In our diverse university where equality is valued, everyone can be themselves in their work and studies. This page contains information on the work of the University of Eastern Finland on gender equality and equal opportunities, on the accessibility of digital services, on accessible studies at the university, and on the accessibility of the physical facilities. Identifying and eliminating obstacles is a shared and continuous process that aims to ensure that gender equality, equal opportunities, and accessibility are realised for everyone in the operating environment.
Main development targets related to accessibility in 2023 and 2024 include developing counselling and student well-being, promoting an equal study environment and organising the monitoring and development of accessibility. You can find out more about the targets in the accessibility plan below.
Gender equality and equal opportunities
At the University of Eastern Finland, the aim of the work related to gender equality and equal opportunities is to identify and prevent expressions, structures, and functions that maintain or enhance inequality, as well as to enhance gender equality and equal opportunities at all levels of the university. The work related to gender equality and equal opportunities is based on legislation and the values of the university.
The University of Eastern Finland has an Equality Committee, which includes representatives of the staff associations, the Student Union, and the employer. The Equality Committee has prepared a gender equality and equal opportunities plan, which describes the current situation of gender equality and equal opportunities at the university and the measures taken to implement and promote gender equality and equal opportunities among the staff and the students.
The University of Eastern Finland is an accessible studying and working environment.
Accessibility refers to a physical, mental and social environment where everyone, regardless of their personal characteristics, can act and interact equally with others.
We do not tolerate discrimination, harassment or bullying.
Discrimination is defined as the different treatment of an individual or a group of people on the basis of his/her or their background. Harassment and inappropriate treatment refer to behaviour that violates the law, agreements or good manners.
Students are treated equally at all stages of their study path.
This is sought to be achieved by, e.g., introducing electronic entrance examinations, developing the university's learning environments and taking students' individual needs into consideration.
Staff members are treated equally and they have equal opportunities.
This is sought to be achieved by investigating and introducing various measures that support and encourage women's career advancement, and by making sure that the division of responsibilities and career advancement are based on skills, achievements and equal distribution of workloads.
The Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Plan is a public document signed by the university’s Rector, and it is available on the public website of the University of Eastern Finland.
Resources have been allocated to work promoting gender equality
The University of Eastern Finland has a Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Committee, which comprises representatives of the staff associations, the Student Union, and the employer. In addition, the University of Eastern Finland has two designated contact persons for equality-related matters. Students and staff can easily turn to them in all issues related to gender equality. Taking gender equality into account is also central to the promotion of diversity at the university.
Collection and monitoring of data relating to gender equality
Statistics relating to gender, pay equality, career development and the use of family leaves are monitored, for example, in the annual human resources statement and in statistics discussed by the Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Committee.
Training and competence development
The objective of the University of Eastern Finland is to increase the awareness and competence of its staff and students relating to gender equality, equal opportunities and diversity. Training is provided both for the entire staff, and as targeted training for different groups, such as supervisors.
In addition to the mandatory GEP criteria, the University of Eastern Finland takes into account the European Commission’s Gender Equality Plan recommendations in the development of its work relating to gender equality and equal opportunities. These recommendations include:
- balance between work and leisure time
- gender equality in management and decision-making
- gender equality in recruitment and career development
- incorporating the gender perspective into research and education
- measures to combat gender-based violence, including sexual harassment.
University of Eastern Finland, Philosophical Faculty
Director of Human Resources and Staff Well-being
University Services, Human Resources Services
Accessibility of digital services
Accessible digital services are an important part of equality. Accessible websites and mobile services ensure that all users have access to the contents offered by the university. UEF’s digital services include, for example, the university’s website and services related to studying and research presentation. The Act on the Provision of Digital Services obliges universities to implement digital services in an accessible manner, similar to other authorities.
University’s digital services are being developed constantly to enhance their accessibility through expert work and automated tools. The training of content producers has a key role in enhancing accessibility, as contents are being developed for the various digital services by a large number of people. Accessibility statements of online services contain up-to-date information on the accessibility of each service and instructions for providing feedback related to accessibility.
Accessibility in Studies
At the university, accessibility concerns all students and staff members; however, it is of particular importance to those members of the academic community who have a disability or a temporary or permanent challenge. Observing accessibility in the planning of teaching and individual arrangements in studies helps all students and staff members. For some, it is a prerequisite for being able to study. Special attention should be paid to accessibility in the planning and implementation of teaching as regards the facilities, equipment, and other arrangements.
At the University of Eastern Finland, the accessibility of studying and teaching is developed as part of the development of learning environments.
Physical accessibility or accessibility to all of the environment means that a person using a wheelchair can move in the facilities without difficulties, for example. A large part of the university’s facilities are accessible to all and can be used by people with different disabilities. The campuses have accessible parking, and accessibility has also been observed in the design of the outdoor routes, e.g., in their structural solutions and winter maintenance.
The accessibility of UEF’s facilities is enhanced, e.g., by the accessibility ramps found at the main entrances, handicap push buttons, coat racks with storage at accessible heights, and the braille buttons of lifts. All buildings except for Haltia have lifts and accessible toilets. The largest lecture rooms have induction loops, and there are also portable loop systems available where needed.