News 2022

Quality label granted to the University of Lapland – our culture of communality, digipedagogy, and stakeholder collaboration considered as strengths


The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) audited our quality system on the 2nd and 3rd of December 2021. By decision of the Higher Education Evaluation Committee on 16 February 2022, the University of Lapland has been awarded a quality label for a period of six years.

Our quality system and strategy are headed in the same direction

Based on the audit, the strategy of the University of Lapland and its implementation plan form a clear and coherent basis for our quality system. Scientific and artistic activities are influential in the areas of our three strategic choices. Our inclusive strategy process and joint quality assurance work characterise our transparent quality culture in a positive way. The audit also backs up the renewal of the university’s management system. Constructing LUC services and streamlining their quality management received positive attention.

“The renewal of the management system and the development of LUC services generate and support communality and more consistent operating principles in our various fields of operation,” notes Rector Antti Syväjärvi.

“The audit provides an excellent basis for continuing the development and systematisation of our quality management,” says Satu Uusiautti, the vice-rector for education and person in charge of quality assurance.

According to the audit, one of the strengths of the university is in fact our communal and experiential operating culture, especially the close interaction between our students and teachers. Strong student-centredness and inclusiveness were also clearly visible in our operations and development. Cross-disciplinary cooperation between teaching and research personnel and extensive student participation at various levels of activity were highly commended in the audit report.

“Communality has in fact been established as our speciality in many studies, but based on our experiences during the pandemic, there is all the more reason to keep investing in it,” Syväjärvi confirms.

Science, art, and education in interaction with society

The University of Lapland has been a leader in the development of online teaching and learning by enabling quality learning regardless of one’s location already for a long time. We also have successfully met the challenges of online teaching in the corona situation and supported the personnel in developing digital instruction. According to the audit group, the content of teaching has been relevant and timely.

The quality of scientific activity was also deemed good. The responsible conduct of research is an integral part of the quality system of our research. Our research, development, and innovation activities are systematic and well-organised, and the support services function remarkably well. The University of Lapland extensively promotes open science.

The audit report emphasises that the university is a significant actor in the region. We enthusiastically engage in flexible stakeholder collaboration.

“Interacting with and influencing society is a distinct part of our operation, the most noticeable examples of which are our international Arctic networks and close regional collaboration,” says Syväjärvi.

An elective evaluation target in the audit was the integration of project and research collaboration into the study programme of visual arts education. Education in visual art education was considered a crown jewel that outstandingly combines artistic activity with teaching and research.

Processing and utilisation of the results

The results of the audit are utilised in the development of our functions and services. Regarding the salient targets of development, the report recommended the enhancement and diversification of our external and internal communication and the methodic development of our feedback system, which are also advanced by the peer-learning process carried out in the audit.

“The audit group’s feedback is instructive and inspiring. It convinces us that our several ongoing development processes are headed in the right direction,” sums up Quality Manager Hanna Marttiini.

The audit process itself lasted roughly two years and involved a large number of personnel and students. The quality assurance work continues after the audit and concerns us all.

“We value quality at the University of Lapland. I wish to extend my gratitude to everyone for your contribution,” says Uusiautti.

The results of the audit are examined at a joint closing seminar taking place on 15 March between 10:00 and 11:45. The results are presented by Tapio Määttä, chair of the audit group (University of Eastern Finland) and auditing specialist Mira Huusko, project manager of the audit.

Further information:

Hanna Marttiini
Quality Manager
hanna.marttiini(at), 040 484 4277

Satu Uusiautti
Vice-rector for Education, Quality assurance
satu.uusiautti(at), 040 484 4150

The audit report is available on FINEEC’s audit platform.
FINEEC bulletin
Quality management at the University of Lapland