The University is building a better world

375 years of impressive history and a bright future ahead. This is how we see it: the University of Helsinki has always been and continues to be an agent of change and a strong force in Finnish society.

Changes in the external world and cuts in resources cast a dark shadow over our jubilee year, and we were forced not only to make cost cuts in general, but also radical staff cuts.

Despite the serious repercussions of these cuts, we will not give in to distress. We want to retain our ambitious objectives, even if it means that we must reconsider our focus and priorities. No matter what, the University of Helsinki will continue to be the leading university in Finland, and one of the leading universities in the world. Our vision is clear and quality is what counts!

High quality stems from competent people, from individuals and communities alike. The University must take extra care to nurture the motivation, commitment and inspiration of its members at this very moment. Trust and mutual support make a difference. Last year, as always, the University community strived for top results.

Research results with high impact and wide recognition were achieved in climate change research and cancer research, and the significance of compassion in leadership and management emerged as a new research topic attracting great interest. Research on the Chinese legal system and Russian politics will contribute to Finland’s cooperation with these countries.

Top-level research and higher education are not mere items of cost, but rather investments in a nation’s future success and wellbeing. This is the basis on which we drafted the Strategic Plan of the University of Helsinki for the period 2017–2020:

We are a creative, international top-level university with a sensible long-term profiling and recruitment policy. Open science flourishes and makes us stronger. We will reform our degree structures in accordance with the Bologna model and invest in new forms of learning. We will build an experimental operational culture through new, often international, funding channels. We will revamp our operations in both the academic units and service organisations of campuses.

We cannot achieve our goals alone. Hence, we want to engage in cooperation with our present and future partners in Finland and abroad. We can and want to be a force for global impact.

Jukka Kola

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