Rector Jari Kuusisto at the anniversary celebration: The renewing campus serves new ways of working and studying

rehtori Jari Kuusisto vuosipäivän juhlassa
Campus development, the new strategy and internationality rose strongly to the forefront at the University of Vaasa's anniversary celebration on Wednesday. Director General Atte Jääskeläinen from the Ministry of Education and Culture, who gave the main speech, emphasised that higher education needs additional resources so that the number of people with higher education will rise to meet the target.

− We have a new strategy, a new performance agreement, new ways of working and studying, as well as a reforming campus, Jari Kuusisto, Rector of the University of Vaasa, emphasised.

The university is currently thinking about what kinds of learning environments and functions will make the campus an appealing place also in the future.

− It is always difficult to predict the future, but there are some things we can say. At the campus, its role as a place for encounters will be emphasised. It is a good place to work and study as a part of the university community.

The university has published a new strategy for 2030. According to the Pathways to success strategy, the ultimate task of a university is to create new expertise and to foster education. Internationality is one of the key development targets.

− We take on global challenges and opportunities. We promote competitiveness, innovation and sustainability in business, technology and society. It is our vision that University of Vaasa is appreciated as an internationally successful and influential science university, Kuusisto explained the strategy.

Jääskeläinen from the Ministry of Education and Culture: Higher education needs additional resources

The main speech was given by Director General of Higher Education and Research Policy, Atte Jääskeläinen from the Ministry of Education and Culture. Jääskeläinen said that it is the Ministry's aim that at least half of young adults would have a higher education degree by 2030.

− It is realism to state that this target, as well as sufficient quality and raising of the level of expertise, cannot be achieved without additional resources and better use of the current resources.

Jääskeläinen emphasised the importance of researched information.

− At the moment, there is a great battle between researched information and manipulation based on lies. Researched information has taken some small wins, but the battle is not by any means over. Only an educated, civilised nation can look to the future with confidence but avoiding oversimplified solutions.

Jääskeläinen said that the influence of higher education and research must be seen to be diverse.

− Finland needs science and research to be a successful country also in the future. Influence brings wealth and well-being, broadens the worldview, creates civilisation and supports decision-making.


New fundraising campaign to be launched

At the anniversary celebration, University of Vaasa launched a new fundraising campaign, which will continue until summer 2022. The target of the Pathways to success campaign is to collect EUR 5 - 7 million of private funds for the state's counterpart programme. Every euro donated may bring up to 2.5 euros of the state's counterpart funds.

Chair of the fundraising committee, board professional Anne Berner reminded us that economic growth and the standard of living are based on knowledge, which requires education and scientific research.

− University of Vaasa is an excellent example of regional and international collaboration. The university's funding must be strengthened, so I wish this campaign success, said Berner.

At the celebration, University of Vaasa's digital teaching support and development team was awarded the Teaching Act of the Year award. The group consists of digital teaching coach Sanna Eronen, IT Manager Ari Hovila, expert Timo Salonen, expert Ove Ritola, pedagogue Sanna West and pedagogue Sören Granlund.

VEBIC research platform's Director Suvi Karirinne was awarded the Research Act of the Year award. She has actively furthered collaboration between the university's various units in accordance with the university's strategy. The University of Vaasa's student union granted the Good Teacher recognition to Niina Nissilä, who has promoted smooth remote studying and succeeded in remote teaching.

Text: Tiina Rantakoski
Photos: Sami Pulkkinen

Further information:

Jari Kuusisto, Rector of the University of Vaasa
tel. +358 29 449 8291

Jari Kuusisto's speech

Meet our new professors

Anniversary celebrations page (recording 28.1.)

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