans.

Why is the information on my right to study incorrect in Sisu?

Incorrect information on the right to study is usually caused by differences between the new and old systems, which may lead to errors in data transfers. Such errors do not affect your actual right to study at the University of Helsinki nor do they prevent you from using your study plan. Information on the right to study should be checked in WebOodi.

I am trying to create a new study plan in Sisu, but the system offers me no options. How can I view my study plan?

Typically, the system offers a template based on your primary right to study, but this will not occur until the details of new students have been transferred to Sisu. However, this does not prevent you from creating a study plan because you can add one yourself. For details, please see the Instructions for Students website.

What do I use Sisu and WebOodi for?

You should use Sisu to devise your study plan, and WebOodi to register for courses until February 2021. The University will provide extensive information to students well in advance when Sisu will begin to be used for registration.

I am still studying in accordance with the old degree structure. How should I use Sisu?

Those graduating by the end of the transition period (18 December) in accordance with the old degree structure need not create a study plan in Sisu. Students transferring to a new degree programme must create a study plan in Sisu by March 2021. The same is true of students graduating in autumn and transferring to continue their studies in a master’s programme. Transferring students will receive information in the autumn on how and when to devise their study plan.

Useful links

We are currently putting together a set of frequently asked questions and instructions concerning Sisu. Questions, ideas and concerns relating to Sisu and its deployment can be sent to user support at sisu-info@helsinki.fi.