President Markku Kivikoski: Finland’s success is dependent on new knowledge and first-rate expertise“Public spending on education and research is an investment in our nation’s future, not merely an expense,” says TUT’s President Markku Kivikoski at the opening of the academic year. He calls Tampere3 a prime example of a bold new initiative that our higher education system needs.
According to Kivikoski, Finland’s success will be increasingly dependent on new knowledge and first-rate expertise in the future. Without them, we will miss out on the opportunity to build sustained economic growth and well-being.
“Still, the structures of higher education and scientific research must be developed both under the guidance of the Finnish government and in response to independent initiatives taken by different stakeholders. All our higher education institutions must and should build stronger profiles based on their distinctive strengths.”
Tampere University of Technology, the University of Tampere and Tampere University of Applied Sciences are currently making preparations for the establishment of a unique new university in Tampere. The process is called ‘Tampere3’.
“The three local higher education institutions constitute a unique multidisciplinary academic community with complementary research areas and tasks. There is no other university in Finland that is able to combine research in the areas of engineering, health, social sciences, economics and management in a similar manner and extent.”
If Tampere3 becomes a reality, it will reshape the landscape of higher education in Finland. The proposed new university will confer degrees that are compatible with the European Higher Education Area and respond even better to the future needs of the labour market. It will offer students more flexible paths towards degrees and ensure that they can easily make the transition from one degree stage to the next.
“Tampere3 is an example of a bold new initiative that our higher education system needs and the current Government Programme encourages. Having launched the process voluntarily and without government involvement, the three higher education institutions are committed to working towards the establishment of the new university and thereby contribute to building a bright future for Tampere.”
In addition, Kivikoski touched on the current economic situation in Finland, saying that tough but necessary choices will have to be made by the government.
“However, it is imperative that budget cuts do not leave universities short in the coming years. Universities must be able to maintain and strengthen the quality of their research and the productivity of higher education based on this research. Finland is known for its high level of education and strong knowledge base, and without these we risk losing our foothold in the increasing global competition.
The opening of the academic year also marked the University’s 50th anniversary.
“Tampere University of Technology has always stood out among universities as a uniquely dynamic and flexible organization with a progressive agenda. Our students have been actively involved in the development of the University ever since its establishment,” Kivikoski says.
“One of our bold and forward-looking strategic projects is the newly completed Kampusareena building, which will be officially inaugurated today on 9 September.”
Kampusareena is a place where companies meet TUT’s researchers, students and alumni. Multidisciplinary encounters stimulate creativity and new ideas that have the potential to grow into collaborative R&D projects, innovations and successful business opportunities.
A book commemorating TUT’s 50th anniversary written by Professor Martti Häikiö and titled ‘Hyöty ja Tiede. Tampereen teknillisen yliopiston historia 1965–2015’ was unveiled at the opening of the academic year. An anniversary cantata written by Sinikka Nopola and composed by Anna-Mari Kähärä called ‘Alussa oli insinööri’ was performed at the event for the first time. The festivities also brought together a large number of alumni who started their studies at TUT 50, 40 and 30 years ago.