University of Oulu, 2016

Values of the university community crystallise guiding principles

Hundreds of university people and alumni took part in an open on-line brainstorming session earlier this year to ponder what the university should be proud of and the preconditions for success. The shared thoughts about procedures have now been condensed into three values that guide our activities.

The values of the university are:

  • Creating new

  • Taking responsibility

  • Succeeding together

Represented in on-line working were students, staff, alumni, and representatives of the University's Board of Directors. Those taking part in the session were asked to define sources of pride for the future, to prioritise the ideas of other respondents, and finally to consider different ways to achieve the goals.

“Top research emerges as the main source of pride in the views of the community. When we took up the question of the preconditions for success, the interdisciplinary nature of the university, and the versatile skills and knowledge of the staff were seen as strengths. The principle of equality got special emphasis in responses from the students”, says the university's Communications Director Marja Jokinen, who has guided the values process.

“The value base that emerges from the community defines how we wish to operate. The principle of creating new things also includes the idea that we constantly undergo renewal ourselves. The values come alive when each staff member and student ponders what they mean with respect to what they do themselves”, says University of Oulu Rector Jouko Niinimäki.

Templates for values formed on the basis of the results of the on-line brainstorming session have been discussed in visits to the faculties by the administration in May, and also at a meeting of the University's Board of Directors on 2 October 2018. A new outline for discussion is under preparation for supervisors, to help discuss values in their own units, in development discussions, and in communications with partners in cooperation.

See the video on the values of the University of Oulu


Extracts from the responses in the electronic brainstorming session: What kinds of matters can we be proud about in the 2020s?

“University researchers are seen as scientists both for the public at large and in their own fields of science internationally. They popularise the results they have reached and benefit society, while advancing science at the same time.”

“The university is interactive. We have meeting places (both concrete and virtual) where researchers and students can exchange thoughts and ideas. The threshold for discussion is low, and discussions are supported, and interaction is encouraged. The administration of the university takes part in the discussion and listens to its members.”

“The international nature of the University of Oulu can be seen in the fact that researchers from abroad seek employment here. The international character can be seen in everyday life through multiculturalism and multilingualism: the linguistic and cultural backgrounds of the employees are appreciated and they are seen as something that enriches the workplace.”

“Open, courageous and forward-going mindset. Openness to new ideas, stretching the limits of our thinking, ability to renew, courage to act, matureness to learn from mistakes, continuous improvement.”

“Advancing the overall good of society. Research and teaching serve the rest of society, seeking to improve general well-being as comprehensively as possible. The primary obligation for service targets Finnish society as a whole, also taking broader global challenges into consideration.”

”Teachers who are excellent in their field and feel passionate about teaching and spreading their knowledge. Innovative teaching in classrooms. Demanding more from the students. Inspiring the students more!”

The strategy of the University of Oulu

Last updated: 14.11.2018