The Board decided in its meeting on 20 March 2020 that a faculty of engineering is established to the University of Turku on 1 January 2021.
The decision of the University Board establishes a new faculty to the University of Turku in addition to the seven existing faculties. The expansion of engineering has an important role in the University’s new Strategy and Policy Programme.
Despite the current exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic, the University of Turku wants to ensure that its multidisciplinary research and education continue to benefit society and environment. Many innovations are based on research at the boundaries of engineering and other fields of science, such as medicine.
– The expansion of engineering has a positive effect on the amount of supplementary funding and on the University’s competitive strength as an even more multidisciplinary university. Establishing a faculty of engineering is an important decision to our 100-year-old University which will strengthen our capability to respond to the current need for experts and, at the same time, to future challenges, says Rector Jukka Kola.
So far, already eight new professorships in engineering have been donated to the University of Turku. The University has also entered into a strategic partnership with Meyer Turku.
Aiming for a Distinctive Engineering Field Engaged in Dynamic Collaboration
In July 2019, the Ministry of Education and Culture granted the University of Turku educational responsibility in mechanical and materials engineering in addition to the existing biotechnology and information and communication technology. In August, the University started the planning of the reform of engineering education.
The plan was drafted by the working group appointed for the planning of the engineering education, chaired by Vice Rector Mika Hannula. In addition, a working group responsible for structural development planned the organisation of the field. Both working groups unanimously decided to recommend the establishment of a new faculty of engineering. In addition to Åbo Akademi University and other universities, also the Turku University of Applied Sciences and several regional companies participated in the planning.
– Establishing the faculty of engineering ensures that University’s research and education in engineering can develop into a dynamic and distinctive field that is engaged in close collaboration with other fields of science and the higher education institutions in the area. Active collaboration with companies is an essential part of the activities. For example, we will work closely together with our strategic partner Meyer Turku in theses, summer jobs, and education, says Hannula.
The Board authorised the Rector to initiate the required procedures for the establishment of the faculty. The next phase is the planning of the faculty and department structure. The engineering education will be organised into distinctive degree programmes in the fields of biotechnology, mechanical engineering, materials engineering, and information and communication technology. Both in research and education, dynamic collaboration is conducted with other fields of science at the University of Turku, especially with natural sciences, medicine, and economics. The expansion of engineering education is directed by a working group led by Vice Rector Hannula.
In 2020, the student intake to the four degree programmes in engineering is 273. Next year, 100 students will be accepted to the new degree programmes in mechanical engineering and materials engineering. In addition, the University increases the intake of students of the current degree programmes in biotechnology and information and communication technology. The University is committed to recruiting at least 10 new professors in engineering. The first four professors have already been selected.