The wording of the strategy is shaping up

The strategy update work has progressed to the phase of forming strategy texts and materials. The update work has been carried out extensively throughout the end of the year, involving discussions, feedback, and workshops across various parts of the university. The draft of the strategy update will be presented for decision-making at the University Board of Directors meeting in December.

The title for the updated strategy is shaping up as “Our Northern Impact is Global - Oulu University Strategy for the 2030s" that is in Finnish “Pohjoinen kädenjälkemme on globaali - Oulun yliopiston strategia 2030-luvulle". The title encapsulates both the northern context of the University of Oulu and the international dimension of its activities. 'Kädenjälki', Handprint refers to the positive impact generated through our research, education, alumni, and collaborative relationships. The concept is used quite broadly alongside 'carbon footprint' when discussing sustainability and responsibility.

The draft of the strategy texts is shaping up

As one element in the strategy update, overarching themes, referred to as Global Challenges, are proposed to concern the entire university's activities. The idea is that through interdisciplinary collaboration based on our broad range of disciplines, we address global challenges in research, education, and through the functioning of our collaborative relationships. The global challenges are aligned with, among other things, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In the draft phase, four substance related themes and one more operationally related common theme are under consideration as challenges.

Based on the feedback received from the community, it is proposed to incorporate the vision and mission as separate elements in the strategy. The purpose of our operations is largely determined by the university act. In the draft version, the following mission has taken shape:

"As an international science university, we create new scientific knowledge based on strong research and interdisciplinary cooperation. We train the builders of a more sustainable, intelligent, and humane world. Our northern scientific community is dedicated to creating global impact."

The strategy texts will continue to be considered and may be modified based on the latest feedback.

It is proposed that the strategic development programs focus on three development paths forming around the core tasks. In the current draft, the development paths formulated under the leadership of vice rectors are as follows:

  • Strong scientific community and interdisciplinary research – Vetovoimainen tiedeyhteisö ja tieteidenvälinen tutkimus
  • High-quality and flexible education, superior learning experience – Laadukas ja joustava koulutustarjonta, ylivertainen oppimiskokemus
  • Strategic cooperation and societal impact – Strateginen yhteistyö ja yhteiskunnallinen vaikuttavuus

Collaboration and impact highlighted in the events

During November, the strategy update was discussed at the open Strategy Coffee event held at Kontinkangas Campus on November 9th. In the theme group meetings of the Council for External Relations in November, the strategy update has been addressed, particularly from the perspective of collaboration relationships. Representatives of stakeholders emphasized the importance of effective collaboration with the university in both research and education. The strategic discussion at the University of Oulu's Board of Directors also highlighted the significance of business and stakeholder engagement, as well as regional, national, and international collaboration for the success of the university.

The steps towards the end of the year

The University Board of Directors discussed, during its strategic seminar on November 28th, the establishment of target goals toward 2040, identification of critical success factors, indicators and their monitoring, as well as the formulation and visualization of the draft strategy. University-wide strategy texts and materials are being updated and formed based on feedback from the Board of Directors, stakeholders, University Management Group, and students, around the turn from November to December. This material will be submitted for review and decision-making during the Board of Directors' meeting in December, scheduled for week 49.

The strategy updates and texts for faculties, regional units, and focus institutes have just been completed. The work involved participation from both research and teaching staff as well as students, and discussion sessions and workshops have been conducted for various groups according to the preferences of each faculty. Titles and summaries from the strategies of faculties, regional units, and focus institutes are integrated into the overall university strategy material.

After the board meeting the plan is to proceed to language editing and the development of the graphic design for the strategy materials. The goal is to have the material ready by early 2024.

The strategy update is supported and coordinated by the Unit for Strategy and Science Policy (STY). The contact persons are Development Director Johanna Bluemink (tel. 050 3709505), Head of Planning Juha Mönkkönen (tel. 040 6749474) and Administrative Coordinator Mari Katvala (tel. 050 4661594).

Strategy of the University of Oulu

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Last updated: 1.12.2023