The University of Oulu proposes a property strategy analysis

The Rector of the University of Oulu is proposing a property strategy analysis to the University of Oulu Board of Directors. The goal of the analysis is to find financially sustainable, long-term university property solutions that support the university’s operations.

The alternatives reviewed in the analysis include the maintenance of the current building stock, the partial demolition of the current building stock and new construction on university campuses as well as new construction near the centre of Oulu. The analysis will evaluate the financial, functional and social impacts of the different alternatives.

“The University of Oulu has tried to curb the increase of rental costs in many ways. The building stock on our campuses has reached the age at which the need for renovations will continue and, under the current model, the rent level would rise considerably. Preliminary comparisons have raised the question about the appropriateness of the current property strategy – now we need to evaluate the strategy on the basis of the different alternatives,” says Jouko Niinimäki, Rector of the University of Oulu.

Property costs are the university’s second largest expense item after personnel costs. In recent years, the university has significantly increased the efficiency of the utilisation of its premises in the Linnanmaa and Kontinkangas campuses but, due to renovations, property costs have increased regardless. Future renovation needs would further boost this development. The premises of the University of Oulu in Linnanmaa and Kontinkangas are owned by University Properties of Finland Ltd.

A preliminary comparison has shown that the rent level of the renovated Linnanmaa premises may be higher than the market rent of corresponding premises in the area. According to the preliminary estimates, new construction might be a more financially viable option than the renovation of current premises. New construction could also improve the energy efficiency of the university premises and the sustainable use of resources.

The university has had initial discussions with the City of Oulu about new construction opportunities. If the university’s property strategy were to focus on new construction near the centre of Oulu, the timespan of construction and the transfer of operations would be the following 20 years. During that time, new uses would emerge for the premises in the Linnanmaa area.

Last updated: 21.11.2019