The new academic year has begun in universities around Finland.
Like many other societal actors, universities are currently very concerned about racism, polarization, the intensification of public discourse, and the way in which our society based on equality and non-discrimination is being challenged.
Universities do not accept discrimination or racism in any form.
Universities are open and diverse communities and key drivers of internationalisation in our society. Our goal is for universities to be safe and non-discriminating environments. We are committed to promoting equality and inclusion and preventing discrimination in all our operations. We strive to identify and remove practices and structures that produce and maintain inequality. Research on racism, interpersonal relationships and societal trends from many perspectives is conducted at universities, and this expertise is available to our society as a whole.
Universities openly recognise that they are part of structural racism. According to a recent study, it is more difficult for ethnic minorities in Finnish higher education institutions to advance their career than for the majority population. Additionally, members of teaching and research staff belonging to ethnic minorities experience discrimination and non-inclusiveness in the work culture. Universities must work more decisively to ensure that all students and staff feel welcome in the university community and that it is easy to come and study or work in Finland. We must also listen to those members of our community who face racism and discrimination and taken into consideration their experiences to address the issues. Hate speech must be addressed through systematic action and cooperation. There is still much to do.
Our attitudes toward other people ultimately determine the direction in which our society will develop. Together with the rest of society, universities build broad-based civic education, which is the foundation of an open, equal and democratic society.
- Chair of Unifi, Rector Jukka Kola, 029 450 5050
- Interim Executive Director of Unifi, Jenni Koistinen 050 550 6122