Boldly moving towards a new era
Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere are merging to create the new multidisciplinary foundation-based Tampere University on 1 January 2019.
Professor of Environmental Bioengineering Jaakko Puhakka was appointed as TUT's President in September 2018.
The priority areas of the new university, the second-largest in Finland, will be technology, health and society. Tampere University Foundation will also become the majority shareholder of Tampere University of Applied Sciences. This new higher education community in Tampere will be made up of 30,000 students, 330 professors and 4,400 employees.
Finland saw rapid economic growth in the 1960s while laying the foundation for our welfare state. Baby boomers reached adulthood, and society needed more educated workforce. The solution was based on regional policy. The network of higher education institutions was expanded geographically across the country to ensure the equality of educational opportunity in the different regions of Finland. Today, university cities are exceptionally vibrant compared to non-university cities of similar sizes. The availability of educated workforce across the country has also improved.
Over their 50-year history, the two universities in Tampere have evolved into institutions recognised for their high-quality research and world-class education. Tampere is the most desirable place to live in Finland and an international student city. When the two universities were established, it would have been difficult to harmonise their different missions, namely technology and social sciences. Now the situation is different. Collaboration that cuts across disciplinary boundaries is the key to addressing global challenges.
A multidisciplinary university is better equipped to prepare students for the rapidly and often unexpectedly changing world of work. Together we will also be in a better position to make an impact on society and seek increasing internationalisation.
New multidisciplinary research groups have already been successfully set up, as demonstrated by the sizeable grants awarded to both of the merging universities by the Academy of Finland in the calls that promote the building of stronger profiles for Finnish universities.
Many degree programmes in the new University are recognised for their unique profiles and relevance to working life. The multidisciplinary University will open up opportunities for developing new degree programmes to meet future challenges. In addition, new educational collaboration between the University and Tampere University of Applied Sciences will result in many solutions that will benefit students and the community. These include, for example, course offerings across educational levels, the shared use of learning environments and even opportunities for jointly designed Bachelor’s degrees in some study fields.
The merger of the two universities is a natural step in the history of Tampere. Tampere University of Technology is stepping into the era of the new and strategically managed Tampere University with a commitment to uphold our values and foster our strong community spirit. As one of the cornerstones of the new University community, technology research and education will continue to develop and thrive in Tampere.