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1 Strategy

2 Strategy of the University of Vaasa Contents The University of Vaasa Current State and Future Challenges Vision Strategic Goals and Measures Research Education Interaction with the society Management, personnel, and economy Follow-up and Assessment of Implementation Appendices NB! This is a translation of the original. The original was accepted by the Senate 23 January 2012.

3 The University of Vaasa The University of Vaasa is the only independent university in the area of three provinces of Ostrobothnia, tending to the region s education and cultivation of academic values and traditions. At the same time, the University of Vaasa is a modern research and development organization. It participates in developing the region, in the networks of the region s economic life, and in utilizing and promoting research results. Our education and internationalization outcomes are above national averages. The pace at which our students advance in their studies and graduate from Master s and Bachelor s programmes is at a good level, and our student exchange and foreign students graduation rates are distinctly higher than the national averages. Our research funding, publication of research findings, and post-graduate education results are slightly behind the national level and require development measures. We will build our strategy on this footing. The vision of the University for has four focus areas, on which the success of the University will be founded: energy, management, multilingualism, and finance. The strategy also defines the measures for developing teaching and research, and how the content of each educational and research area will be improved. We have reformed our degree programme structure. All programmes will contain internationalization and business modules. During the coming period, we will execute the reforms, strengthen the management of our programmes,

4 and implement merit pay elements to the programmes. Our research groups and researcher s common goal is to publish high-quality research. The Graduate School of the University will channel scholarships and employment opportunities to the postgraduates and so assist successful postgraduate education. During this strategy period, our campus will develop vigorously. The universities of applied sciences will move all their activities to the campus area on the sea shore. This will provide excellent conditions to continue the development of the premises, resources, and services that has already began. We will reserve approximately 2 M yearly to execute the strategy, which is circa 7 % of our yearly budget. The strategy funding and income from capital will be used to strengthen our focus areas (energy, management, multilingualism, finance) and to reward units and individuals for productive work that is in line with the strategy. Our aim during the strategy period is to procure significantly more research funding and allocated donations to strengthen, especially, our focus areas. To monitor the productivity of the University and execution of the strategy, we will employ overall evaluations and yearly assessments of results. We will pay special attention to increasing business studies education, developing partnerships, and accelerating research activity and postgraduate education. The Senate will monitor intensively how the strategy is implemented. Matti Jakobson Rector 3

5 1. Current State and Future Challenges The academic fields of the University are business studies, administrative sciences, languages, and technology. Characteristic to a business oriented university is close cooperation and synergy between its fields. The business studies provide the wide-ranging education of a school of economics, the humanities are specialized in modern languages and communication, the social sciences to administrative sciences, and the technology to energy. The education of the University and the internationalization of the education have been fruitful. The connection between research and education is strong. The University has a wide-ranging tradition of societal interaction, and a strong connection to the economic and social structures in its region (Ostrobothnia, Southern Ostrobothnia and Central Ostrobothnia). The structuring of higher education in the region is extraordinary. While units of 13 other schools of higher education act in the region, the University of Vaasa is the only independent university. In future, the development challenge of the University is to strengthen its business orientation, integrate its academic fields, and strengthen its focus areas. Challenges for the research are especially productivity and internationalization of research and postgraduate education. The challenge for education is to speed up the progress of studies, which leads to planned graduation from the programmes. 4

6 2. Vision The University of Vaasa is a business oriented university that is internationally and nationally successful and an efficiently networked institution of research and education. The graduates of the University of Vaasa are internationally inclined experts and leaders. The University s research produces new knowledge for managing organizations and processes, and for developing modern and sustainable operations models. The success of the University is founded on scientific research of high standards, education that is relevant to working life and based on research, well functioning study environment, international orientation, social interaction and efficient cooperation networks. The University will fulfil its educational responsibilities. The weight of business competence will be reinforced by including suitable business studies in all degree programmes of the University. The University is profiled by its focus areas, which are multidisciplinary themes of education and research. The productivity of research and education activities of the areas will be monitored, and the activities will be organized and assessed regularly. Also, strategic investments will be targeted to the areas. The focus areas are: Energy Management Multilingualism Finance 5

7 The field of Administrative Sciences is among the top three in Finland. The strategy is to strengthen the field s comprehensive competence in public administration and the role of the field in the Management Institute. The field of Humanities will answer to organizations communication needs and will be a leading language and communication educator profiled in language immersion. Language immersion research will be international. Business competence and local cooperation with schools of higher education will be strengthened. The field of Business Studies will entrench its position among the best three units in Finland and strengthen its international activity, research, and postgraduate education. The field of Technology will reinforce its position among the most important actors in the field of energy research and education. Significant investments will be made to energy education, research, and laboratories. Business competence will be given more weight in the degrees, competed research funding will be diversely utilized, and cooperation with other schools of higher education will be intensified. 6

8 3. Strategic Goals and Resources 3.1. Research Goals Research and postgraduate education will become more international. The national share of the University in postgraduate education, international publication activity, and research funding of all fields will increase. The best research groups will reach a high, internationally recognized, standard. Strategic measures Research groups: the productivity and quality of the research groups will be assessed yearly as a part of resource planning. The research groups will be evaluated every five years. The next assessment is scheduled to be On the basis of the evaluation, the best, internationally networked research groups will be funded. Graduate schools: the activities and resources of the Graduate School will be established. The University will participate in national and international graduate school programmes. The Graduate School will develop the recruitment of postgraduates, the effectiveness of thesis instruction processes, and the international and working life skills of the postgraduates. Tenure track model: the University will recruit researchers according to the tenure track model. International recruitment channels will be used in the recruitment process. The share of researchers with a doctor s degree will be increased in the University s research personnel. A research leave scheme for professors will be put into operation. Publication activity: publishing in forums of high standard will be rewarded. 7

9 3.2. Education Goals The education will be of high-quality, clearly profiled, business oriented, and relevant to working life. Graduates will have good skills to act in an international environment. Social interaction and focus to students needs are to be emphasized in the education. Strategic measures 8 Degree programmes: the Bachelor s and Master s programmes are to be interesting, competitive in their resources, and the admission numbers sufficient. The programmes will take ample use of the courses offered by the University and its partners. The principles of degree programme management will be established. The University will assess the productivity and quality of the programmes yearly, and its degree programme range regularly. Master s programmes: the University will stand out due to its high-quality Master s programmes profiled according to the fields of expertise of its research groups. When developing the programmes, external assessment and accreditation will be used. Cooperation with other schools of higher education will be increased especially in the field of technology. Business studies and internationalization skills will be included in all degrees. International Master s programmes: the supply of international education in Master s programmes will be increased. International education cooperation will be developed. The share of foreign teaching personnel will be increased.

10 Lifelong learning: the University will fulfil the principles of lifelong learning and strengthen the connection between degree education, Open University education, and continuing education. The University will offer Open University studies as a route to a degree, and continuing education programmes profiled according to the focus areas.

11 3.3. Interaction with the society Goals The University will produce expert work force, carry out close research cooperation with national and regional actors, and actively transfer knowledge for the use of the society. Strategic resources 10 Media coverage: the University will increase the media coverage of its education and research results. Strategic network: the strategic network of the University will be strengthened by establishing wide-ranging cooperation agreements with the most important partners (schools of higher education, companies, public administration). Interest group cooperation will be systemized as a part of the cultural practices and procedures of the University. Local and regional network: the University will be active in the Vaasa Consortium of Higher Education and in the university consortiums of Seinäjoki and Kokkola. The University will integrate into the significant development networks and centres of competence, and offer research, and adult and continuing education, to support their development. Cooperation with schools of higher education: the University will strengthen its cooperation with the schools of higher education of the area. Alumni activity: the alumni will be activated to strengthen the connections of the University to working life and to support the University. The role of the Levón Institute: the Levón Institute will channel the University s expertise to adult education and transfer knowledge based on the University s research.

12 3.4. Management, personnel, and economy Goals The University s management system, resource planning, and quality assurance will ensure productive activity of high standards. Efficient administration will support research and education. As an employer, the University will invest in communality and the personnel s expertise by following democratic and equal principles. Strategic measures Resource planning system: the resource planning system of the University is based on the tasks, goals, and results of its degree programmes and research groups. The system encourages productivity and quality, and cooperation between units. Merit pay: the merit pay system implemented in 2011 will be expanded to apply to the entire personnel from 2013 onwards. The personnel s wellbeing at work and possibilities to participate and influence will be strengthened. Internationalization: the increasing internationalization of the personnel will be taken into account in the administration and communication. Learning environment: the environment, premises, and equipment of the University contribute to modern teaching and research and are equally available to everyone. Accessibility will be taken into account in the architecture and the organization of teaching. University brand: the brand of the University will be strengthened by communications and marketing that supports the image of a unified university. Cooperation with the University of Applied Science: cooperation possibilities with the University of Applied Sciences of Vaasa will be activated. 11

13 4. Follow-up and Assessment of Implementation The implementation of the strategy will be monitored by comparing it to the goals set to all universities and by using the instruments related to the focus areas of the University s strategy. The follow-up will be regular quantitative and qualitative reporting by the management. The Rector is responsible for the implementation, follow-up, and assessment of the strategy, and will report to the Senate. The key target of the follow-up will be the development of research results, funding, and results of postgraduate education in the focus areas. The Management Group will evaluate the focus areas yearly. The research activity of the University will be assessed every five years. The success of recruitment to degree programmes, progress of studies, attainment of business studies, internationalization of education, employment success of graduates, and student feedback will be taken into account when the fulfilment of the strategic goals of education activity is evaluated. The degree programmes of the University will be assessed regularly. The fulfilment of societal interaction goals will be assessed by a regular follow-up research, success of partnership agreements, and productivity of adult education. The management system of the University will be assessed by a regular enquiry on well-being at work and a regular service enquiry mapping the success of support services. An assessment of the balance of finances will be performed monthly. Internal supervision will assess risk management and executive management according to the goals of the strategy. 12 The goals of the focus areas and profit centres are defined in the policy programme based on the strategy.

14 Goals of the agreement period Quantitative goals Goal Master's Degrees Humanities Administrative Sciences Business Studies Technology Doctor's Degrees Humanities... 5 Administrative Sciences... 3 Business Studies Technology... 5 Target numbers for the University Bachelor s degrees Number of foreign exchange students Exchange students leaving or arriving to Finland (duration of the exchange over 3 months) Key ratio goals Goal 2016 Master s degrees / teaching- and research personnel...1,5 Doctor's degrees / professors...0,5 Mobility of teachers and researchers / teaching and research personnel, from 2010, 1 week...0,35 Proportion of those who have passed 55 ECTS Scientific publications / teaching and research personnel...1,7 Competed research funding / overall funding

15 14 STRATEGIC FOLLOW-UP TARGETS Productivity and effectiveness of education Completed Master s degrees by field and programme Completed Bachelor s degrees by field and programme Development of study credits of Open University and separate studies Progress of studies: the number of those who have passed 55 ECTS Relevance to working life: employed graduates Master s degrees completed by foreigners International student exchange Educational interest: number of applicants / admissions, programme Partners in education effectiveness of educational agreements Assessment and accrediting of degree programmes and study field Productivity and effectiveness of research Completed Doctor s degrees by field Doctor s degrees completed by foreigners Number of foreign teaching and research personnel Publications in focus areas and research groups International referee publications Other scientific publications Competed research funding in the University and focus area Competed international research funding Other competed research funding Follow-up of tenure track Level of education: share of personnel with a Doctor s degree Follow-up of research groups and research results in focus areas University profile Business competence in education: share of business studies in the degree (minimum level 25 ECTS) Employment effectiveness: feedback from graduates Business orientation in research Internationalization: follow-up of internationalization is a part of the instrumentation for measuring education and research Impact of the University s profile is evaluated in the overall assessments and profit centre assessments

16 Multidisciplinary 15

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