Research at the University of Vaasa has been assessed: several research groups at a high international level

According to the Research Assessment Exercise of the University of Vaasa, several research groups are at a high international level. In addition, the university's industrial cooperation and societal interaction are working very well. The assessment report was published during the university's anniversary celebration event on 27 January.

The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE Univaasa 2022) covered research activities from 2015 to 2020 and evaluated our research groups, schools, and research platforms as well as the university as a whole. The goal was to assess the research activities and the quality of research performance and to evaluate the academic and societal impact of the research activities. The panels of experts were also asked to give feedback and guidance on our research strategy for the future and the development of our research environment.

The evaluation consisted of external evaluation by international expert panels and internal evaluations. They were based on an extensive and multi-level data from the university, including, for example, bibliometric analyses.

– The panels found that several research groups are currently at a high international level. As in all universities, there is variation. The panels noted that many research groups are quite small. The university-level panel recommended that even more attention should be paid to the recruitment strategy, says Professor Heikki Mannila, chair of the university-level evaluation panel.

In addition to the high international level of several research groups, the evaluators praised the university's industrial cooperation and wider interaction with society in particular. Communication between parties is frequent and pragmatic.  Many projects clearly contribute to our research and education and provide useful information for companies.

According to the expert panels, the scientific areas represented are ones where excellent researchers have many opportunities.

Concrete goals on research focus and quality

The panels’ reports provide important insight and recommendations for the strategic development of the university's research.

The panels suggest, among other things, that the university's strategy should be augmented with more concrete goals on research focus, quality, and volume. The implementation plan of the strategy should also specify the areas in which the university wants to excel, and how this excellence is going to be measured.

According to the panels, the research groups should be of a certain size to be viable, to compete for national and international funding, and to be internationally identified as potential research partners. The panels also suggest a strategic programme for recruiting personnel and hiring more visiting professors.

We have three research platforms to develop multidisciplinary and phenomenon-based research. According to the expert panels, the current role and format of the platforms should be developed further. The platforms should have a supporting role in the service of the schools and their research groups, and they should not form a research identity of their own.

– In our 2030 strategy, the University of Vaasa strives to become a university internationally recognised for the high impact of its research. This evaluation will guide us on our path. I wish to thank the highly valuable and appreciated international experts in the panels for their thorough reports and our personnel, without whom these excellent results in research would not have been possible, says Minna Martikainen, Rector of the University of Vaasa.

Report Research Assessment Excise RAE Univaasa 2022


Read more: University of Vaasa awarded its best research and teaching acts of 2022

During the anniversary celebration on Friday 27 January, the University of Vaasa awarded the research and teaching acts of the year. The Research Act of the Year 2022 was awarded to researchers in economic law and accounting Marika Salo-Lahti, Mikko Ranta and Helena Haapio. University Lecturer Minnie Kontkanen got the Teaching Act of the Year 2022. In addition, Binod Timilsina received the Good Teacher award from the Students' Union of the University of Vaasa.

Did you like the article?