ESOK-hanke 2006-2011

ESOK project - Inclusive Higher Education

Equal study rights for everyone

The essential aim of the project is to promote physical, psychological, and social accessibility in teaching and learning in Finnish higher education institutions (HEIs) so that everyone has the same right and access to study regardless of one's characteristics.


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The project supports the accessibility work of all HEIs by promoting collaboration between HEIs and non-governmental organizations, organizing training, endorsing good practices and developing guidelines and recommendations. There are ten Pilot HE institutions and twenty non-governmental organizations in the project.

The ESOK project began in autumn 2005 and was influenced by Ministry of Education publication Esteetön opiskelu yliopistoissa (2005), (transl. Accessible studying in universities. According to its guidelines, the project promotes the removal of obstacles and barriers that hinder/prevent study in HEIs. Particular attention is paid to students with disabilities, learning difficulties, mature students/third age students, and those students who belong to a cultural or linguistic minority. The project is supported by Ministry of Education years 2007-2009.

The ESOK project in 2009

Work groups: Guidelines for accessibility in entrance exams will be developed further based on received opinions. A recommendation will be published in April 2009. Equality plans and guidelines at HEIs will be charted. A handbook for HEIs for creating equality plans will be published in spring 2009.

Guidelines: The first three handbooks with basic guidelines for taking into consideration the diversity of students in HEIs will be published in February 2009. The guidelines handle noting the needs of hearing impaired, visually impaired and dyslexic students in higher education.

Training: Training will be organized based on the aims of ESOK project and the expectations of HEIs in cooperation with different organizations. The national ESOK seminar will be held in Helsinki on 6th and 7th May, 2009. Besides Finnish experts, lecturers from England and the Nordic countries will also participate. The closing seminar of the project will be held on 1st February, 2009.

Cooperation networks: ESOK project will promote organizing and operating a network for people in charge of equality and accessibility in Finnish HEIs. International cooperation as well as creating networks between Nordic HEIs will also be promoted.

Accessibility on HEIs' website 2009: Technical accessibility of the websites and contents describing accessible studying will be tested and evaluated during spring 2009.

HEAG: The European Higher Education Accessibility Guide (HEAG) and the database of information will be renewed and updated. The coordinator of ESOK project Hannu Puupponen will represent Finland in this work group.


Mr Hannu Puupponen
University of Jyväskylä
phone (014) 260 3734

Ms Merja Ylönen
Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
phone 0500 523 702

Seminars in English

Seminar On Human Rights and Persons with Disabilities in Higher Education

2 December 2009 at 11.00 - 16.3, PharmaCity, Lecture Hall 1, Itäinen Pitkäkatu 4, Turku

The seminar programme >>

Accessibility is for everyone

The third national accessibility seminar organized by ESOK project will be held in Helsinki on 6.-7. May 2009. The number of participants at the moment 112.

Accessibility is for everyone > >