The universities of applied sciences compared their activities in research and development in Western Europe.
Director Perttu Heino of TAMK University of Applied Sciences (left) and
Principal Lecturer Ulla-Maija Koivula of Pirkanmaa University of
Applied Sciences have been engaged in benchmarking to compare research
and development in Finnish and western European polytechnics.
High resolution image (1405 Kb)
Photo: Kalle Heiska
the beginning of the millennium the so-called third task of the Finnish
polytechnics requires the polytechnics to engage in applied R & D
which supports the development and occupation structure of their
region. The study conducted by four polytechnics in western Finland
compared their activities to three similar institutions in Western
Europe, namely in Belgium, Holland and Germany.
The comparison revealed that the seven institutions concerned have in recent years changed from being purely teaching polytechnics to expert R & D organizations.R & D partners have included the public sector, companies and organizations of the so-called third sector.
As in Finland, in continental Europe, too, the financing of polytechnic R & D is arranged in several different ways. In continental Europe national governments are more active than in Finland in allocating funding specifically for polytechnic’s R & D linked to business life. Moreover, in the Western European institutions some of the teaching personnel are researcher-teachers; they are encouraged through additional research funding when they achieve new R & D projects.
The R & D work of each of the institutions concerned has its own strategic strengths: support for business life, students’ expertise and professional development through placements, promoting teachers’ project activity and expertise, publishing, obtaining external funding, demonstrating academic research expertise or for example networking in R & D activity. Once the survey had been completed the institutions concluded new international R & D co-operation agreements, among others under the auspices of the West Finland Innovation Alliance.
In connection with this benchmarking study it emerged that in continental Europe students have an access to Master studies both in the polytechnic or in universities through so called bridging courses including research methodology. Master students in polytechnics are also engaged in research and development projects more compared to the Finnish model.
This benchmarking study comparing Finnish and Western European polytechnics and creating good practices was funded by the Finnish Higher Edcuation Evaluation Council (FINHEEC under the Ministry of Education, Finland and part of the polytechnics’ own R & D. It was coordinated by the Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences.
Koivula, U-M; Ala-Uotila, E; Engblom, S; Heino, P; Jungerstam-Mulders, S; Koivumäki, A; Puurtinen, H-G;Salo, K; Sankelo, M: R&D Strategies and Actvities – Comparing Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. ISBN 978-952-5281-37-8.
|Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences
Principal Lecturer Ulla-Maija Koivula
Tel. +358 50 570 2471
|TAMK University of Applied Sciences
Principal Lecturer Ari Koivumäki Tel. +358 50 590 9312