First-ever Quality Label for Excellence in higher education awarded to JAMK University of Applied Sciences

Higher education suvialatalo

JAMK University of Applied Sciences has demonstrated that it possesses an innovative and pioneering spirit, an approach that focuses on long-term development and a participatory operating culture. This is why it has now been awarded the first-ever Quality Label for Excellence in higher education. In the audit, the institution was granted the level excellent in the evaluation area HEI enhances quality and well-being.

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) awards the Quality Label for Excellence to audited higher education institutions for their commitment to enhancement work of exceptionally high quality. The Higher Education Evaluation Committee may decide to award the Quality Label for Excellence to higher education institutions to which the level excellent has been granted in at least one of the three evaluation areas (HEI creates competence, HEI promotes impact and renewal, and HEI enhances quality and well-being).

JAMK’s participatory development work that highlights good everyday practices impressed the panel

JAMK has with its long-term enhancement and development work managed to create an original quality system that supports its strategic goals and also responds to the challenges in its operating environment. It has conducted quality work particularly by enabling matters, and innovative procedures for sharing ideas, support for the staff and goal-oriented building of an expert culture have played an important role.

An important merit has also been the central role given to the perspective of everyday activities: quality work is part of both everyday leadership and everyday work. The quality culture permeates the entire higher education community from the board of directors to the leadership of the units and to staff and students. External stakeholders are also engaged. JAMK has succeeded in involving different actors in the development and evaluation, and it effectively communicates information on its development and enhancement work.

– We are very pleased about this acknowledgement. It is a reward for the development work we have done for more than 20 years. Quality is a vital issue for a higher education institution in the recruitment of both students and staff, and it is also often asked about in international contexts. Continuous everyday work and everyone’s commitment are required to maintain it. I am very satisfied with how well the quality culture has been internalised as part of the strategic activities at JAMK and that students have also adopted it. For example, the central role of quality work in induction and tutoring activities has played an important part in this. We value this acknowledgement very highly, Jussi Halttunen, Rector of JAMK, summarises his feelings.

A higher education institution with the quality label must have a positive impact on its surroundings 

In addition to the criteria for the level excellent, the evaluation panel deciding on the award of the Quality Label for Excellence also pays attention to the institution’s ability to benefit the region surrounding it. When the Quality Label for Excellence is awarded, the evaluation focuses on the following criteria:

  • The higher education institution is an innovative forerunner and develops its operations in a bold and open-minded manner.
  • The higher education institution has top level expertise in long-term development, and it can provide strong evidence of the impact of its development and enhancement activities.
  • The higher education institution has a positive impact on its surroundings. The higher education institution is known for engaging a wide range of actors in its development and enhancement activities and for crossing borders in an open-minded manner.

– The introduction of the Quality Label for Excellence indicates that the quality work of Finnish higher education institutions has become firmly established in the institutions’ everyday work. The quality label shows that the community receiving it has developed its quality work so that it is also an encouraging example to other actors and, at the same time, challenges them to assess and develop their own work and find new operating models, explains Professor Anne Kumpula, chairman of the evaluation panel.


The Quality Label for Excellence is valid for the same six-year period as the Quality Label awarded in FINEEC’s audit. The acknowledgement will be awarded for the first time in spring 2021. In future, Quality Labels for Excellence will be awarded annually.

In addition to JAMK University of Applied Sciences, also South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) and Novia University of Applied Sciences were nominated as candidates for the Quality Label for Excellence with the level excellent granted in the evaluation area HEI enhances quality and well-being.

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