University finances balanced faster than expected
The University of Oulu has succeeded in balancing its budgetary deficit during the first year of its three-year savings programme. The six million euro gap in the 2010 budget was offset by spending cuts and, more importantly, a total of 4,5 million euro in non-recurring items strengthening the University’s financial position. The Financial Report for 2010 showing a plus of 1,9 million euro was discussed by the University’s Governing Board today.
In order to maintain financial stability, the University will continue implementation of its economic balancing programme through the end of 2012. Some of the programme’s measures, such as the reduction in support staff, cut-backs on facilities, and the merger of parallel units, e.g. the integration of the Kajaani Department of Teacher Education into the Faculty of Education, have yet to be fully implemented.
Not only the financial result but also effectiveness in education was improved in 2010, with 1452 basic and 141 doctoral degrees granted by the University. Nationally, Oulu University’s relative share of master’s and doctoral degrees completed has grown most strongly, not taking into account the one exceptional year in technical education. In addition, results include
- 1063 Bachelor degrees (2009: 874)
- 1783 articles international journals (2009: 1249)
- 59 invention disclosures (2009: 73)
- 4 new research-based business start-ups
According to the University Rector, Mr Lauri Lajunen, the fact that it was possible to balance the budget at the same time as improving results in central areas of performance is proof of the University staff’s high level of commitment to the targets set. “These achievements strengthen the University’s position both financially and in negotiations with the Ministry for Culture and Education”, Mr Lajunen stated.
Aiming for internationally significant research programmes
In keeping with its new strategic plan, the University of Oulu is investing strongly into research, especially research in its multidisciplinary focus and development areas (humans, environment, technology and their interactions).
Ten million euro annually are allocated to research, in order to strengthen the research infrastructure and enable the recruitment of researchers, among other things. The aim is to develop new internationally significant research programmes by leveraging synergies between research groups.
A wide range of measures has been initiated also with respect to education and teaching, including ways of strengthening the teacher-student relationship and increasing educational output and completion of basic degrees.