Universities for the benefit of Finland

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1 Professors and Researchers VISION Universities for the benefit of Finland Constitution of Finland 16 The freedom of science, the arts and higher education is guaranteed. 123 The universities are self-governing, as provided in more detail by the [Universities] Act. Universities Act 2 The mission of the universities is to promote free research and academic and artistic education, to provide higher education based on research, and to educate students to serve their country and humanity. In carrying out their mission, the universities must promote lifelong learning, interact with the surrounding society and promote the impact of research findings and artistic activities on society. 3 The universities shall have autonomy with a view to securing the freedom of higher academic and art education. Autonomy entails the right to decision-making in matters belonging to internal administration. General science policies and steering The principles of good university governance have been created to support the autonomy of the universities. The university community has comprehensive opportunities to influence the university strategy. The basic funding is sufficient to cover the statutory core tasks. The ratio between the performance agreement-based and competition-based funding is at a sustainable level. The diversity of the tasks of the universities is reflected in the funding model. Funding is predictable. Adjustments in crisis situations are also accomplished in a controlled manner. The universities administration and rules of procedure make it possible for the university community to have comprehensive opportunities to influence the planning of the university strategy and operations. University management is effective if trust and confidence within the university community are generated from the bottom upward. University autonomy is taken fully into account in the reforms of governance models and the Universities Act.

2 The principles of good university governance have been created to support the autonomy of the universities. These principles serve as the foundation for interpreting what power is endowed to the Government or Ministry for the purposes of establishing a framework or steering, what is the role of other players in society and what falls within the sphere of strategic management and the operational activities of the universities. Within the framework of the Universities Act, universities endeavour to achieve a good international level in all activities. Regular international comparisons are conducted for the further development of the universities. The basic funding specified in the universities performance agreements is sufficient for statutory core tasks: teaching, research and social impact. Funding raised through national competitions effectively supports new openings and scientific regeneration. The ratio between performance agreement-based and competition-based funding is at a sustainable level, as it is based on the highest performing research systems utilised in Europe. National funding models do not consume one another universities do not need to use their basic funding to maintain extensive project bureaucracy for the purpose of raising and managing competition-based funds. National and university-specific management and budgeting systems balance out fluctuations in competition funding, also in terms of individual units. Within research units, excessive annual fluctuations in funding have been eliminated. Funding is predictable. The performance of universities is assessed both qualitatively and quantitatively, and also in relation to the investments involved. The comparative assessment with European and other exemplary national university systems is being developed. Universities produce high-quality, comparable information concerning their own operations. Thus, the quality of the research, teaching and social impact, and the good personnel policies can be taken into account, in an equitable way, in the funding criteria. The diversity of the tasks of the universities, such as the creation of research focuses, regional influence, provision of degree-oriented education and maintenance of research infrastructures, are also clearly reflected in the funding model. Finnish business and industry actively seeks to collaborate with universities. The universities support, by means of their own activities, the foundations for business life throughout the entire country. Agreements concerning State funding and, for example, index increases, are being upheld. Any adjustments made in response to crisis situations are carried out in a controlled manner, instead of all at once with unpredictable consequences. Foundations for research Quality research is supported effectively. Efforts are being made to further the career development of talented young researchers. The national critical masses are supported, particularly in researcher education. While researchers are striving for quality research and significant results, there is less bureaucratic competition that ties up resources.

3 Finland is a pioneer in terms of the transparency of its research publications. Every researcher and teacher is able to identify their critical mass, that is, the research or teaching community that is significant in terms of their work. In different scientific fields, it may be constructed in different ways, and bound to a particular location or international. The national critical masses are supported, particularly in researcher education. In most fields, the ability to reach the top in many fields requires that we view the intellectual capital of the entire country as a single entity that is linked with international scientific discourse. While researchers are striving for quality research and significant results, there is less bureaucratic competition that ties up resources. A national road map has been drawn up as the foundation of the funding for demanding infrastructures. Universities support, on a long-term basis, those units that have achieved a high standard, and the daily continuity of their operations is not reliant on repeated applications for external funding. All professors, lecturers, university teachers and researchers have the necessary equipment, travel and material resources required for their research or development of teaching without the need for separate applications. In other words, the portion of the budget used toward salaries and buildings is not excessive. Teachers are provided with access to research periods on a regular basis. The difference between those working in basic positions and project tasks has been minimised and partially eliminated. Joint funding facilitates permanent employment for more employees, like in other workplaces where employment relationships can be valid until further notice, even though the source of funding varies. Quality research is supported effectively. The careers of talented young researchers are supported and attempts are being made to actively find top researchers and fields for the future. Finland is a pioneer in terms of the transparency of its research publications and data, as well as in terms of distributing and refining research data to meet the needs of research and civil society. Support for quality scientific publishing activities, particularly open access and international publishing, has been significantly increased. Teaching and degree-oriented education University education is inherently linked with current research. Teaching merits are systematically considered in the recruiting for university positions. Students have equal opportunities for full-time studies. University education based on scientific research and degree-oriented education that produces competent and highly educated experts are the key tasks of the universities. Appreciation of these tasks is retained regardless of the economic situation. University education is required to be inherently linked with current research.

4 The infrastructures for degree-oriented education and research are different, and they are not forced to adapt to the same mould defined by science policies. Highly educated professionals are needed throughout the entire country, but the research infrastructures are concentrated in fields that are suitable for them. Teaching merits are systematically considered in the recruiting for university positions. Initiatives like the Teachers Academy at the University of Helsinki are recommended for use throughout Finland. Students are guaranteed equal opportunities for full-time studies through sufficient financial aid. The universities tuition fees do not prevent foreign students from coming to Finland, and the university policy and immigration policy encourages them to stay in our country to serve as highly educated professionals. Influence Researchers participate actively in current discourse. Decision-making is based on research knowledge. Social impact is reflected in the universities funding model. The educational task of the universities is the soul of true social influence. The universities most precious product is a well-educated, competent and regenerative expert. Universities are involved in dialogue with civil society, and researchers participate actively in current discourse. Within public discourse, a curious and constructively critical approach conquers biased attitudes and hostility. Various fields differ in terms of their impact in society. In business and technology, we talk about innovations in terms of products and services, whereas in the social sciences, the focus is on contribution to social discourse or the development and advancement of social innovations. It is, perhaps, more important to incorporate the multifaceted and critical aspects brought by the scientific approach into all expert work and public discourse and decision-making. We may also refer to this as general knowledge. Innovations, patents or spin-offs are created through the bringing together of competent people, strong basic scientific research and applied research, and society s other players. Social impact is taken into consideration in university funding. As this is challenging to determine, the criteria are continuously being discussed with the university community. The inclusion of research information in decision-making is systematically supported. This does not, however, mean cuts in basic funding at the cost of more gainful research, but rather, for example, the institution of mechanisms by which already existing information might be better channelled. The dialogue between experts and decision-makers is continual and unbiased. The popularisation of science and science communications are important areas of development for both scientific governance and the universities. Personnel policy A good personnel policy is considered in the performance-oriented steering of the universities. The universities personnel structures are in line with those of prestigious European universities. The universities have a change security programme in place to deal with possible personnel reductions.

5 The personnel policy of the universities equally covers all personnel groups. The universities collect information about their personnel in a variety of ways and publish annual personnel reports. Joint funding makes it possible to turn tasks into permanent teaching and research positions. The universities personnel structures are beginning to be in line with those found in prestigious European universities. A good personnel policy and employment relationship structure are taken into account, also in the performanceoriented steering of the universities. Within the career path model, the tasks at the third level (university lecturer, university researcher, associate professor) and fourth level (professor) are primarily valid until further notice. The fixed-term employments at the first level of the career path model (junior researcher, postgraduate researcher, doctoral student) and second level (postdoctoral researcher) have clear criteria that are known by all, as are the criteria for making positions permanent and career advancement. The career path system does not create dead-ends nor different rights, by content, for any groups carrying out the same work. Teaching, research, influence and administrative tasks vary along the career path of many university employees. The diversity of tasks and mobility between universities, as well as to and out of universities is encouraged and multifaceted experience is seen as a merit. The researcher-teacher titles are nationally and internationally valid and comparable, and they do not weaken individual possibilities, for example, to acquire international funding or to apply for work outside of the universities. Internationalisation is supported, particularly at the early stages of one s career. The position of grant researchers is regulated by a national agreement that ensures equitable treatment. Grant researchers do not have to pay rent for their work facilities. Scientific qualifications are valued in all recruiting, especially as doctoral programmes are continuously on the rise. In addition to domestic and international mobility, exchange programmes are being piloted between universities and the RDI sector, administration and companies. A change security programme is in place to deal with possible personnel reductions. It identifies the special needs of junior personnel as well as senior, and possibly highly specialised, personnel This university vision was approved by the Boards of the Finnish Union of University Professors and the Finnish Union of University Researchers and Teachers at their meetings during spring 2016.

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