Open Call for SIMHE-UniPID Virtual Studies Proposals 2016

June 10, 2016

The Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland (SIMHE) project implemented by the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID) is hereby inviting interested course coordinators from the UniPID member universities to submit course proposals to be offered in the framework of SIMHE-UniPID.

Photo credit: Nicolas Buffler, 2012, on Flickr.

The Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland (SIMHE) project implemented by the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID) is hereby inviting interested course coordinators from the UniPID member universities[1]to submit course proposals to be offered in the framework of SIMHE-UniPID.


The Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland (SIMHE) is a project funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC). SIMHE-UniPID is piloting MEC’s national initiative to reinforce the role of Finnish Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in supporting the integration of asylum seekers, refugees and other immigrants. SIMHE-UniPID supports the immigrants striving to start or continue their Higher Education (HE) studies.

The existing UniPID Virtual Studies aim to deepen collaboration between universities and to draw on the specific areas of expertise at different institutions of Higher Education in Finland. In this particular SIMHE-UniPID Call we seek to provide virtual studies to the migrant, recently arrived prospective students in Finland. For universities, this call gives an opportunity to offer some of their courses virtually to a wider audience while realizing their third, societal mission. The courses funded in this call will be offered on the UniPID Virtual Studies platform.

The 2016 Call for SIMHE-UniPID Virtual Studies Proposals

The 2016 Call for Proposals aims to fund courses that contribute to and diversify the spectrum of academic courses available for migrants and their inclusion into the Finnish Higher Education. The courses offered to this SIMHE-UniPID Call can vary between 1-5 ECTS credits.

This SIMHE-UniPID Call focuses on two broad course themes:

1. Introductory Studies

  • Preparative and, if possible, interdisciplinary courses suitable for newcomers to the Finnish universities
  • Courses related to study skills, ICT or information skills, Finnish language, academic communication skills, the Finnish educational system, research methods etc. are especially considered.

2. Courses in areas of (intercultural) Working life and Civil Society

  • Professional skills and career planning, working life Finnish etc.
  • Civil society, active citizenship, rights and responsibilities etc.

SIMHE-UniPID Call Specific Requirements

In this specific SIMHE-UniPID Call it is crucial, that

1. The course is built in a culturally sensitive manner, that is, keeping in mind that

  • the majority of students are recently arrived migrants representing a variety of backgrounds, and that
  • for many participants the course may be their first contact with university level studies in Finland. The materials, instructions etc. must reflect this.

2. The University / Faculty providing the course is able to enroll asylum seekers* as guest / extra / visiting students or equivalent and provide them a certificate / transcript of records after completing the course. (*The only identification available may be the Reception Center identity card. This may require piloting and thus provide valuable experience for the University and Faculty offering the course.)

These conditions will be considered in both the eligibility and the evaluation of proposals.

Conditions of Funding

The following sums are available for the creation and provision of SIMHE-UniPID courses:

  • 1ECT course = max. 3700€
  • 2ECT course = max. 4400€
  • 3ECT course = max. 5100€
  • 4ECT course = max. 5800€
  • 5ECT course = max. 6500€

Both new and existing courses are eligible for funding in this call. Applicants should be based in one of the UniPID member universities. The courses funded under this call should be offered in English and the applicants should be prepared to offer the course for the first time during the academic year 2016-2017. The course is to be offered three times via the UniPID Virtual Studies platform.

Funding is awarded based on the budget submitted as part of the proposal and paid in total upon signature of the SIMHE-UniPID Virtual Course Contract. More detailed guidelines on the conditions of funding can be requested from UniPID (contact information below).

Formulating a Proposal

A SIMHE-UniPID course proposal should clearly outline the following components:

  • course content,
  • objectives,
  • expected learning outcomes,
  • learning methods,
  • materials, and
  • call-specific requirements.

A preliminary course timetable and a budget for the course should also be included. A template for the budget can be downloaded from here.

Assessment of the eligible proposals will be based on the following elements:

1. Course Content

  • Relevant studies for people with a migratory background
  • Transferability for a Degree program at least in the offering university
  • Timeliness of topic

2. Online Pedagogy

  • How well does the organization of the course structure facilitate collaborative learning and communication among students of different cultural background
  • How does the course meet the needs of students with different learning styles
  • Use of open online resources

3. Proposal

  • The clarity of the articulated objectives, expected learning outcomes, and student responsibilities
  • Composition of the academic teaching team, including sustainability and any earlier virtual study or virtual pedagogy experience
  • Call-specific requirements

The SIMHE-Unipid Coordination Group makes the final decisions on the funding.

All proposals should be submitted via the specific form for the SIMHE-UniPID Virtual Studies Proposals by 25 August 2016.


Further information from:

Osku Haapasaari
UniPID / University of Jyväskylä
Tel. +358 40 805 4327

Katinka Käyhkö
SIMHE-UniPID Project Coordinator
Tel. +358 (0)40 805 4914

Marita Häkkinen
SIMHE-UniPID Project Coordinator
Tel. +358 (0)40 805 4913

[1] Aalto University, Åbo Akademi University, University of Eastern Finland, University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä, University of Lapland, University of Oulu, University of Tampere and University of Turku.