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Finnish accessibility plan for higher education

The accessibility plan for Finnish higher education has been published this month. The plan reviews how social, regional and linguistic equality is realised in Finnish higher education. While the plan presents both objectives and policies for promoting accessibility for everyone in higher education, it is focusing more specifically for under-represented population groups and minority groups.

Based on background research and international comparison, the plan describes the state of accessibility of higher education in Finland and presents 38 goals promoting accessibility, inclusion and diversity. Some of the goals are to include the accessibility of higher education in the Universities Act and the Universities of Applied Sciences Act along with all Finnish higher education institutions producing their own accessibility plan, which are to be integrated into the steering system of higher education institutions.

Other objectives presented in the plan are related, for example, to supporting students during studies, study and career guidance, student selection, teacher education and continuous learning. Objectives are also set for the engagement and competence development among personnel and students, elimination of discrimination, harassment and racism and promotion of well-being. In addition to increasing accessibility, targets concerning underrepresented groups, such as those with immigrant backgrounds as well as people with disabilities, have also been set.

Indicators will be produced to monitor and evaluate progress on the set goals. National accessibility forum will draw up a detailed implementation plan to support the implementation of the accessibility plan.