High-quality education and world-class research require investments
President Jorma Tirkkonen from Cargotec Oy represented the
Alumni Association of Tampere University of Technology
at the opening.
In September, Tampere University of Technology (TUT) celebrated the opening of the academic year for the first time as a foundation university.
In his opening speech President Markku Kivikoski stated that at TUT the university reform implemented in Finland is seen as a genuine opportunity to improve competitiveness and the quality of education and research. However, there is still work to be done.
"The university reform must continue with a reform that will also incorporate the universities of applied sciences and research institutes. We need to acknowledge the smallness of different research and education units and the resulting fragmentation of resources."
Tampere University of Technology is profiled as the only Finnish university solely focused on technology. According to President Kivikoski, Finnish universities need to invest more time and effort into promoting specialization and at the same time achieve a clear segregation of duties.
"These measures are needed to implement necessary changes in a controlled manner. Of course this requires that the university funding model supports this kind of initiative. High-quality education and world-class research require investments."
From university to working life and back
An unprecedented number of 1,409 students have already completed a degree at TUT so far this year. This is 1,000 students more than at the same time last year. The peak number of graduates is due to the end of a transitional period of a degree reform in Finland. This motivated a large number of already employed students to complete their degrees.
Last year a record number of doctoral students, 84 in total, graduated from TUT and the doctoral graduation rate seems to follow the same trend in 2010. Kivikoski says that TUT's graduates enjoy a high rate of employment. "Masters of Science in Technology and Architecture are often already employed at the time of graduation. In addition, a considerable number of doctoral graduates find employment in industry and business life."
President Jorma Tirkkonen from Cargotec Oy, representing TUT´s Alumni, emphasized the importance of cooperation between universities, industry and the state. "We need to do more to encourage former graduates, who have experience of working in industry, to go back to teaching. The experience and competence they have acquired in working life are valuable assets that could greatly benefit students. This would help students find employment faster as well as ease their adjustment to working life."
The Alumni Association has invited former students who graduated from TUT 30 and 40 years ago to an alumni meeting in connection with the opening of the academic year. Tirkkonen started his studies at TUT in 1970. On May Day 2010, he got to watch his freshman daughter being dipped in the Tammerkoski rapids according to an old student tradition.