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University Reform and New Universities Act. The Finnish Higher Education System The Finnish higher education system comprises of two parallel sectors:

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Presentation on theme: "University Reform and New Universities Act. The Finnish Higher Education System The Finnish higher education system comprises of two parallel sectors:"— Presentation transcript:

1 University Reform and New Universities Act

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3 The Finnish Higher Education System The Finnish higher education system comprises of two parallel sectors: University sector 16 universities Student enrollment Polytechnic sector (established in the mid-1990s) 25 institutions Student enrollment Regional development tasks Bachelor degrees (vocational and professional degrees) (Professional) Master’s degrees in selected fields The whole HE system provides study place for 65-70% of an age group

4 The Finnish Educational System

5 The University mission The university mission is to promote free research and academic and artistic knowledge, give higher education based research and educate students to serve their country and humanity. In executing their duties, the universities must advance lifelong learning, work in interaction with society at large, and promote the societal impact of research results and artistic activities. The universities award bachelor's and master's degrees and academic, artistic and professional postgraduate degrees. They can also provide extension education and open university instruction. A university may pursue business activities which support the purpose for which the university is incorporated. New Universities Act

6 The university reform in a nutshell Status as legal persons The universities are legal persons separate from the State, either as corporations under public law or foundations under the Foundations Act. Corporation under public lawCorporation under public law (public university) –A legal person under the Universities Act whose organs and their functions are laid down in legislation. Foundation under Foundation ActFoundation under Foundation Act (foundation university) –A legal person under the Foundations Act which is assigned the university mission in the Universities Act and whose organs and functions are laid down in the Universities Act. The government will continue to be responsible for funding the public duties of the universities even though the universities are no longer within the State budget economy. The Ministry of Education will ensure by means of steering that university activities conform to the higher education policy aims set by Parliament and the Government.

7 The New Universities Act will change... Autonomy will strengthen: universities will have an independent legal status Universities will take the place of the State as employers: civil-service employment relationships will become contractual employment relationships Greater latitude with finances: donations, income from capital and business activities New universities: Aalto university (HUT, HSE, UIAH), University of Eastern Finland (universities of Kuopio & Joensuu) and the new Turku University (University of Turku, TSE) Performance agreement procedure will be lighter Charging tuition fees on a trial basis for separate master’s programmes from students from outside the EU/EEA

8 The Universities Act won't change... the freedom of research, art and education self-government and academic decision-making research and higher education remain as the main tasks of the universities the State will guarantee core funding, taking into account the development of costs education leading to a degree will continue to be free of charge

9 University organs - public university The statutory organs of a university under public law are the board, rector and university collegiate body. The board decides on the main aims of the activities, the strategy and the principles governing the steering of operations and adopts the university regulations governing the organisation of the university. The board must include the representation of the following groupings in the university community: (1)the professors of the university, (2) other teaching and research staff and other personnel, and (3) the students.

10 At a minimum, 40 per cent of the board members must be external to the university elected by the university collegiate body. They must represent a wide range of expertise in the sciences or arts in the field of operation of the university. The chairperson of the board is elected from amongst the external members. The rector leads the day-to-day operations of the university, presents matters to the board, sees to the implementation of the board decisions and decides on the hiring of personnel. The rector is elected by the board. The qualification requirements for the rector are a doctorate degree, competencies and professional skills required to discharge the duties and proven leadership skills. The university collegiate body is an organ composed of the university community as a whole.

11 The university collegiate body determines the number of members in the board to be appointed and its term of office; elects the external board members and approves the board members elected by the university community; relieves a board member from his/her duties; selects the university auditors; approves the financial accounts of the university; and decides on the board members' and the rector's freedom from liability. The units set up for research and teaching in a university under public law have multi-member administrative bodies, which have the representation of the university community groups. In its regulations the public university determines independently its organisation, its organs dealing with academic matters and procedures.

12 University organs - foundation university ▪A foundation university has a board, a rector and an overall multimember administrative body of the university. In its regulations the foundation can also establish other organs. ▪The board decides on the main aims of the activities, the strategy and the principles governing the steering of operations and adopts the university regulations governing the organisation of the university. ▪The board is responsible for the finances of the university. The overall multi-member administrative body of the university shall appoint the members of the board of the foundation university after consulting the founding partners of the foundation university. ▪The rector directs the foundation and the university art and science community and discharges other duties assigned to him/her by the board. The board elects the rector.

13 ▪Under the Universities Act, the foundation university must have a multi- member body for the administration of the university as a whole. Its members are elected by the university community from amongst themselves. This administrative body decides on the following academic matters, unless it has delegated them to faculties or other units: –curricula and degree requirements, –student admission criteria, –general regulations governing teaching and research, and –appointment of necessary boards and other bodies to deal with matters relating to degrees, grading and rectification procedures. ▪The units established for teaching and research in a foundation university also have multi-member administrative bodies whose members represent the three university community groups. ▪The foundation university decides independently on its organisation in its regulations.

14 Students and education The students in the university form a self-governing student union. All the students in the university admitted to study for a bachelor's or master's degree, with the exception of students participating in made-to- order education, belong to the student union. The student union may also admit other students as members (automatic membership in the union remains). The tasks of the student union are set out in the Universities Act. The student union has the special task of appointing student representatives to the university organs.

15 ...students and education Degree education continues to be free of charge. Universities can, however, arrange made-to-order degree education to citizens of non-EU/EEA countries. In addition, there will be a fixed-term trial of charging tuition fees to citizens of non-EU/EEA countries in master's programmes taught in foreign languages. Provisions concerning degree programmes will be enacted by a Ministry of Education Decree. Tuition fees are conditional on a scholarship scheme. With a view to more efficient student admission and uniform selection timetables and practices, the admissions will be based on electronic joint application system as concerns admission to degree studies. The universities continue to be responsible for student selection and admission.

16 Structural development of Higher Education

17 Structural development of higher education According to the Finnish Government Programme, structural development will continue in the coming years The main lines are set out in the Development Plan for Education and Research for , which was adopted by the Government on The reform is in line with the European higher education reform –Communication of the European Commission of May 2006 "Delivering on the Modernisation Agenda for Universities: Education, Research, Innovation" Development targets for higher education recommended in the thematic OECD review are: internationalisation, clearer institutional missions and positions, and diversification of the funding structure

18 Vision 2020  Maximum of 18 polytechnics –intake in youth education of 22,500 students –flexible and profiled higher education units and structures –strong and dynamic interaction with the region and its employers –well-established, high-quality R&D in priority areas  Maximum of 15 universities –intake of students –strong units and profiles; clear priorities in research –internationalisation and world-class research  Four to five strategic university-polytechnic alliances –Secured access to education and diverse education provision in the area –Joint R&D and stronger (regional) impact

19 Main objectives To enhance the HE network in order to create more prominent institutions with higher standards –to ensure the quality and effectiveness of HEIs research and teaching –to allocate resources to top-level research and strategic priority areas –to strengthen the role of HEIs within the innovation system Improve the prerequisites of HEIs to cooperate with foreign partners and to compete for international research and other funding Strengthen the adult education function of HEIs Safeguard the availability of skilled workforce in changing operating environment Improve the position of HEIs in the international education markets Diversify the funding base of HEIs Improve HEIs attractiveness as a competitive employer in order to recruit the best personnel


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