Equality, diversity and accessibility
We are committed to promoting equality and preventing discrimination in all our operations. The goal of the University of Helsinki Equality Plan is to support the creation of a healthy studying and working environment.
Equal­ity status at the University of Helsinki

The University has conducted extensive and systematic surveys and reports. The surveys and reports have taken into account different staff groups and students, and the entire university community has been informed of their results using various information channels. Overall, it can be stated that the University’s various institutions consider work for equality and non-discrimination to be very important.

Equal­ity plan 2021-2024

Unfortunately, the new Equality and Diversity Plan 2021-2024 is currently available only in Finnish. The plan will be published in English when the translation is complete.

Equal­ity plan 2019-2020

This Equality Plan 2019–2020 is an updated and revised version of the 2017–2018 plan. The University of Helsinki Equality Plan features both HR policy and operative objectives for promoting various forms of equality at the University of Helsinki as a workplace and an educational institution. The Plan includes objectives and measures for the two-year period 2019–2020.

The plan covers also an assessment of the gender equality situation in the workplace, including details of the employment of women and men in different jobs and a pay survey on the whole personnel presenting the classifications of jobs performed by women and men, the pay for those jobs and the differences in pay.

Special attention is be given to pupil or student selection, the organisation of teaching, learning differences and the evaluation of study performance, and to measures to ensure the prevention and elimination of sexual harassment and gender-based harassment.

Fo­cus areas and meas­ures 2019–2020

Here you can find the focus areas and measures 2019–2020. Please find the pdf-file of the whole plan below.

Pro­mo­tion of lead­er­ship work

  • Cooperation with administrative bodies and supervisors
  • Equality liaison network
  • Communications plan
  • Equality lecture recordings
  • Pay survey development
  • Review of the cooperation process
  • Age equality
  • Workplace wellbeing survey

The University will create videos in which experts lecture on topical equality and non-discrimination issues. Whenever possible, these lectures will be interactive, and they will be added to the University’s UniTube series on equality. A partial goal is also to increase a collegial sense of community. The intention is to turn these lectures into a permanent practice and to use them in new employee orientation and supervisor training.

Pro­mo­tion of well­being

  • Workplace wellbeing survey
  • Anonymous examinations
  • Training session on challenging supervision and teaching situations
  • Degree programmes
  • Accessible communications
  • Recognition of gender diversity

The University of Helsinki conducts the biennial workplace wellbeing survey aimed at all Finnish universities. The survey also takes into account the perspective of equality. As a part of the measures to be taken, the University will ensure that the survey continues to include questions or statements focused on this perspective and particularly on inappropriate behaviour.

Pro­mo­tion of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism

  • Multicultural awareness
  • LERU’s Gender Working Group
  • Language practices
  • Multi-faith prayer rooms

One of the objectives of the University of Helsinki Strategic Plan 2017–2020 is to be “a creative, international environment for learning and top-level research”. In accordance with the Strategic Plan, uniform language practices (e.g., relating to the language of meetings and communications as well as the spoken language used in everyday activities) will be promoted across units in the 2019–2020 period to ensure that no one feels left out or chooses not to participate because they are not proficient in the language used. However, the University must also ensure that those who are not proficient in either Finnish or the other languages used do not feel left out. Internationalisation-at-home must also be encouraged.



The University of Helsinki strives to enhance its services, facilities and operations so that they will be accessible to all. The University complies with the principles of equality, non-discrimination and inclusion. Inclusion means including everyone as a matter of course, so that everyone can participate equally in any activity.

At present, the level of accessibility is good with regard to physical disabilities, and each new project or renovation at the University aims to further enhance accessibility. An accessible environment does not differentiate between people based on their ability to move and function. In an accessible environment, everyone can function equally well, regardless of factors relating to eyesight, hearing, mobility, age or other personal characteristics.

Pro­mo­tion of ac­cess­ib­il­ity

The various needs of people with disabilities must be considered in all planning as part of the diversity of humanity. This entails the removal of all barriers, whether physical obstacles, prejudiced attitudes or hindrances to communication. The University offers support for disabled students and employees in integrating into the academic community and in acquiring the necessary aids and learning materials. An employee may, together with the head of the unit, explore possibilities for special arrangements and for their implementation. The University provides academic guidance, including guidance regarding special examination arrangements or substitution of studies. Guidance and advice are also available to the teaching staff and the non-academic staff.

As part of the public administration sector, the University complies with the Web Accessibility Directive of the EU: “The promotion of accessibility plays a key role in the digitalisation of public administration services. Accessibility here means that web pages and mobile applications as well as their content are such that they can be used and understood by everyone.” (Source of the Finnish-language quotation: Ministry of Finance)

Equal­ity and di­versity com­mit­tee

The University’s Equality and Diversity Committee is a body under the Vice-Rector, featuring the whole spectrum of the University community. The members of the Committee are appointed to include representatives of different genders, all staff groups of the University, students, and members of the University community of different ages as well as groups with particular insight or experience regarding equality issues. The duties of the Committee are to

  • Promote the achievement of the objectives outlined in the Act on Equality between Women and Men and the Non-Discrimination Act, monitor the development of equality at the University and report on it;
  • Influence the University community so as to strengthen pro-equality attitudes, opinions and structures at the University; and
  • Prepare an equality plan as specified in the Act on Equality between Women and Men and the Non-Discrimination Act.

During this term, the chair of the Committee is Vice-Rector Tom Böhling and the secretary is Equality Adviser Timo Valtonen. All equality questions may be addressed to tasa-arvovastaava@helsinki.fi.

Published on
6 days 8 hours ago