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Tampere Universities want to include sustainable development in every field of research and education

Published on 30.11.2020
Tampere Universities
Ihminen kävelemässä metsässä reppuselässään, ison kasvin lehti kädessään.
The Tampere higher education community is deeply committed to Finnish higher education institutions’ joint goal to promote sustainable development. One of the key objectives of Tampere Universities is to integrate sustainable development into education and research in every field.

Tampere University, with the other 12 Finnish universities, has developed the sustainable development theses that guide the universities’ goals and activities. Tampere University of Applied Sciences has also been involved in creating a programme for the sustainable development and responsibility of universities of applied sciences (UAS) with 23 Finnish UAS.

Significant goals for both universities and UAS include carbon neutrality by 2030, and the inclusion of the basics of sustainability and responsibility in all studies. The aim is to develop education so that every graduate is able to promote sustainable development and combat the negative effects of climate change on society. This goal is also recorded in the joint learning outcomes of the universities community.

Universities’ theses encourage action

The 12 theses of Finnish universities contain wide-ranging recommendations for action in teaching, research, administration, societal impact and the funding model of universities.

“Universities are taking their sustainability and responsibility work to the next level. They must do this in order to safeguard the future of our planet and give hope to future generations. The time for rhetoric is over. We need to move from words to action,” says Tom Böhling, Vice Rector, Chairman of Unifi’s Sustainability and Responsibility Working Group, which prepared the theses.

The theses list the key measures that universities intend to take without delay. These include the introduction of sustainability and accountability criteria in all degrees, emission reduction goals, determined eradication of discrimination and the integration of sustainability thinking into all activities, from management systems to recruitment criteria and the evaluation of research projects.

Each university promotes these goals in the most natural order for itself. The key is that the actions are effective and that the vision set for 2030 will be achieved.

UAS strive for sustainable development skills for everyone

The sustainable development and responsibility programme of UAS is based on the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN in 2015.

At the heart of the programme are strengthening the handprint of UAS and reducing their carbon footprint. These goals are described as 14 promises and concrete actions to be launched from the beginning of 2021.

“The 30,000 annual graduates from UAS, the RDI volume of €200 million and 9,500 person-years play a huge role in building the future of society. Our societal impact – our handprint – is created through education and RDI activities,” says President Turo Kilpeläinen who led the preparation of the programme at Arene.

In addition to education, sustainability and responsibility are considered in all the RDI activities of UAS and are aimed at providing solutions to sustainability challenges, promoting sustainable development and curbing the effects of climate change.

In terms of management and HR, UAS promise to act as economically, ecologically, culturally and socially responsible employers.

Read Unifi’s sustainability theses

Read Arene’s joint programme for sustainable development and responsibility at UAS


Taru Pilvi, Director of Innovation, Tampere University, taru.pilvi [at] (taru[dot]pilvi[at]tuni[dot]fi), +358 503 842 966

Eeva-Liisa Viskari, Impact Area Leader, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eeva-liisa.viskari [at] (eeva-liisa[dot]viskari[at]tuni[dot]fi) p. +358 408 469 452