2017 – A Year of Development and Recognitions

​The University has continued strengthening its research with the chosen thematic areas of strength. During 2017, the University of Turku improved preconditions of research, for instance, by allocating a significant internal funding to the procurement of modern research equipment. In March, the President of the Republic of Finland conferred the honorary title of Academician of Science to Academy Professor Eva-Mari Aro, who is a pioneer in molecular plant biology. In open science, the University drafted a policy for the openness of the research process.

In May, the University of Turku received a working life award in a competition organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and Finnish Work Environment Fund as one of nine awarded organisations. The award was pursued by a total of 99 candidates, and the University of Turku was successful with a theme firmly linked to one of the University’s strategic goals, community well-being.

In June, the University received a quality label from the re-audit of the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre, which is valid for six years. The audit group noted that the University had been developing its quality system systematically on the basis of the feedback received from the previous audit.

Since the beginning of 2017, all administrative and office work at the University was centralised to the University Central Services. The new organisation was established in close collaboration with the faculties.

One topical theme throughout the year was the need for an increase in technology education so that the University could better respond to the ongoing positive structural change in Southwest Finland. In 2017, the higher education institutions in Turku, Turku Science Park Oy, and the City of Turku made an agreement on strengthening their co-operation in the field of technology. Education in technology, which is carried out in close collaboration with the business sector, was initiated through the FITech network established by the technological universities in Finland. At the end of the year, the University Board decided that the name of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences will be changed into the Faculty of Science and Engineering starting from 2018.

The University reacted to the ongoing social welfare and health care reform by establishing the multidisciplinary Centre for Education and Research on Social and Health Services. This tight collaborative network produces multidisciplinary education, research and information to meet the needs of the social welfare and health care reform. All the faculties of the University are part of the network.

As for fund-raising, the University of Turku reached its objective. During the Government’s match funding period that began on 1 November 2014 and ended on 30 June 2017, the University received altogether over €6.5 million in donations. On account of the received donations, the Government capitalises the University of Turku with over €7.5 million. The donations were received from private individuals, companies and communities. In its fund-raising, the University highlighted the significance of research and educating new experts for the well-being of the region and that of the whole society. Many of the significant donations have been received from parties that want to have an impact particularly on the positive development of the region by supporting the research and education of the University of Turku.


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