University of Eastern Finland awarded quality label – developing an open quality culture through long-term quality work

Higher education Sara Juntunen

The University of Eastern Finland has been awarded a quality label in an audit conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC). The label will be valid for six years, from 21 April 2017. The quality system at the university meets the national criteria for quality management at higher education institutions and it is also in line with European principles and recommendations.

According to the audit team, the University of Eastern Finland has been developing its quality system on a long-term basis.  In this work, the university has made successful use of internal audits and bench learning. These efforts have prompted the university to introduce systematic quality management procedures, which have helped to consolidate the quality work and contributed to a participatory quality culture. In fact, compared with the previous audit carried out six years ago, the quality system is now more effective.

The student-centred approach is a strength but the University of Eastern Finland could engage its stakeholders more effectively in the development of education

According to its mission, the University of Eastern Finland is an international, multidisciplinary and student-centred higher education institution. In the opinion of the audit team, there is still room for improvement in the way in which such key strategic concepts as the student-centred approach and internationalisation are interpreted in the organisation and this interpretation should also be communicated more effectively to all stakeholders. The audit team urges the university to provide its staff with more training that encourages all members of the university community to adopt a more unified interpretation of the key strategic concepts.

The audit team also found that there should be more focus on societal impact and regional development work: the university is encouraged to develop a more strategic perspective on its stakeholder relations. This would help small and medium-size companies operating in the region to become more international and would integrate international students in the region.

– We found many examples of functional quality work in the university. Teachers share information in internal audits and in the Oppitupa, which are significant for adopting new teaching methods. The university community values stakeholder contacts but they are often based on personal inputs. It became clear during the audit visit that stakeholders have a strong commitment to the university and quality management could provide more tools for this work, explains Timo Aarrevaara, Professor of Administrative Sciences at the University of Lapland who chaired the audit team.

Read the audit report of the University of Eastern Finland.

For more details, please contact:
Timo Aarrevaara, chair of the audit team,, tel. +358 40 484 4267
Marja-Liisa Saarilammi, Senior Advisor, Finnish Education Evaluation Centre,, tel. +358 29 533 5528