Introduction to Seminar


This interdisciplinary seminar was a meeting place for university personnel, researchers, policy makers, and those with hands on experience on being a migrant in Finnish Higher Education.The event is the first of its kind in its scope and thematic content in Finland.

Together with Finland-based and visiting experts, we aimed to tackle acute and concrete questions, share best practices and find new cooperative ways to go forward in the ever-changing contexts of our times. There were interesting keynotes and 11 parallel thematic Break-out sessions where practitioners, researchers and those interested could "dig deeper" to the theme in question. Additionally, we provided a Poster Park exhibiting best practices and a special workshop for researchers to network.

During this seminar, research, practice, and experience got together and provided not only food for the thought, but also seeds of practical solutions to existing interrogatives. The seminar was organized at the University of Jyväskylä by the Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland (SIMHE)-UniPID* -project. The project funding comes from the Ministry of Education of Culture.


For a migrant student the Finnish Higher Education can be a fortress hard to enter, a jungle challenging to survive and a path difficult to complete. With growing transnational mobility we are starting to see the multiple glass doors and obstacles hidden in our systems and policies. At the same time the University personnel is struggling with the widening responsibilities. The challenges of academic migrants may not be noticed or they may seem too complicated to approach. For example, the Finnish universities have not considered the study-rights of asylum seekers until recently.


The seminar venue was Ruusupuisto ("Rose Park”), the new and interactive building in the main campus of the University of Jyväskylä, representing the centre of educational sciences, guidance and research.

The Seminar aimed to

  • Provide quality keynotes, expert commentaries and analytical research perspectives.
  • Serve as a space to interact and learn from each other, especially through the in-depth Break-out Sessions and Poster Park, where a number of current best practices and ongoing research projects will be introduced.
  • Give voice to experience experts, initiatives that are already running and to working solutions that are still under development.
  • Facilitate finding new partners or strengthen already existing cooperation networks for future endeavors.
  • Offer an additional workshop for researchers to plan future research projects.
  • Publish the key findings of the seminar to support the efforts of the Universities.


The seminar also had room for Poster park presentations. More details on this are available on this page.


The key contents of the seminar are now published. The book ""Open the doors!" Migrants in Higher Education: Fostering Cooperation at Universities Seminar 13.-14.12.2016 in Jyväskylä" can be downloaded from the Jyväskylä University Digital Archive JYX:

The plenary sessions of the seminar were streamed and recorded. You can view the video recordings via the links below:

Please note, that most of the Break-out session slides are also available online in the Programme -> Break-out Sessions page!

Venue of the Event:

Alvar Aallon katu 9, 40600 Jyväskylä

Google Map Link:

 For further information / Lisätietoja:

Marita Häkkinen, e-mail:, Tel. +358 (0)40 805 4913

Katinka Käyhkö, e-mail:, Tel. +358 (0)40 805 4914

Bhavani Ramamoorthi email: Tel: +358 (0)40 805 4877

*SIMHE-UniPID is a national project piloting the initiative of Ministry of Education and Culture to reinforce the role of Finnish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in supporting the integration of asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants.