Cooperation with Oulu UAS takes shape in work groups

Ten work groups are analysing on the service structure of the two institutes of higher education, and they submitted interim reports on 15 February. The Services for Teaching and Learning group describes its work.

The University of Oulu purchased the majority shareholding of Oulu University of Applied Sciences last June. Now, the aim is to analyse the advantages of collaboration, especially in the production of services. Established at the turn of the year, the work groups submitted their interim reports on 15 February, and the deadline for final reports is the end of May.

One of the work groups is Services for Teaching and Learning. Its interim report features thoughts on which services and functions will be produced jointly and separately. The group does not make decisions. Instead, it provides proposals to the steering group of the UniOulu–Oulu UAS cooperation project.

“The work group has had an excellent atmosphere,” says Vesa-Matti Sarenius, Director of Academic Affairs. “For services to be produced jointly, we have proposed, for example, career and digital counselling, study psychologist activities and sports and exercise. There are also similarities in digital pedagogical support, since both organisations use Exam and Moodle and need support services for online pedagogy.”

There has already been cooperation in many areas, and several plans have been considered to increase it over the years.

Allan Perttunen, Director of Study and International Affairs at Oulu UAS, confirms the good atmosphere of the work. Sarenius and Perttunen have taken turns chairing the work group, and meetings have alternated between the premises of both educational institutes.

“In order to support the work, we have established small and quick sub-groups to discuss, for example, applicant services and timetable work. Joint production does not mean that everything will be integrated; we are analysing which parts will be integrated and in what ways,” says Perttunen.

The group would prefer local educational services, which are referred to as student services at Oulu UAS, to be produced separately. This is because of their fairly divergent ways of and resources for producing the service. Based on the proposal of the interim report, the study information systems and maintenance of the right to study would remain separate. Similarly, the services provided to the UniOGS graduate school will remain with the university.

University students are represented in the work group by Valtteri Törmänen, education policy expert of the Student Union of the University of Oulu (OYY).

“We have found much common ground in the group, but we have also considered the differences and development needs of the educational institutes. The students’ goal is to have better services for studying, and hopefully the cooperation will strengthen our services in the areas that need improvement,” says Törmänen.

“The work schedule could have been a little more generous. If we plan things carefully and listen to the community, the joint campus and closer cooperation between the educational institutes will benefit all of Oulu.”

According to Allan Perttunen, the general atmosphere at Oulu UAS is positive, and most people are looking forward to closer cooperation with interest and excitement.

“The move to Linnanmaa is a wonderful thing, as is the cooperation in Kontinkangas. Some practical concerns do emerge in discussions, such as parking spaces and traffic connections.”

A total of eight work group are taking part in the analysis of the joint service structure, and there are also special work pairs focusing on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and procurement issues. 

Last updated: 21.2.2019