eTraining FinPal is a cooperation development project between Higher Education in Transition (HET) research group operating at the Faculty of Education, University of Tampere in Finland and Academic Affairs at Islamic University of Gaza in Palestinian Territories.


University of Tampere (UTA) is a multi-discipline university known especially for its research on society and health.


UTA  was founded in 1925 in Helsinki as a Civic College and in 1960 the institution moved to Tampere. Today, it is Finland’s largest provider of higher education in the field of social sciences and the accompanying administrative sciences.

UTA offers first cycle (Bachelor), second cycle (Master) and third cycle (Doctoral) degrees as well as Professional postgraduate studies, university studies through the Open University and Extension studies. Some 15,000 students are currently pursuing degrees at the University of Tampere. Every year approximately one thousand master’s degrees and one hundred doctoral degrees are produced. The personnel numbers about 2,000.

UTA is organised through 6 faculties:

  1. Faculty of Communication Sciences
  2. Faculty of Education
  3. Faculty of Management
  4. Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences
  5. Faculty of Natural Sciences
  6. Faculty of Social Sciences

UTA is a culturally-committed higher education institution with the social mission of educating visionaries who understand the world and change it. The basic values of the University are academic freedom, creativity and social responsibility. The new University Strategy for 2016-2020 envisions the University of Tampere in 2020 as an international research university and a significant generator of innovative, new knowledge. This will be facilitated by the new university in Tampere, which will merge the three higher education institutions (Tampere 3 merger process).

The profile of the University is wide-ranging and its research crosses disciplinary boundaries. The University emphasises the close connection of teaching and research and the social impact of its activities; it appreciates open and free research and gives its researchers the tools to engage in such research practices. The work of University’s researchers has been organised in research centres, groups, and multidisciplinary research communities. The researchers are also typically involved in national and international networks of co-operation.


          Higher Education in Transition (HET) is a research group operating within the Faculty of Education, University of Tampere.

Research activities in HET-research group are organised around four thematic subgroups formed by researchers working in the same higher education research field. These thematic areas connect researchers also from the different academic research career phases (professor, docent, postdoc, doctoral student). In the internationalisation team, there are also researchers involved from Faculty of Management.

4 thematic subgroups of research within HET are:

  • Curriculum and learning communities – The aim is to make visible the different intentions, dynamics and meanings of curriculum, and encourage research-based dialogue in changing learning communities.
  • Student experience and learning – The aim is to conceptualize and bring forth the meaning of studying, student engagement and learning in changing higher education circumstances from the perspectives of admission onto higher education studies, different disciplinary learning environments, diversity of study trajectories, student background characteristics and guidance and counselling.
  • Spaces of education – The aim is to examine and understand the meanings and roles of space in learning and education. Our focus is on how spaces of education are constructed and how the construction processes relate to students’ and teachers’ identity. The research activities include contexts from virtual spaces, policy spaces, and transnational spaces of education.
  • Internationalisation – The aim is to shed light on the trends behind internationalisation from mobility, structures and policy perspectives and more closely examine the internationalisation effects and diversity challenges from the point of central actors and groups like international and home students, teachers, academic communities, academic leaders and employers.

Additional information about ongoing research, themes, people and actual issues is available in the research group HET blog.

Research group is led by Vesa Korhonen (docent) and Marita Mäkinen (professor).



The Islamic University of Gaza (IUG) is an inter-disciplinary learning environment with research oriented to the needs of society.


IUG was established in 1978 as a response to societal needs of Gaza strip area. It is an independent academic institution supervised by the Ministry of Higher Education and it is a member of four associations: Association of Arab Universities, Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World, Community of Mediterranean Universities, and International Association of Universities. In addition, IUG works closely with numerous universities around the world.

IUG is a vibrant community of more than 20,000 students (62% females) and about 600 academic staff members. IUG has three campuses in Gaza strip area and offers Bachelors, Masters, Diploma and higher diploma studies in variety of disciplines.

IUG is organised through 11 faculties:

  1. Faculty of Medicine
  2. Faculty of Engineering
  3. Faculty of Information Technology
  4. Faculty of Nursing
  5. Faculty of Science
  6. Faculty of Health Science
  7. Faculty of Education
  8. Faculty of Arts
  9. Faculty of Sharia & Law
  10. Faculty of Osoul Eddin
  11. Faculty of Commerce

IUG provides for its students an academic environment that adheres to Islamic principles as well as Palestinian traditions and customs. It also provides all available resources, including the most up-to-date technology in service of the education process and adopts a culture that calls for creativity, innovation and development.

As an academic institution, IUG strives to raise the educational, cultural and civilization levels in the Palestinian society, to keep up with current trends in higher education and technology advancements, to encourage scientific research, and to contribute in building future generations and developing the society in a framework of Islamic values. University vision is to be a beacon of knowledge, culture and human services that seeks to create a comprehensive social revival.

IUG is an active member of numerous regional and international academic and research associations and has a strong international cooperation and project partnerships with more than 100 universities and research centers around the world. IUG has participated in 34 EU funded multilateral and bilateral programmes including Tempus, Erasmus Mundus, Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, Al Mqadisi (France), Appear (Austria), and HEI ICI (Finland).



Academic Affairs is a unit that supervises and organises the academic activities at IUG.


IUG Academic Affairs unit aims to establish the foundations for success and excellence necessary to the current and future requirements of academic field, through:

  1. Quantitative and qualitative provision of educational opportunities offered by the University for high school graduates.
  2. Continuous improvement in the quality of academic services offered by the University.
  3. Expanding the positive and active participation of faculty staff through IUG departments, faculties, and committees.
  4. Continuous improvement in the quality of academic services offered by the University.
  5. Offering academic support to the academic staff and developing its performance.

To supervise and organise academic activities at IUG considering all possible ways and means to mitigate obstacles, with establishing the required bases and mechanisms that lead to the sustainable growth of these activities in quantity and quality. The Academic Affairs also encourage all initiatives that lead to the development of academic work, in addition to its own initiatives.

Goals of the Academic Affairs unit:

  1. Strengthening and development of existing undergraduate programs in accordance with the quality standards and requirements in a way that meets the needs of the local community.
  2. Supporting the academic staff and developing its performance.
  3. Creation of new and distinguished academic programs that have the competitive advantage in the local and regional market.
  4. Development of research systems and programs according to international standards in order to meet the needs of the community.
  5. Development of the graduate programs in accordance with the national and international quality benchmarks in order to meet the needs of the community.
  6. Development of academic programs that contribute to the community development.
  7. Adopting a decentralised management system in order to enhance efficiency and productivity.
  8. Administrative policy development in consistency with the modern management systems.
  9. Development of student services and the continuous improvement of the university environment.
  10. Upgrading the different related services and managerial systems.