Tampere3 is considered a part of the future research and teaching in civil engineeringIn the anniversary seminar of the Department of Civil Engineering, the focus was on the future of teaching and research. The Tampere3 panelists highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary activities and continuing education.
The anniversary seminar of the Department of Civil Engineering on 10 November was hosted by Juha Salmi (on the right), a noted force in the field of civil engineering.
As a part of the anniversary seminar, a panel discussion was arranged around the Tampere3 theme. The panelists included Antti Lönnqvist from the University of Tampere, Mikko Naukkarinen from the Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Matti Pentti from the Tampere University of Technology. Tuomas Särkilahti from Skanska Oy and Mikko Leppänen from Ramboll Finland Oy also participated in the discussions.
Tampere – the educational capital of Finland?
On a national scale, the Tampere University of Technology and the Tampere University of Applied Sciences both offer extensive and highly attractive degrees in civil engineering. Civil engineering and architecture also form one of the pilot fields for Tampere3 and involves plans for common courses and study modules. The aim is to improve the quality of teaching and increase cross-boundary studies and flexibility between the higher education institutions.
“The goal is to improve the education provided in both degrees and to develop them in a way that further increases the quality and attractiveness of both master’s level degrees at the universities and the degrees awarded at the university of applied sciences”, Matti Pentti explained.
Matti Pentti said that the aim is to represent the best possible level on a national scale, and in specific research areas, the goal is also to reach the top international level. High-class professionals are not only generated for the needs of Pirkanmaa but the country as a whole.
”Our ambition is to make Tampere the educational capital of Finland. When an international company or other partner sees potential in Finland, they opt for Tampere,” Mikko Naukkarinen explained.
Professionals seeking supplementary competence
The panelists and company representatives agreed that the importance of continuing education will increase in the future. Working people will return to higher education institutions to seek supplementary competence.
”No one in this field can predict what the competence requirements in ten years’ time will be, for example. A higher education institution must educate people who are able to apply their acquired competence to something new in a broader sense, Tuomas Särkilahti from Skanska commented.
All graduates must be prepared to develop their own competence.
“It is unwise for a university to try and teach issues that constantly change. It should rather build a strong theoretical foundation that will hold true for the next ten years. The initial stages of studies should be reinforced so that everyone learns certain basic issues. The final stages, on the other hand, can be loosened. The goal is to generate competent people with potential in their own fields,” Matti Pentti explained.
Mikko Leppänen also emphasised the importance of continuing education as regards the development of working life competence and found Tampere3 to also offer new opportunities for that.
– In continuing education, the best results are attained when collaborating with the higher education institutions. The resources in the field are so slim that they should not be spent on mutual competition, Mikko Leppänen from Ramboll advised.
Opportunities in interdisciplinary operations
Antti Lönnqvist highlighted the importance of interdisciplinary perspectives in terms of the Tampere3 cooperation.
”There is a lot to be benefitted from when, for example, the students of civil engineering also study subjects such as economics, administrative sciences or environmental policy. Our management students could study construction economics as their minor, for example,” Antti Lönnqvist envisioned.
Lönnqvist mentioned that there are still several details to be agreed upon in the Tampere3 process, but he believes that the goal – establishing a new kind of a higher education institution – will be met.
Director General Helena Säteri from the Ministry of the Environment also greeted the anniversary seminar and related that the development of the built environment challenges both education and research.
“We will join forces and thereby further improve our competitive edge in the increasing international competition,” President Markku Kivikoski concluded, referring to the cooperation between the higher education institutions in the Tampere3 project.
The new TUT Professors Mikko Malaska and Arto Saari explained the seminar audience how research creates productivity and new competitiveness in the property and construction fields.
The anniversary celebrations continued in a more casual mood in the Campus Club facilities in Kampusareena.
Photos: Arto Jalonen