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TAMK is preparing for the Top Athlete-Friendly Higher Education Institution audit

Published on 3.5.2024
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Anniina Murto ja Ronny Bränkärr harjoituksissaan Kalevan uintikeskuksella uima-altaassa.
TAMKin huippu-uimarit Anniina Murto ja Ronny Brännkärr.
Tampere University of Applied Sciences will participate in the Olympic Committee's Top Athlete-Friendly Higher Education Institution audit in 2024. The aim of the quality model is to improve the conditions for elite and professional athletes to complete higher education studies while supporting their development in sports.

One of the objectives of the Olympic Committee's strategy for 2021–2024 is to create a quality model for higher education institutions that are favourable to top athletes. The quality model has been built during 2021–2022 in cooperation with the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC). TAMK applied for the process together with Tampere Sports Academy, with which TAMK also has a cooperation agreement on enabling dual careers for academy athletes.

Assessment areas and quality factors

The quality factors of a top-level athlete-friendly higher education institution form six thematic areas: study support for athletes, building flexible study paths, recognition of competence acquired in sports as part of studies and study modules tailored for athletes, transition measures, communication and cooperation with the Sports Academy and the Olympic Committee, and support for sports. The evaluation examines the realisation of quality factors as part of the school's existing education and competence development processes, operating methods and practices.

Audit group

The Olympic Committee has appointed the members of TAMK's audit team so that the group includes representatives from the field of higher education, elite sports and dual career work, as well as student athletes. The audit team must also have evaluation and research expertise. The members of the group are as follows:

  • Anna Kirjavainen, RDI expert/Urhea, Chair
  • Sini Forsblom, Communications and Marketing Specialist/Urhea (on study leave)
  • Mimosa Jallow, JAMK UAS student and European Swimming Championship medalist (retired 2022)
  • Kaisu Mononen, Senior Researcher, Institute of Elite Sports (KIHU)
  • Kari Partanen, Head of Education and Research / Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
  • Jarno Parikka, Manager, Top-level Sports Operating Environments/Finnish Olympic Committee, Project Manager.

Internal preparatory work and development measures

To prepare for the audit, surveys were conducted in autumn 2023 for guidance counsellors, degree programmes and student athletes. Based on the results of the surveys, key areas for development were identified that have been taken forward. Awareness of the dual career of a student athlete and the HUMKK audit has been strengthened by carrying out HUMKK and dual career presentations, by being able to comment on the self-assessment report, by opening a new “Top Athlete at TAMK” website (in Finnish) for athletes applying to TAMK and by publishing interviews with athletes. In addition, the guidance of athletes as a whole has been developed. The connection to upper secondary education has been strengthened with the athlete brochure. Good practices from degree programmes have also been compiled.

A key part of the audit is the self-assessment report, which provides answers to the questions posed by the Olympic Committee in the audit manual. The working group responsible for TAMK's audit carried out the self-assessment through cooperation between TAMK employees and stakeholders. In addition, academy athletes responded to the Olympic Committee's athlete survey, the answers of which are used in the evaluation. TAMK's self-assessment report and other material were submitted to the Olympic Committee on 10 April 2024.

During the audit visit day 22 May, the audit team appointed by the Olympic Committee will conduct extensive interviews with TAMK's management, teachers and other guidance bodies, stakeholders and student athletes. In order to prepare for the audit, orientation events will be arranged for the interview participants. The results of the audit will be published in autumn 2024.


Websites in Finnish: 

Audit Handbook for Top Athlete-Friendly Higher Education Institutions 
Higher education - Finnish Olympic Committee 
Tampere Sports Academy  

Contact person

Kirsi Mänty

Head of Sports Services
Sports Services
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
phone number+358504211065
City Centre Campus
Kirsi Mänty