3.4 The HEI’s examples of successful enhancement activities

Sustainable Development Programme

HAMK has the only SD degree programme and is the second most extensive education provider in bioeconomy, natural resources and food production in Finland. Over the years, numerous national and international SD projects have been implemented in RDI activities. Campuses have been maintained considering their legacy, and the SD perspectives guide their maintenance and renewal. HAMK owns, administers, and manages significant forest carbon sinks.

A Sustainable HAMK 2030 programme was prepared in 2019-2020. Board, students and staff were involved. The programme has systematized the integration of SD perspectives in operations. The Sustainable Now! -MOOC attracts over 1,000 students per year. The personnel are supported by information, coaching, and educative events. 

SD challenges are solved with companies in projects and theses. HAMK supports developing countries to develop their national education systems, teacher education, and competence to promote sustainability. Over the past three years, 260 SD-topic articles have been produced.

SD work is monitored and developed by a multi-disciplinary team, supported by a coordinator. The annual progress of the targets are self-assessed, and SD performance is measured in the GreenMetric World University ranking. (2019: 78/780; 2020: 35/912; 2021: 14/956.) Reporting on environmental impacts is part of the financial statements and annual reports.

Developing a competence mapping to support competence management

Competence mapping provides information on HAMK’s competence capital to support strategic decision-making and personal performance appraisals. Competence mapping indicates where HAMK’s competence should be strengthened. The competence tree with strategic competence areas was built in 2016. The first competence mapping was carried out in 2018. It was utilised to identify organisation-level demands and implemented with the Stara system in connection with performance appraisals. The results were transferred to the data resource and created into reports and indicators for various needs from the competence capital. As one result, the HAMK 100 programme became more utility-driven.  

In 2020, the competence mapping was implemented again. Prior to the mapping, expert teams updated the competence areas on the basis of previous feedback and clarifications related to strategic objectives. Competence mappings reveal competence needs and required training needs by competence area, unit, and person. The person sees their own mapping data through MyBI and can, together with the supervisor, plan their own development path in a way that performance at work and the achievement of personal objectives is enabled. Competence mapping is one of the tools that can be utilised when a supervisor performs an overall assessment in accordance with the pay system.

HAMK 100 training and coaching programme

The HAMK 100 training and coaching programme was launched in 2017. The programme is for the entire staff (the name refers to 100%) and the areas are related to HAMK’s strategic objectives and support their achievement. Originally, the training focused on teaching and research staff, but soon the offer was extended for support and administrative personnel. Different education programmes and units can order tailored coaching and workshops to develop their shared competence.  

The effectiveness of the programme is monitored and evaluated by a Steering Group. HAMK 100 is a used and valued method for developing personnel competence. Activities are organised, regular, and well-informed about. Participating is easy and flexible. The programme supported staff to adapt into distance teaching and working due to COVID-19 successfully.

Development of accessibility

The development of digital accessibility is linked to the activities of the Multisensory Environments and Assistive Technology research group. In the beginning, accessibility focused on multisensory opportunities in learning environments and assistive technology solutions. With new legislation and LeaD activities, development areas were systematised into strategic activities.

The framework for pedagogical and technological accessibility is Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The targets are: 1) developing pedagogical and digital competence, 2) developing pedagogical and digital support services and 3) developing digital learning environments. The goal is easy access for everyone to remote workspaces, participation, various digital materials, presentation materials, documents, and their contents.

Graph with the elements of Universal Design for Learming


The structure of HAMK website and the Moodle learning environment has been created accessible, with ReadSpeaker supporting the accessibility of content. The personnel’s accessibility skills have been strengthened with versatile training opportunities and open badges. The work is supported by instructions, library’s accessible materials, Celia cooperation, video subtitling services, accessible document and slide templates. The Digistart package for students includes familiarisation with assistive technology tools.