Universities of Eastern Finland, Oulu, Tampere and Turku Enter into Strategic Partnership

​Finnish universities excel in international rankings when proportioned by the country's population number. To safeguard and further develop the quality of research, education and competitiveness in an increasingly tight financial situation, the Universities of Eastern Finland, Oulu, Tampere and Turku have concluded a strategic partnership agreement. The agreement was signed at the Ministry of Education and Culture on 3 December 2015.

The universities, each of them multidisciplinary, are jointly creating a model that enables the continuation of high-level and cost-efficient research and education throughout Finland. 

The objective of the partnership is to create a new kind of division of labour between the universities and to promote the universities' profile-building at the national and international levels.

For instance, the universities will develop joint degrees, research infrastructures, innovation activities and transnational education. Flexibility in studying, on the other hand, will be enhanced through learning environment renewal and collaboration. Moreover, the universities are looking into cost-efficient ways to provide supporting services and information systems.

– Finding focus and co-operation are of key importance when the universities are looking for ways to safeguard the quality of research and education. A good example of new types of activities is transnational education, which is being implemented through our jointly owned company. We've already made some significant openings on that front, says Jukka Mönkkönen, the Rector of the University of Eastern Finland.

– In this model of co-operation, the strengths of each university translate into the strengths of the entire network, and collaboration allows us to fill in the gaps left by profiling. This makes it possible for us to offer academic education of an increasingly high standard throughout Finland," says the Rector of the University of Oulu, Jouko Niinimäki.

– It is very natural for multidisciplinary universities to work together. In addition to transnational education, we are currently working towards a shared biobank, and we are also concretising the practical suggestions made in other fields relating to the structural development of universities," says Kaija Holli, the Rector of the University of Tampere.

– The increasingly tight financial situation and the cuts in the universities' funding now call for concrete measures. Through collaboration, we are able to safeguard the well-being and competitiveness created by the universities in their regions, and this also serves as a foundation for the success of Finland as a whole, says Kalervo Väänänen, the Rector of the University of Turku.

The concluded partnership agreement is in force until further notice and it does not cause any limitations to the universities' freedom to conclude agreements with other partners.

Text: Tuomas Koivula
Photo: Hanna Oksanen

Published date 12/3/2015 2:40 PM ,  Modified date 12/3/2015 3:04 PM

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