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University Organisation and Decision-Making

Organisation of the University of Tampere

At the University of Tampere, students have a key role in the decision-making and preparation process. Students can influence things at all levels of administration, from preparatory working groups to the highest level of administration. The official bodies, such as the faculty councils, are obliged to adhere to the statutory tripartite principle. According to it, professors, other staff members and students must all have their own representatives. By virtue of the University of Tampere Regulations and the Rector’s decision (Intranet), students are also represented in a variety of committees and design and preparation groups. Among other things, students are entitled to be involved in the preparation of matters that are closely linked to and substantially affect studies and that will later be forwarded to a tripartite body for decision. Tamy and the faculty organisations select the hallopeds, i.e. student representatives in university administration, for their tasks.

The University of Tampere is a public entity which is responsible for its own finances and administration. The University Board makes the decisions regarding broader policies, such as strategy and rules. The University Collegiate Body is responsible for ratifying the financial statements as well as authorising and electing the University Board. The university operations are managed by the Rector and vice-rectors. In addition to this, the University of Tampere has six dean-led faculties which, among things, make decisions on curricula and the development of education. The faculties consist of degree programmes, which are responsible for the education. The university also includes independent institutes, such as the library and Language Centre, which provide services to the entire university.

Alongside the official bodies, planning and preparation work is conducted in many working groups and councils at the university and faculty level. In terms of the development of education, the important ones include the Teaching Council, which operates at the university level, and the curriculum design working groups, which operate in the faculties and degree programmes. Student representatives play a particularly substantial role in the development of education.

The strategy and its implementation plan are the most important documents that define the operations and direction of the university. They guide the development of research and education over the long term. Guidelines regarding university financing and operational guidelines are decided upon in the university’s plan of action and budget. The Board distributes funding to faculties and other units based on the financial distribution model. Faculties and independent institutes also prepare their own plans of action and financial plans.

University Collegiate Body

The Universities Act states that a public university must have a university collegiate body. At the University of Tampere, the University Collegiate Body features 45 members with personal alternates.

The members of the University Collegiate Body who represent the university professors, other teaching and research staff as well as other personnel are appointed by means of an election. University professors select 15 members from amongst themselves. Correspondingly, the university’s teaching and research staff and other personnel elect 15 members from amongst themselves. The 15 student representatives are selected by the University of Tampere Student Union. The term of the current University Collegiate Body will end on 31 December 2017.

The University Collegiate Body’s tasks include deciding on the number of Board members and the length of their term, electing members from outside the university community for the Board, confirming other Board member elections, ratifying the university’s financial statement and annual report, and deciding on discharging the Board members and Rector from liability.


As stated in the Universities Act, it is the duty of the University Board to decide upon the core goals of the university’s operations and economy, strategy, guiding principles, plan of action, financial plan and budget, and to prepare the university’s financial statements for ratification by the University Collegiate Body. The Board’s activities entail significant financial responsibility. Moreover, the Board elects the Rector, approves the University Regulations and any agreements that are significant to university activities or involve matters of principle. It also makes decisions on the university’s operating structure. The Board also decides upon the number of students to be admitted into the university.

The Board of the University of Tampere includes 11 members, six from within the university community and five from outside it. Among the members belonging to the university community, the professors, research and other staff, and students each have two representatives respectively.

Link to the Board website


The university’s Rector is elected by the University Board for a term of five years, whereas the five vice-rectors are elected by proposal of the Rector. To be eligible to serve as vice-rector, one must have a doctoral degree, the necessary skills and professional competence required to handle the duties in question, and good, practically-proven leadership skills. The Rector is assisted by a management team.

The Rector’s duties:

  • general management and planning
  • strategic questions regarding financials, marketing and communications
  • communications with the ministry of education and other official connections
  • international cooperation and related strategic questions

The University of Tampere Regulations state the following:

  • The Rector represents the university in matters other than those assigned to the University Board.
  • The Rector appoints vice-deans on the proposal of the Faculty Council in question.
  • The Rector determines the duties of the vice-rectors and appoints members to the Research Council and the Teaching Council.
  • The Rector decides who is to be awarded the titles of honorary doctor and docent on the basis of a proposal by the Faculty Council.
  • The Rector decides which of the university’s staff members are to be awarded the right to use the title of professor and grants permission to organise a conferment ceremony.
  • In matters normally handled by the Faculty Council or the board of a profit centre, the Rector may undertake to resolve an issue if it affects more than one profit centre.
  • It is the Rector’s responsibility to handle any issue pertaining to the university that is not referred to another body to be resolved.


The faculties of the University of Tampere are as follows:

The tasks of the faculties are to provide higher education based on research, award degrees and promote free research and lifelong learning. Each faculty is led by a dean, while a faculty council serves as a multi-member decision-making body. In addition to this, faculties have various planning and preparation groups (e.g. curriculum design groups and doctoral education committees).

Faculty council

The term of office for a faculty council is three calendar years, with the exception of student members, whose term of office is two calendar years.

Each faculty council has a chair and no more than 12 members. A faculty council must have at least one and no more than three invited external members. Provisions on the election of the internal members of the Faculty Councils are laid down in the University of Tampere Regulations on Elections.

The tasks of a faculty council include deciding on the target programme of the faculty, on its central operational and financial objectives, and on its personnel strategy and budget; presenting proposals to the Rector regarding the faculty’s degree programmes, research programmes and research centres; approving the curricula of the faculty’s degree programmes; making proposals regarding the number of new students to be admitted and deciding on admission criteria; and deciding on thesis assessment criteria.


A dean’s term of office is four calendar years.

The tasks of a dean include managing and developing the faculty in accordance with the university strategy; answering and reporting to the Rector for the development of the faculty and meeting the objectives of the university and faculty; answering to the Rector for the implementation of the faculty’s budget and the profitability of the operations; serving as chair of the faculty council; bearing the responsibility for the quality of the faculty’s operations; admitting students to the faculty; appointing examiners for advanced studies theses and grading the theses based on the examiners’ reports; awarding degree certificates; managing the faculty staff.

In the event that the dean is indisposed, these duties are relegated to the vice-dean. The dean may bring before the Faculty Council any matter within his/her remit that is an important matter of principle for the Faculty. The dean is assisted by a steering committee


Curriculum design working groups

At the University of Tampere, the planning of education and the preparation of content are carried out by curriculum design working groups that are specific to each degree programme. The curriculum describes the structure and content of the studies. The teaching schedule lists the courses on offer each year. The curricula are updated continuously and reworked more substantially every three years.

Students participate in curriculum design and related decision-making at all levels: all curriculum design working groups include student members, and students are represented in faculty councils and the advisory boards of independent institutes.

More information on curriculum design work can be found on the intranet.

    Independent Institutes

    The university’s independent institutes are the Data Archive, Language Centre, Library and Laboratory Services.

    The Finnish Social Science Data Archive provides a national public service with regard to research and education

    as a body that archives and provides domestic and foreign electronic research material for the purposes of research, education and studies. The Language Centre is responsible for the education in domestic and foreign languages and communication that is encompassed by the university degrees.

    The University Library provides library, information and publication services along with education in information retrieval skills primarily for the purpose of research, education and studies at the University of Tampere.

    The Laboratory Services unit produces, maintains and develops the laboratory services required by the university’s biomedical and medical education and research.

    The Language Centre, University Library, Laboratory Services and University Services each have an advisory board to which the Rector appoints no more than 12 members, in addition to the chair. The term of office for an advisory board is three calendar years, with the exception of student members, whose term of office is two calendar years. The advisory boards are tasked with evaluating the operations and future development of their institutes and submitting proposals regarding these matters.

    The Finnish Social Science Data Archive has a national advisory board appointed by the Rector for four calendar years. In addition to the director of the institute, the board includes 14 members. The term of office for student members is two calendar years. The advisory board is tasked with evaluating the operations and future development of the institute and submitting proposals regarding these matters.

    Appeals Committee

    The University of Tampere has an Appeals Committee appointed by the Rector for the duration of his/her term of office, which includes four members in addition to the chair and vice-chair. The chair and vice-chair must be professors – the two other members must be teachers and the remaining two must be students. A person appointed by the Director of Administration from amongst the University Services staff serves as the recording secretary.

    If a student is dissatisfied with the decision following his/her petition for reconsideration, he/she may submit a petition for reconsideration to the Appeals Committee. This applies to petitions concerning the grading of theses other than doctoral dissertations, licentiate theses, master’s theses or equivalent coursework. The procedure for lodging a petition with the Appeals Committee is covered in more detail in Section 27(4) of the University of Tampere Regulations on Degrees.

      University Services

      The University Services act as a general preparation and implementation body for the university management.

      Director of Administration. The Director of Administration is assisted by a steering committee.

      The University Services have an advisory board, the purpose of which is to assess the operations and development of the unit, and issue initiatives and proposals for service development. The advisory board is a governing body, as defined in the University of Tampere Regulations. Alongside the chair, who in this case is the Director of Administration, the Rector appoints no more than 12 members to the board. The advisory board’s term of office is three calendar years, with the exception of student members, whose term lasts two calendar years. The Rector also appoints the chair of the board. The board elects the vice-chair from amongst its members.

      Teaching Council

      The Teaching Council guides and monitors the implementation of the university strategy, assisting the Rector in these duties. It supports the university’s management and units in development and quality assurance related to education, studies and learning. The Teaching Council prepares matters for decision-making and can issue instructions and recommendations to university units.

      The Teaching Council annually awards a quality and development of education prize to a unit, degree programme or other University of Tampere community. The Ällästikku prize consists of a certificate of honour and a sum of €10,000. The Council decides upon the criteria and procedure for selecting the recipient each autumn, and the winner is announced in the graduation ceremony in December. The Ällästikku prize has been awarded since 1996.

      Research Council

      The implementation of the university’s research strategy is monitored and controlled by the Research Council appointed by the Rector. Its purpose is to promote research and postgraduate education at the University of Tampere. The Doctoral School and Research Collegium operate under the auspices of the Research Council.

      The Research Council addresses matters pertaining to research politics, research funding and postgraduate education. It issues proposals to the Rector and guidelines and recommendations to units.

      For his/her term of office, the Rector appoints a vice-rector to serve as the chair of the Research Council and selects no more than 12 members. The Research Council features one member from each field of study, two University of Tampere postgraduate students and one member from the Tampere University of Technology.

      Doctoral School

      The University of Tampere Doctoral School was established on 24 February 2011 to manage, oversee and develop postgraduate education at the University of Tampere. The Doctoral School coordinates the University of Tampere doctoral programmes and is responsible for the joint studies directed at doctoral students.

      The Doctoral School is managed by Vice-Rector Seppo Parkkila, who is in charge of research, and Research Director Pirjo Nikander. The University of Tampere Research Council serves as the administrative board of the Doctoral School. The Doctoral School operates with the authority bestowed by the Rector, who decides on matters related to the School after hearing the Research Council.

      Other Working Groups

      List of other joint university working groups (intranet).