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Guest talk

Dr. Terhi Nokkala

(University of Jyväskylä, Finnish Institute for Educational Research)

Gender, Academic Career and International Mobility

Narratives of navigating the family and internationality in an academic career in Finland

Academic careers are increasingly polarized: alongside tenured positions, the share and number of fix-term contracts have increased; making academic jobs increasingly precarious. Being female, or of younger age cohort, having minority ethnicity or non-heteronormative identity; are also factors that can work to disadvantage academics, cause discrimination, and compromise career advancement. These various aspects of disadvantage play out to greater or lesser degrees in different societal contexts. Although in the aggregate women feature in equal or even higher numbers in the undergraduate and graduate education; or in the early stages of an academic career; women still face many obstacles in advancing on their career path. Women's family responsibilities and care-giver role is often cited as  reasons for the so called leaky pipeline and the glass ceiling – the metaphors that highlight the steady exit of women from academic careers and their difficulties in reaching the highest positions.

In this presentation, I will discuss how early to mid-career male and female academics construct and negotiate the balancing of family responsibilities, career aspirations and international mobility. The data is drawn from the qualitative analysis of 11 semi-structured interviews with early to mid-career academics in social and life sciences in Finland. I will focus specifically in four elements related to navigating the family and internationality in an academic career in Finland:  family, career, balance and internationality. I will discuss how the national gender regimes, social support structures as well as academic meriting systems play out in the narratives of gender and academic career.

Terhi Nokkala is a Senior Researcher at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research (FIER), University of Jyväskylä. Her research focuses on the interplay between higher education policy, technological developments, organisational parameters and networks, and individual experiences in various aspects of higher education, with specific interest in academic careers, internationalisation, research collaboration and university autonomy. Her research interests in academic careers range from the networking perception of early career women in higher education to academics who decide to leave universities to pursue careers outside of academia.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017, 4.00–5.30 p.m. | Vogelpothsweg 78 (CDI building), room 114
Center for Higher Education (zhb)
Professorship of Higher Education

Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dort­mund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.


TU Dort­mund University has its own train station ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station ("Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop "Dort­mund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dort­mund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S".


The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.


The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.


Interactive map

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Campus Lageplan Zum Lageplan