Our Northern Handprint is Global – new solutions to complex challenges through interdisciplinary cooperation

in February, the University of Oulu published an updated strategy called "Our Northern Handprint is Global". The name reflects our activities well, as global challenges steer our research, education, and cooperation. Interdisciplinary cooperation is the key to generating solutions to humanity's most pressing questions.

The foundation of the University’s strategy remains its mission to create new scientific knowledge and provide research-based education to build a more sustainable, intelligent, and humane world. An effective link between education and cutting-edge research ensures the renewal and high quality of our educational offerings. Our degree programmes produce expertise for future work-related challenges and are based on principles of global sustainability and responsibility. The University of Oulu is committed to acting responsibly and to advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through research and education.

Generating solutions to humanity's most pressing questions requires multidisciplinary expertise and interdisciplinary cooperation, both nationally and internationally. Science creates understanding, knowledge and skills and helps to find solutions to current and unidentified problems. We also carry out university-wide foresight work to identify new key research topics for the future and promote multidisciplinary research on them.

At the University of Oulu, we build hope for a better future by generating solutions to mitigate climate change and safeguard biodiversity, create a resilient and secure society, improve human health and well-being, and use digitalisation, artificial intelligence and data to serve humanity. Through multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration, we are building a new way to advance our work on global challenges. This work is supported by multidisciplinary research centres.

The University's positive impact on the future - our handprint - is created through research, education and cooperation. Since its establishment, the University of Oulu has enjoyed strong and effective cooperation with its partners. These include companies, research institutes and public administration. Our university has a key role as a driver of strategic development and vitality in the northern region, working closely with international and national stakeholders. We also have an extensive alumni network. Our more than 65,000 alumni are transforming society through their work in Finland and around the world. Every member of our extensive alumni and stakeholder network has the opportunity to renew and develop their expertise with us, both through partnerships in research, development, and innovation activities, and through personal competence development.

We want to continue to be an inspiring and desirable place to study and work, whit an operating culture that supports and encourages each member of our community to succeed. Our goal is for every member of our community to feel welcome and to be an equal participant in our community. Solving global challenges requires creativity which can be achieved in a safe and inspiring atmosphere and environment. We encourage our staff to participate and contribute actively. We are in the process of compiling information on all ongoing working groups at the university in one place on the intranet so that everyone is aware of the different opportunities to contribute.

Jouko Niinimäki
Rector, University of Oulu

Strategy of the University of Oulu