Business school deans gathered in Oulu to discuss digitization

This year, Oulu Business School hosted the annual meeting of Finnish business schools. Over 30 deans, vice-deans, directors of studies and administration travelled to Oulu for a two-day event around the theme of digitalization and how it influences education and research in Finnish Business Schools.

The huge development taking place in nearly all areas of our everyday lives was examined from various aspects including the history and future expected development of digital technologies, current research in the area, changes in consumer behavior, industry dynamics and business logics, and interestingly also within learning and teaching.

From the perspective of business schools, the issue of digitization is important in terms of two inter-related aspects: 1) how to ensure that our education results in competencies required from business experts in the future digitization of businesses? and 2) how to manage our own educational processes so that the digitization is fully embraced and taken in use? Serious thinking, but also acting is needed!

In terms of the content that business schools include into their curricula, the digitization should not be seen as any separate issue that could be handled by adding specific courses dedicated to this, but more importantly, intertwining the digitization into all aspects of business that we teach.

Concerning the question of managing our own educational processes, digitization not only provides tools for more efficient and high quality teaching methods, but also enables us to provide the students with opportunities to develop their skills for the information society of the future. Pedagogical principles of the past are not likely to respond well to the students who, since their birth, have been playing with smart devices and interacting through various channels of social media. More importantly, when the knowledge is no longer possessed by an individual expert but constantly created within social media networks that respond on-line 24/7, we need to think differently about various aspects of our teaching processes.

Oulu Business School is taking up the challenge by increasing the use of digital elements in its pedagogical processes. As one example, we will offer an on-line version of our course on Globally Responsible Business, obligatory in all of our Masters programs. With our pioneering spirit, we want to develop educational processes to meet the needs of the digitization!

Pauliina Ulkuniemi
Vice Dean for Education

A range of experts spoke at the event: Councellor of Education Maarit Palonen from The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, Secretary General Juuso Leivonen from the Association of Business Schools Finland, University Lecturer Jari Laru from the Faculty of Education of the University of Oulu, Senior Vice President Sari Heinonen from OP Financial Group, Director and Professor Veikko Seppänen from the Martti Ahtisaari Institute, Professor Timo Koivumäki from the Martti Ahtisaari Institute and VTT – the Technical Research Centre of Finland, Senior Research Fellow Satu Nätti from Oulu Business School, Professor Seppo Ikäheimo from Aalto University School of Business, and Chair of Student Organization Finanssi Miia Paavola.

Last updated: 11.11.2019

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