Equality and diversity at the University of Oulu

The purpose of work on equality and diversity is to promote equality and prevent discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, country of origin, language, disability or other similar factors. Equality also includes accessibility. Being different must not lead to inequality; the aim is fairness that recognises and acknowledges diversity.

Work on equality is built on ethical and legal foundations, and the realisation of equality and diversity can be identified in all human interactions and treatment.

The University of Oulu is committed to promote equality and diversity in all its operations

The goal of the equality and diversity work carried out at the University of Oulu is to promote equal and nondiscriminative treatment of the employees and the students and in addition, to prevent discrimination and to handle any flaws. Diversity between the members of a community and gender equality have to be a key principle in all operations done at the University.

The University of Oulu is committed to promoting equality and diversity in the work environment, research activities, researcher training, studies, and teaching. The aim is that

  • we have an inclusive and accessible work community where diversity has many aspects, everyone feels a sense of belonging, and where there is a culture of appreciation and trust.
  • the personnel policies and work culture account for equality and accessibility principles by default, thereby promoting inclusion and non-discrimination
  • the education is attainable from a variety of backgrounds and communication for applicants is clear
  • the diversity in teaching and assessment methods, availability of counselling services, and an atmosphere of understanding and acceptance for different learners enable inclusion and non-discrimination for students

The promotion of equality and diversity is the collective responsibility of the entire university community and based on the Equality Act and the Non-discrimination Act.


    • I get acquainted with the equality and non-discrimination plan of the University of Oulu, and I will get trained and acquire information about equality and non-discrimination.
    • I take care of gender equality when appointing student and staff group representatives to work groups.
    • I am aware that gender diversity is part of the University of Oulu.
    • I take care of equal distribution of work responsibilities between those doing hybrid, remote and in-office work.
    • As a man, I’ll take my paternity and parental leaves and participate in taking care of a sick child.
    • I encourage men to take their paternity and parental leaves and to take part in the care of a sick child.
    • I get acquainted with the language policy program and implement it in my own work.
    • I have zero tolerance for bullying and harassment.

    Everyone has a duty to prevent bullying and harassment!

    Organisation of equality and diversity work at the University of Oulu

    • The University management promotes and monitors the realisation of the equality and diversity plan.
    • The Equality and Diversity Committee develops and provides information about equality and diversity matters, in addition to being primarily responsible for the development and monitoring of accessibility work related to equality.
    • The three Faculty Equality and Diversity Workgroups develop operating methods and structures that can be applied to equality and diversity work throughout the University. In addition to this, the workgroups also conduct accessibility work.
    • The Student Union and the student societies operating under it promote students’ awareness of equality and diversity matters.
    • Equality and diversity matters are also related to the duties of the labour protection organisation and the student welfare workgroup, among others. Gender equality board awards a yearly gender equality and diversity prize on the grounds of received nominations.

    More information

    Equality and Diversity Plan

    Our equality and diversity work is based on University of Oulu Equality and Diversity Plan (pdf) which includes objectives and measures for the period 2022–2023.

    The University of Oulu has developed a comprehensive accessibility plan for the years 2023–2024 (pdf) as part of the work on promoting equality. The plan has been added as an appendix to the University of Oulu Equality and Diversity Plan 2022–2023: The accessibility plan has made use of the Ministry of Education and Culture's publication (publication in Finnish: Kohti saavutettavampaa korkeakoulututusta ja korkeakoulua). The plan describes the current accessibility situation and future objectives, as well as the means to achieve them. The main priorities of the plan are to improve the accessibility of student admission and studies at the University of Oulu. Other development targets include the accessibility of work community, international mobility, university services such as facilities, library, UniMove sports services and digital services.

    Equality and diversity committee

    Chair of the Committee: Vice Rector for Research Taina Pihlajaniemi
    Secretary: DEI expert Taina Cooke

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