EXCELLENCE AND DYNAMISM. University of Jyväskylä 2017

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1 EXCELLENCE AND DYNAMISM University of Jyväskylä 2017 Approved at the University Board Meeting of 25 March 2010

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3 FOREWORD The compilation of a University Strategy extending until 2017 could hardly have taken place at a more challenging time: the global recession is affecting both our economy and structures in fact, it is creating a new world order. On the other hand, the new Universities Act has provided Finnish universities with a historic opportunity for renewal and courageous innovation. Turning points like this provide precisely the right context for strategic thinking. The name of the Strategy Excellence and Dynamism carries the core messages regarding our University s strategic intent and direction. Instead of quantity, the focus of development has now been set on quality. Dynamism, for its part, represents continuous development of the University. The basic idea of the Strategy is reflected through the chosen focus areas. The most central actions are targeted at improving the conditions for cutting edge research, as well as at developing creative research and learning environments. One of the main tools is innovative human resource management; we want to take good care of our students and staff. Furthermore, administrative structures are being streamlined and adapted to meet the needs of the new university, which will ensure more time for the core functions, i.e. research and education. In creating this Strategy, we have taken into consideration the national and international development objectives affecting the operation of universities, as well as the proposals made by the units of the University of Jyväskylä. The Strategy has been created through an extensive and multifaceted interaction process, in which both the staff and students have participated. Every member of the University community has had the opportunity to submit proposals online. Furthermore, our stakeholder groups have provided feedback on the Strategy. We have aimed at reaching a sufficient and visionary consensus about what is important and worth striving for within the University of Jyväskylä, and what society expects from the new university. Aino Sallinen Rector

4 CONTENTS UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ... 1 Strategic objective... 1 Operating environment... 1 Core values... 1 Mission... 1 Profile... 2 Core fields... 2 RESEARCH... 3 Role in the national and international scientific community... 3 Improving the conditions for research... 3 International attractiveness and strategic partnerships... 4 EDUCATION... 5 Developing pedagogical quality... 5 Promoting learning and accelerating graduation... 5 Developing the workplace relevance of education... 6 SOCIETAL INTERACTION... 7 Societal impact... 7 Regional interaction... 7 OPERATIONAL PRECONDITIONS... 8 Human resources... 8 Financial resources... 8 Structural development... 9 Premises and the environment... 9 FOLLOW UP OF THE STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION... 11

5 UNIVERSITY OF JYVÄSKYLÄ STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE The University of Jyväskylä will be one of Finland s leading and most successful multidisciplinary research universities, in which the tradition of education provided in Finnish is combined with modern internationality. In its core fields, the University will be the leading research university in Finland, with its areas of research strength reaching the highest international level. As a place of study, the University will be among the most desirable. The University will be sustainably competitive, attractive and innovative, and it will have a major societal impact. Its strong operating culture will enhance creativity and productivity. The University will be known for the high level of its basic research, pedagogical renewal activities, innovativeness, and distinctiveness. It will be a well rounded community both for its employees and students, who experience joy and satisfaction in their work and are proud of belonging to the University community. OPERATING ENVIRONMENT Through its strengths, multidisciplinarity, and extensive educational responsibility, the University of Jyväskylä has great potential to react, in particular, to the following challenges in the operating environment: advancing globalization, population ageing, changes in working life, technological development, and climate change. The autonomy provided by the new Universities Act is seen as a significant opportunity for learning, renewal, and profile development at the University. The University proactively anticipates global changes and recognizes the related risks, seeing these changes as opportunities. Strategic agility is used in reacting to new challenges and the unexpected. The University will establish a Future Workshop that supports its strategic management by anticipating and estimating the changes taking place in the operating environment, and by identifying opportunities for new initiatives. CORE VALUES The core values of the University of Jyväskylä are excellence, enlightenment, and engagement. The humanistic values of the European university institution and responsibility for the future of humanity constitute the foundation for the University s ethos. The University follows and nurtures ethical values and promotes sustainability with regard to economic, social, and ecological development. The operating culture at the University is based on openness, equality, and trust. MISSION The mission of the University of Jyväskylä is, on the basis of research, to seek out truths, to produce and disseminate new knowledge, and to enhance and renew the cultural heritage. 1

6 The University aims at profoundly understanding and explaining human thinking and activity, natural phenomena, and their interaction. The University promotes the favourable development of human beings, nature and society, anticipating the needs for renewal and aiming at the highest possible level of quality. The University cultivates strong basic sciences, fosters interdisciplinary cooperation and fruitful interaction between research and education, and makes the competence created therein available to society as a whole. The University educates academic experts who are able to change the world through the production and application of new knowledge, and through a critical approach based on scientific thought. PROFILE The University of Jyväskylä is a nationally and internationally significant research university that focuses on human and natural sciences. The University is Finland s leading expert in education, teacher education, adult education, as well as the largest exporter of education. Moreover, it is the only provider of sports and health sciences education in the country. Nationally speaking, the University of Jyväskylä recruits a geographically more heterogeneous student cohort than any other Finnish university. The University operates in a multidisciplinary manner throughout the entire human life cycle and the innovation ecosystem. The technology profile of the University includes accelerator based technology, nano and paper manufacturing technology, ICT; wellness, sports and health technology; ICT in learning, and music technology. The University s special national responsibilities have been organized into the following centres: the Accelerator Laboratory, the Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius, the Finnish Institute for Educational Research, the Finnish Centre for Lifelong Guidance Expertise, the Centre for Applied Language Studies, and the Sign Language Centre. The Universities of Jyväskylä and Tampere form the University Alliance Finland together with Tampere University of Technology. The University is known for its dynamic operating culture and experimental spirit. CORE FIELDS The core fields reflect the University s profile and strengths. The main criteria defining these core fields are the level of research, the extent of activities, national educational responsibilities, and societal significance. These fields are scientifically, educationally, and socially active. In addition, they have created versatile networks and they support each other. The core fields are prioritized regarding strategic funding and structural development. The core fields are Basic natural phenomena and the structure of matter Education, learning, and teaching in the future Languages, culture, and social change processes Physical activity and wellbeing Human technology 2

7 RESEARCH The University of Jyväskylä promotes the solving of demanding scientific problems and research conducted at the interface of different disciplines, as well as taking responsibility for the freedom and social impact of research. In addition to basic research, the University encourages researchers to address weighty topical issues and to advance the utilization of research results. ROLE IN THE NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY The University will have twelve centres of excellence designated by the Academy of Finland, twenty academy or equivalent (FiDiPro, ERC) professors or researchers, and eight top researcher groups supported by international funding organizations. The University s position among the top 3 per cent in the global university rankings will show a continuous rise. The research results will be published in forums that have been recognized for their impact. The University will implement a policy of key strength areas, which is based on the identification of areas of research strength through external evaluation. The most successful areas are prioritized in the allocation of resources and in structural development. Promising initiatives are supported. The most influential publishing forums will be identified for each discipline, and publication therein will be subsequently rewarded. Training programmes in scientific management will be organized, and the support services for research will be extended to the faculty service centres. IMPROVING THE CONDITIONS FOR RESEARCH The University will succeed in recruiting talented international researchers. The University will utilize a tenure track system that enables career progress and mobility. The University s doctoral education will be attractive and profiled. In addition to professors, international recruitment will also include other research personnel. The tenure track system will be applied in the recruitment of professors, university researchers, and university lecturers. The potential for professors to undertake research will be improved by reducing their administrative duties and by organizing sabbatical periods. The content and structure of doctoral education will be renewed, taking into account the generational change and sufficiency of research staff. Women s research careers will be pro 3

8 moted. Studies will include courses in university pedagogy and transferable skills. The development of research methodology will continue in a centralized manner. INTERNATIONAL ATTRACTIVENESS AND STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS The University will be internationally known for its high level of research and innovative research environments. The University s research infrastructure will be of the highest quality and functional in every aspect. Cooperation with the best universities and research institutes in Europe, Asia, North America, and Russia will be active and rely on sustainable partnerships. The University will support cooperation with the best partners, aiming at scientific breakthroughs. Innovative research environments will be systematically created. In developing the operations, the criteria used in international university evaluations will be taken into consideration. National and international programmes and corporate funding will be utilized in developing the necessary infrastructures. The University will be involved in large international infrastructures. Joint research and postgraduate programmes, degrees, professorships, infrastructures, and units will be established with the University s major partners. Cooperation with the aforementioned Alliance universities and sectoral research institutes supporting the University s research profile will be intensified. 4

9 EDUCATION The University of Jyväskylä is strengthening its position as one of Finland s most popular places to study. Its research based education represents a content wise and pedagogically high quality level. It prepares students for the increasingly international labour market, as well as for lifelong learning. Thanks to its versatile research activity related to education and learning, the University is capable of leading the way in pedagogical development. DEVELOPING PEDAGOGICAL QUALITY The University will be known for its pedagogical renewal activities and educational environments that promote learning. The University will create new pedagogical solutions to meet the rapidly changing needs of society. The University staff will have good university pedagogy skills and international competences. Education and research will be developed equally. The interaction between research and teaching will be fostered. The teacher student ratio will be improved by increasing teacher resources and decreasing the intake of new students by 10 per cent by Furthermore, teaching and learning will become more interactive. The opportunities available for students in selecting minor subjects and language and communication courses will remain extensive. Campus specific learning environments will be established, taking into account the flexible modes of learning and future pedagogies. The University will ensure that its entire body of teaching staff is sufficiently trained in university pedagogy. PROMOTING LEARNING AND ACCELERATING GRADUATION The University will succeed in selecting talented and motivated students. Students will graduate within the target time; drop out and interruption percentage will fall to the lowest rate among universities. The University will be known as a university that holistically cares for its students. Strategic guidelines for student selection will be created, taking into consideration the extensive research on selections undertaken at the University, the national recommendations regarding the prolonging of careers, and the University s own profile. The recruiting of students directly into master s and doctoral programmes will increase. Social media will be increasingly utilized in teaching, communication, and marketing. Bachelor s education will be harmonized within the faculties and disciplines. Flexibility and the growing number of adults studying while working will be taken into account in design 5

10 ing education. The efficiency of degree completion will be promoted, and students will be rewarded for fast graduation. The counselling systems that support studies and career progression will be extended to all units within the University. In cooperation with regional partners, the Student Life action model will be developed. The objective of this model is to provide the optimal conditions for learning, to support students harmonious development and active agency, and to develop their ability to promote individual and common wellbeing. DEVELOPING THE WORKPLACE RELEVANCE OF EDUCATION Students will have multi faceted transferable skills, and their employment rate will be high. The education offered by the University will enhance integration into the labour market. The University will provide new action models that consolidate the links between education and working life. The transition of students into working life will be supported through counselling and renewed pedagogical contents. Pedagogies that integrate transferable skills with academic education will be developed. Each student s personal study plan will include a plan for internationalization and for the development of transferable skills. Practical training supporting discipline specific studies will be increased, and practical training pedagogy will be developed. A broad offering of entrepreneurial studies will be provided. New types of workplace interventions will be implemented with the major partners. 6

11 SOCIETAL INTERACTION The University s activities have a great societal impact. The knowledge and competence produced at the University is made broadly available in society. The cornerstones of the University s social interaction include basic and applied research, in addition to education that serves as the primary tool of social development. Not only is the University nationally and internationally influential, but it also occupies a central regional role. SOCIETAL IMPACT The University will be an institution of open knowledge and competence, characterized by open interaction with enterprises, policymakers, and other players in society. The University will have a significant role in producing, testing, and commercializing innovations. New networking and action models will be used in stakeholder collaboration. Multidisciplinary research will be applied to strengthen the regeneration ability of industrial life and the public sector, as well as to promote the creation of service innovations in the University s core fields. Research data will be produced for societal decision making. With the support of networks, experiments that speed up social development will be implemented. Participation in the Strategic Centres for Science, Technology and Innovation will be encouraged, in accordance with ownership policy. Opportunities will be offered for adult learning at all stages of life. Innovation research will be strengthened. REGIONAL INTERACTION The new forms of collaboration between higher education institutions will increase the educational attractiveness of the region. The University will be actively involved in building a regional innovation cluster. The University will occupy a major role in renewing the economic structure of the region. Regional project activities will be increased. New forms of cooperation and consortia will be developed together with other educational actors, organizations, and enterprises in the region. Innovative forms of continuing education will be productized. The structural change in the region s industry and commerce will be accelerated by renewing education. The development and integration with other subjects of information technology and economics will be promoted because of their importance for the University s social impact. New forms of cooperation with JAMK University of Applied Sciences will be implemented. 7

12 OPERATIONAL PRECONDITIONS The University responds to the continuously growing demands for profitability, quality and renewal, as well as retaining its sensitive ability to confront needs for change with a pioneering approach. Influencing takes place through proactive analyses of the operating environment, expertise based on the core fields, and the flexibility arising from an independent role. HUMAN RESOURCES The University will be a competitive employer, as well as constituting an attractive work community and place of study. Innovative personnel management will support the holistic, persistent governance of human resources. The management and service culture prevailing at the University will professionally support research and education. A strong employer policy promoting the strategic objectives and staff wellbeing will be created at the University. New forms of personnel management, required by an innovative operating culture, will be developed. New guidance and operations models will be created in order to harmoniously further the career long commitment of staff, as well as to enhance the development of core competence and human capacity. The staff will be rewarded for good results. The quality, cost effectiveness, and functioning of the support services will be continuously improved through evaluation and staff training. The University s objectives, as well as individual staff members educational needs, will be addressed in staff training. Developmental discussions will become integral parts of the operating culture. Experience of management will be regarded as a meritorious part of career development. Management and leadership training will be regularly organized, supporting the strategic leadership needed in the new university, and individuals in managerial positions will be required to have completed management training. FINANCIAL RESOURCES The University s share of the Ministry of Education s operational grants will increase by 2 per cent. The proportion of overall funding constituted by supplementary funding will increase to 40 per cent, and the organization of project activities will support the increase in funding. The University will maintain good liquidity and ensure its financial standing. 8

13 The University s finances will be managed efficiently and productively, based on the model of sustainable university economy. The implementation of quantitative and qualitative targets, which is required for basic funding, will be ensured, and the staff will be supported in the acquisition of supplementary funding. The growing resources will be allocated to the core fields and new innovative initiatives, which will contribute to significant national and international development objectives. Cost efficiency will be enhanced and a persistent ownership policy will be developed. The capital base will be broadened and competence in finances strengthened at all levels of the organization. The achievement of financial targets will be supported by the recruitment policy, an internal funding model, optimal budgeting, and by a rewarding human resources policy. STRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT The University will have an administrative structure that supports concentration on research and education. Quality management will be an integral part of strategic management and the operating culture of the units throughout the University. Competitive ability will be strengthened through the centralization and streamlining of operations. Administrative structures will be changed to meet the needs of the new university. Where necessary, current departmental structures will be renewed and competitive operational units formed, ensuring the development of the core fields, in particular. The focus, here, will be on the core functions. The activities supporting the core functions will be organized in the form of service centres and through corporatization. Process management will be gradually introduced. Flexible and incentive systems for multidisciplinary cooperation will be created. New initiatives will be launched and overlaps addressed within the University Alliance. PREMISES AND THE ENVIRONMENT The University premises will be healthy and safe and comply with the modern concepts of learning. Sustainable development and accessibility will be taken into account, as stated in the premises and environmental programme. The University campuses will be functional, open, and welcoming. The activities will continue to be concentrated on the campuses. The total volume of premises will not increase, but their functionality, interactiveness, as well as their utilization and cost efficiency, will be enhanced. Problems related to internal air quality will be purposefully addressed. 9

14 The University will make preparations in order to fulfil the environmental criteria of the Green Office logo. The University will become waste free, and the Seminaarinmäki campus car free. The Seminaarinmäki conservation programme will be systematically implemented. Physical obstacles both within buildings and in outdoor areas will be removed in connection with building renovations. 10

15 FOLLOW UP OF THE STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION At the University level, the implementation of the Strategy will be annually monitored in the Management Review submitted to the University Board, in financial statement reporting, and in the evaluations made by the Science Council, the Education Council, and Council for Societal Interaction regarding development in their respective areas of responsibility. The objectives of the Strategy constitute a framework for the action plans of the University s various faculties and other units. At the unit level, strategy implementation will be evaluated in the yearly feedback delivered by the Rector, which will provide a foundation for strategic development in the internal performance nego 11

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