Aalto University

Code of Conduct - Values into practice

The Code of Conduct is one way of putting our values and way of working - the foundation of our community culture - into practice. It sets out the ethical principles and legal compliance policies that govern what we do and what we expect from each other, in all aspects of university life.
Kaksi henkilöä kampuksella.

The Aalto University Code of Conduct contains the ‘fair play rules’ of our university community. The Code helps us make ethically sound choices and gives practical examples of actions that are in line with our values.

First introduced in 2017, the Code of Conduct has now, in 2021, been updated to correspond to our reformulated values and the changes that have reshaped our operating environment.

Rehtori Ilkka Niemelä

Our ethical principles will only be of use if we genuinely adhere to them in our daily life and actions.

President Ilkka Niemelä

Why do we have the Code of Conduct?

  • We believe that it is the people who make Aalto. The diversity of talent and perspectives is one of our greatest assets.
  • At the same time, we need a shared culture, principles and policies.
  • The Code helps us all make ethically and legally right choices - so we can be proud of what we achieve as well as of how we do it.

The five pillars of the Code of Conduct

On these pages, you can also find useful tips and links to further information.

I Our responsibility for people

We want every community member to feel welcome and safe.


II Our responsibility for sustainability

We are committed to advancing sustainability through research, education, campus development and daily practices. We strive to engage also our partners.

UN Goals

III Our responsibility to act ethically / part 1

Our teachers have the freedom to teach, researchers have the freedom to research and students have the freedom to learn.

Academic freedom

III Our responsibility to act ethically  / part 2

We are committed to performing all our activities with integrity and promoting fair and honest practices.

Visual illustration of a gift

IV Our responsibility for assets

Aalto University accepts donations that help fulfil our community’s purpose. Our fundraising principles are based on respect for the dignity of the donor’s will, ethics and integrity.

Physical assets

V Our responsibility for information and data

We advance responsible and innovative data usage practices and culture in order to build data driven operations and to maximise the value of data in all activities of Aalto University. We value the transparency and openness of data.

Responsible sharing

How we bring the Code of Conduct to life

At Aalto University we value dialogue. Even though the right choices are not always immediately evident, we hope all community members will help develop our organisation by engaging in constructive discussion on difficult issues.

  1. What matters is not only what we say, but what we do and how. Small actions from each of us makes a difference and impact as a whole.  
  2. Everyone should get to know the Code of Conduct and its five pillars, so it’s easy to uphold.
  3. Some members of the community have the extra responsibility of introducing the Code to others. Leaders and managers, professors, teaching staff and supervisors lead by example through everyday ethical decision-making and by making the Code the topic of day-to-day conversation.

The Code of Conduct touches all of us at Aalto University. That means everyone, from students to employees and board members, as well as people who work for Aalto-owned companies, need to abide by the Code.

Social responsibility is important to us and we seek out like-minded partners. Our suppliers and other partners should comply with laws and conduct their operations according to principles that are similar to our Code.

Our partners shall be committed to comply with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, respect universal human rights and to ensure no forms of forced or child labor is used at any of its operations or activities.

We also expect our partners to uphold international standards on anti-corruption and the environment.

Henkilö istuu nojatuolissa työskentelemässä tietokoneellaan.

What to do when something is not right

We want Aalto to be a place where everyone can speak up when something seems off. 

If you notice that the Code or its spirit isn’t being followed, please raise your concern with your teacher, if you are a student, or your supervisor, if you are an employee. 

If, for any reason, you don’t feel comfortable approaching this person, you can use these resources to raise your concern.

  1. If you’re worried about inappropriate behaviour or harassment, read more on aalto.fi or ayy.fi.
  2. If you’ve noticed issues related to occupational health or physical security, you can find reporting instructions here: Occupational safety
  3. If you’ve seen possible evidence of unethical scientific practices, consult this page: Handling of misconduct
  4. If your concern touches privacy and IT security, contact: [email protected] or [email protected]
  5. In cases related to potential financial fraud, bribery, conflict of interest, unauthorized use of Aalto property, contact: [email protected]
  6. You can also contact Aalto University’s Head of Legal for further advice.


We know that raising a concern, even when it’s the right thing to do, can be stressful. That being said, we encourage you to do so in your own name. Intervening in the problem is more efficient when we have the opportunity to get all the facts.

Henkilö istuu sohvalla tietokone sylissään.

What happens when you raise a concern

We promise to fairly and properly investigate concerns according to university procedures.

Following an investigation, if we find a violation has occurred, corrective and disciplinary action may be taken. Disciplinary actions will be determined on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable laws and rules. We always follow up on the outcomes of investigations. 

Issues that relate to the university as a whole and require general development are proceeded at the university level, under the supervision of Aalto’s Head of Legal.

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Aalto University Code of Conduct - pdf document

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