The University of Vaasa is adapting its activities in response to government cuts - The ...
The University of Vaasa must cut its costs by approximately half a million euros as of the beginning of 2016. The matter was decided upon by the board of the University of Vaasa on 30 October 2015.
The reason for this is a permanent decrease in state funding from the beginning of next year. Cost-cutting measures will mainly affect the University of Vaasa's support services, which will see a permanent decrease of EUR 500,000 in financing in comparison with the amount available this year. The sum is just over 1% of the University's annual budget. The change will also affect teaching and research personnel as the faculties will be required to take new measures to develop the University.
The acting rector will take immediate action to adjust the University's operations and the University will analyse the opportunities that are available for cutting the costs of support services. Adjusting the University's operations may involve utilising new income opportunities and cutting existing outgoings in the form of the cost of premises, other costs and, if necessary, personnel costs. The University will also look into opportunities for collaboration with other institutes of higher education.
The board of the University of Vaasa has authorised the acting rector to commence a co-determination process concerning all other personnel. The purpose of this process is to ensure that personnel are involved in considering the various options from the earliest possible stage. If personnel reductions are decided upon, attempts will be made to realise these in manners other than redundancies.
The co-determination negotiations will begin on 17 November 2015 and will be completed by 8 January 2016. Decisions on actions and further steps will be made in January 2016.
Developing the faculties
The higher education system is currently undergoing significant structural development. The Finnish government requires universities to carry out profiling and structural reform, and financing new opportunities also requires existing funding to be reallocated at the University of Vaasa. The strategic change requires all faculties to participate in creating a new future. In the future, financing will depend on the success of the profiling process to an increasing extent.
The board of the University of Vaasa has confirmed its budget, indicating its decision to reserve EUR 1.2 million in funding that has not yet been allocated to be divided among the faculties. The faculties can influence the way in which the funding is allocated by preparing and presenting change projects in a manner subject to the board's instructions and the rector's decision. Overall funding for teaching and research will remain the same and the sum that can be allocated at the University's discretion represents less than 3% of the University's annual budget (2015).
The government's programme calls for state funding of Finland's universities to permanently decrease in forthcoming years. This also means that the University of Vaasa's budget will decrease in comparison with 2015. At the same time, the government's programme contains a policy whereby funding allocated to teaching and research is to be cut. Cuts to Tekes and SHOK funding will also affect the University of Vaasa's funding base in forthcoming years.
The faculties now have an opportunity to actively influence their future and financing by presenting their own proposed measures for ensuring that the University has the foundations for success.
The faculties should prepare proposals for change projects by 31 January 2016 and the University of Vaasa's board will review the faculties' change projects to decide upon the recipient of funding in February 2016. At the same time, a more precise budget will be approved.
More precise criteria for the allocation of development funds will be publicised as soon as possible.
The University of Vaasa aims to ensure that the quality of education and research can be improved, even in times of change.
Acting rector Jari Kuusisto, Tel: +358 29 449 8291
Samu Leskinen, Director of Legal and General Administrative Services, Tel: +358 29 449 8077