3.2 Supporting the competence development and well-being of the staff

Auditointiryhmän arvio

The University of Turku has functioning procedures that support the use of staff competences. This will broadly define UTU’s future success as a university, in international competition, for economic development and as a major regional employer. The University has an extensive provision for faculty members’ support, competence development and well-being. UTU aims to stimulate creativity, collaboration, innovation, experimentation and multidisciplinarity. Based on audit interviews, the faculty members are generally optimistic about the provision of competence development and how their development needs are recognised. It makes UTU an attractive employer in their view.

The University of Turku has extensive support for the pedagogical development of teaching staff. Self-study materials for teachers are available on the intranet for course design and choosing teaching and assessment methods. Furthermore, the Unit for University Pedagogy organises university pedagogical training (10–60 ECTS credits). Based on audit interviews, many teachers have completed pedagogical studies, but their role could be strengthened. The audit visit also raised the issue of the career path system for lecturers. The audit team recommends that the basic teaching qualification be compulsory for all teaching staff.

Equally important, during the audit visit, there was a discussion of the importance of research careers and tenure track. The University of Turku opens vacancies for professorships either as tenure track professors or full professors. A tenure track plan is signed by the Dean, the Head of the Unit, the mentor and the candidate. The candidate must have their own support group. Full professors must be qualified in university core tasks. The criteria for the tenure track vary between faculties.

UTU has transparent procedures for staff recruitment. The recruitment of international faculty members and staff requires explicit and greater attention. This includes the recruitment of doctoral researchers. Also, more can be done to recruit, retain and integrate international faculty members.

The University is proud of having a dedicated and awarded study and work well-being services. UTU has systematic procedures in place for well-being, equality and non-discrimination. According to the audit interviews, workplace well-being is much discussed at the University. UTU pays constant attention to its employer brand. It has an Equality Plan and an Accessibility Policy and aims to support diversity and inclusion.

The University of Turku recognises that more is needed to support international faculty members and staff adequately. Currently, the provision is mostly offered in the Finnish language. The audit team recommends that UTU’s strong competence development provision for faculty members and staff should be extended to become inclusive for internationals and be offered in English.