Strategy of the University of Oulu

Our Northern Handprint is Global – Strategy of the University of Oulu towards 2030


As an international science university, we create new scientific knowledge based on strong research and provide research-based education to build a more sustainable, intelligent, and humane world. Our Northern scientific community is dedicated to creating global impact and accelerating innovations.


We are an international leader in our profiling research fields, offering a wide range of scientific disciplines, and we are a frontrunner in interdisciplinary cooperation. We are an attractive community to study and work. Our organisational culture supports and encourages every member of our community to succeed in their work and to take pride not only in their personal achievements but also in the University of Oulu.

We respond to global challenges with multi- and interdisciplinary expertise

We build hope for a better and more equitable future by generating solutions to humanity's most pressing questions through strong research and interdisciplinary collaboration. As a university, we bear special responsibility for advancing sustainable well-being within the limits of our ecosystem. Ecological, cultural, social, and economic sustainability and responsibility serve as the foundation for all our activities. In our diverse community, equality and accessibility are prerequisites for our collective success.

Global challenges, based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), constitute the overarching themes of our work. We create positive impact through multi- and interdisciplinary collaboration based on our broad range of scientific disciplines. Global challenges steer our research, education, and cooperation.

Our handprint is created in research, education, and cooperation

As a university with a wide range of scientific disciplines, we aspire to be an international frontrunner in multi- and interdisciplinary collaboration. We promote interdisciplinary research through our university's profile areas and multidisciplinary research centres. Our graduates emerge as future leaders with the ability for collaborative, cross-disciplinary work, international expertise, and a broad eco-social education. The University of Oulu is committed to acting responsibly and to advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through research and education. Our positive impact on the future – our handprint – is created in research, education, and cooperation. Our Northern handprint is global.

Our research profile is based on internationally recognised and excellent research, as well as its societal impact. Global challenges, the profile areas of our research, and the targets set for the University’s ​​​​development paths steer our actions towards the 2030s. This figure illustrates the research profile areas at the University of Oulu for the coming years:

Societal impact and co-creation with the surrounding society are integral parts of our research and education. The global impact of our university is based on scientific breakthroughs, cutting-edge technology, and world-class innovations. Our more than 65 000 alumni are transforming society through their work all over Finland and the world. Each member of our extensive alumni and stakeholder network has the opportunity to renew and develop expertise with us, both through partnerships in research, development, and innovation activities, and through personal competence development. We recognise our role as a driver of strategic development and vitality in the ​​northern region, working closely with international and national stakeholders.

In line with our values, our international scientific community creates new knowledge, takes responsibility, and succeeds together. Our goal is that each member of our community thrives and feels welcome and equal. ​​Solving global challenges requires creativity, which can be achieved in a safe and inspiring atmosphere and environment.

In line with our long-term campus vision, we aim to gradually build a new, cohesive campus area for the activities of the University of Oulu in Oulu over the next 25 years. The new campus of the future will provide an inviting and enjoyable framework for education, interdisciplinary collaboration, and societal interaction. Encompassing activities from all faculties, the campus will seamlessly integrate with public transportation, city services, and student housing, thereby ensuring wide accessibility. The new campus is carbon-neutral and modern. The campus experience is a ​​harmonious blend of learning and working, moving, and living.

We implement the strategy of the University of Oulu and direct our activities through three university-level development paths:

  • Strong scientific community and interdisciplinary research
  • High-quality, flexible education and excellent learning experience
  • Strategic cooperation and societal impact

A strong scientific community and interdisciplinary research

As part of the international scientific community, we generate new scientific knowledge and are among the international leaders in our profile areas. Leveraging our broad range of disciplines and extensive collaborative network, we aim to produce influential and sustainable solutions to address significant global challenges through multi- and interdisciplinary approaches. Our research is characterised by openness, responsibility, good scientific practices, and impact. Our ambitious goals and our international outlook make us an even more attractive science university.

High quality, flexible education and excellent learning experience

We offer multidisciplinary and globally unique learning pathways. Tackling future challenges and creating new solutions are our alumni’s strengths in working life. We are a close-knit academic community where wellbeing is part of learning and teaching. As a university, we offer our students the opportunity to develop into the leading experts of the future.

Strategic cooperation and social impact

University personnel and students contribute to the sustainable and responsible development of the vitality of wider society by actively engaging in national and international stakeholder cooperation, research, and innovation as part of their successful university careers.

The values of the university community

Creating new

Taking responsibility

Succeeding together

Download the strategy

You can download the strategy of the University of Oulu from the following link: Our Northern Handprint is Global – Strategy of the University of Oulu towards 2030 (pdf)