Ethical Guidelines for Learning

Rector's decision, 5 September 2013                                                                                                    
Dnro 718/001/2013

The activities of the University of Turku are founded on high-quality multidisciplinary research. The University is part of the international academic community and works in interaction with society.
The fundamental values of the University of Turku are ethicality, criticality, creativity, openness and communality. Ethicality indicates striving for good and correct decisions. In compliance with the strategy of our University, both in research and in other operations, the personnel and the students follow the principles of high professional ethics and good scientific practice.[1]
The University of Turku is committed to following the guidelines Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland created by the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity.[2]
Our university is also bound by a legal obligation in the Universities Act to educate students to serve their country and humanity. Activities must be arranged in conformity with ethical principles and good scientific practices.[3]
These operational requirements not only guide our university as a community, but also guide each of its individual members. The ethical instructions are written in the first person because ethicality is always actualised through a personal commitment. The aim is to secure an atmosphere that both values trust and cooperation and in which all parties also enjoy working.[4]

As a teacher

1.    My main goal is to advance the learning of the students.

2.    I am aware of my role as a responsible actor in the 
academic community.

3.    I am aware of being a role model for the students and for my colleagues a partner building a good working environment. With my own actions, I support the academic community’s ethical, critical, creative, open and communal ways of operating.

4.   I value and develop my work as a teacher and follow good scientific practice:

-   I treat the students equally and evaluate their learning objectively.

-   I give positive or constructive critical feedback on the progress of the studies.

-   I guide the students to change their way of working  if I discover that it has features which compromise learning outcomes or disturb other students.

-   I respect the students’ points of view and the constructive feedback they give me

-   I do not take advantage of my students’ work contribution in a dishonest way.

5.   I, for my part, assume responsibility for giving my students sufficient information on the principles of good scientific practice and on applying them to my own field of science. 
In accordance with the Guidelines for Misconduct and Fraud at the University of Turku, I intervene in academic misconduct, such as plagiarism or cheating in an exam.

6.   In difficult counselling situations, I turn to my colleagues for support and advice to ensure  just treatment both for me and for the student.

As a student

1.    My main goal is to learn.

2.    I am aware of my role as a responsible actor in the academic community.

3.    I recognise the value of the work done by others and I act honestly. With my own actions, I support the academic community’s ethical, critical, creative, open and communal ways of operating.

4.   My achievements in study are based on real knowledge:

-   I do not cheat nor engage in any other kind of misconduct in my studies.

-   I do my assignments and final theses myself and I do not take advantage of other people’s work without permission.

-   I report the sources I have used and I do not take as my own information from the internet, other students or from anywhere else.

-   I do not give my own work to another student for fraudulent use nor do I use my earlier achievements as a basis for new ones without references.

-   When engaged in group or pair work, I describe the way work is distributed honestly and in a way that supports the evaluation.

5.   I do not disturb others in teaching and exam situations.

6.   I respect the teaching and research work of my teachers:

-   In teaching situations, I maintain a positive atmosphere by being an active and responsible student

-   I give constructive feedback on the teaching

-   If needed, I take the initiative in asking for more information on the correct ways to behave

-   I support the group’s common interests in situations where individual claims cannot be fulfilled.


1. Strategy of the University of Turku 2013–2016. 
2. Responsible conduct of research and procedures for handling allegations of misconduct in Finland -guidelines 2012. 
3. Universities Act 558/2009, Section 2. 
4. These guidelines have been prepared by the working group “Ethical guidelines for research and teaching” appointed by the Rector. On the basis of the proceedings of the Management group of the University of Turku and the Teaching and Learning Council, the Rector has ratified the guidelines for use 5.9.2013. The ethical guidelines for teachers and students published by the University of Oulu in 2005 have been used as a model for these guidelines.