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> What changes

> Strategy

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Oulun yliopisto

University reform

The progress and economic competitiveness of Finnish society hinges on fostering research and education alongside with innovation and development. In an effort to enable Finnish universities to assume a more visible international profile, the government has launched a university reform to increase their economic and administrative autonomy. This reform will be carried out partly by amending the Universities Act and partly by structural development initiatives.

Through the reform, universities will be better able to

  • react to changes in the operational environment
  • diversify their funding base 
  • compete for international research funding
  • cooperate with foreign universities and research institutes
  • allocate resources to top-level research and their strategic focus areas
  • ensure the quality and effectiveness of their research and teaching
  • strengthen their role within the system of innovation

In anticipation of the new law, the University of Oulu started drafting a new operational strategy in autumn 2008. From the outset, this strategy was geared toward developing the university into an internationally top-ranked scientific community. Its central objectives include

  • enhancing the university's international research profile
  • sharpening and shifting the university's research focus areas
  • improving the quality of the university's education programmes

The Finnish Parliament passed the bill on 16 June 2009 for enactment on 1 August. In August, a new board will assume the responsibility of shaping the university's future, and a revised operations model will be adopted. At the start of 2010, the new Universities Act will enter into force.

What will not change?

  • freedom of research, arts and education will be safeguarded
  • research and research-based education will remain the main responsibility of universities
  • government will continue to guarantee basic funding and compensate for cost development
  • degree education will continue to be provided free of charge