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Jyväskylän kaupunki » International » News » Report on potential collaboration between JAMK University of Applied Sciences and the University of Jyväskylä 2016

Report on potential collaboration between JAMK University of Applied Sciences and the University of Jyväskylä 2016

Benefits include increased importance in university policy-making and improved finances

On 12 May 2016 the City of Jyväskylä commissioned Jussi Halttunen to conduct a review on potential closer collaboration between JAMK University of Applied Sciences and the University of Jyväskylä. The report was completed as scheduled at the end of October 2016. Jussi Halttunen, who serves as the rector of JAMK University of Applied Sciences, conducted the review as a private individual.

In his review Halttunen focused on examining the potential of functional collaboration between the two universities in accordance with the commission. His work in preparing the report included interviews with 50 key experts and representatives from interest groups.
- "Closer collaboration between these strong universities would have a major impact on the development of the vitality of not only the Jyväskylä region, but Central Finland as a whole", emphasises Jussi Halttunen.

All in all, Halttunen highlights over 20 proposals and suggestions for new forms of concrete collaboration in his report. The entire report can be found at http://www.jyvaskyla.fi/strategia_ja_hankkeet/julkaisut/korkeakouluselvitys2016

"The thorough report includes good proposals on ways in which collaboration between the universities could be deepened. What we need to do now is consider what kind of organisational or ownership-related solutions we need to implement in order to ensure that these proposals become a reality", emphasises Mayor Timo Koivisto.

The University of Jyväskylä's rector, Matti Manninen, is also pleased with the report. "The concrete proposals included in Jussi Halttunen's excellent report are sure to increase collaboration between our universities, starting as early as next year", states Rector Matti Manninen.

More opportunities for students studying in parallel fields

Fields of education shared by JAMK University of Applied Sciences and the University of Jyväskylä, or so-called parallel fields, include business and economics/business administration, ICT, health sciences/sport/social services and health care, and music. Furthermore, there is also potential for synergy in the fields of sciences and technical engineering.

As a concrete form of collaboration for the near future, the report proposes that the courses of the universities' parallel bachelor’s degree programmes could be made freely available to the students of both universities. To this end the report proposes a trial to be conducted in the summer of 2017, in which the universities will prepare a shared selection of summer courses to be made freely available to students of both universities. In addition to this, the report proposes that open university collaboration should be increased in order to offer a wider selection of studies for adults.

Representatives from student unions saw significant benefits in closer collaboration between the universities. More flexible and easier-to-manage study paths, as well as a wider selection of courses to choose from could potentially benefit students and shorten degree completion times. Furthermore, shared learning environments, such as laboratory environments, would support possibilities for flexible studying at both universities. The EduFutura collaboration started this year by the University of Jyväskylä, JAMK and the Jyväskylä Educational Consortium also supports students' learning from the perspective of education and research.

Strengthening of university-based entrepreneurship to increase the number of new growth companies

According to the report, there are great expectations associated with efforts to strengthen university-based entrepreneurship. As such, Halttunen proposes that as part of the EduFutura cooperation with the Jyväskylä Educational Consortium, the universities should build and implement a shared entrepreneurship and innovation learning environment and ecosystem, utilising prior positive pedagogic experiences gained from initiatives such as the JAMK Generator (innovation week, pre-incubator), Tiimiakatemia, Jyväskylän Yritystehdas and the models collaboratively implemented by the universities of Oulu.

Student services

The report notes that in regard to student services, the collaboration is also dependent on the future location of the JAMK campus. Many student services are local services dependent on the number of students, the effectiveness, quality and functionality of which can be improved through various mobile and self-service applications, for example. The report includes a number of proposals for developing student services, including the integration of student administration information systems, combined career and recruitment services and library collaboration.

The intensity and closeness of the universities' collaboration as well as the organisation of shared student services is partly dependent on the future location of JAMK's campus. On the other hand, JAMK is also hoping to consolidate its company and employment connections through the placement of its campus. JAMK University of Applied Sciences has identified four potential models for positioning its campus in the future, and the final decision on the future location of the campus will be made in cooperation with JAMK's main owner, the City of Jyväskylä, during 2017. The decision will have a major impact on the future operations of both universities.

According to Halttunen, the best way to ensure the fluency and progress of the collaboration would be for the universities to initially invest in forms of collaboration that could produce visible results and provide concrete benefits and progress in a relatively short amount of time.

Collaboration to also result in financial benefits

According to many of the interest group representatives interviewed, one of the most significant potential benefits of appropriately realised strategic collaboration between Jyväskylä’s universities would be the universities' increased importance in national and international university policymaking. In order to develop and deepen this collaboration, the universities could also receive a significant amount of additional strategic funding from the Ministry of Education and Culture, similar to that received by the University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences, based on their collaboration report.

The universities' different profiles and orientations facilitate good, synergistic collaboration. The report proposes that the collaboration should focus only on the fields and functions in which it would result in the greatest financial benefits. The report notes that closer collaboration between the universities could potentially increase the volume of funding for research, development and innovation operations, the sale of adult and continuing education services and the export of education services. Furthermore, increased collaboration in areas such as administration, support services and education could potentially lead to a decrease in personnel costs and other costs.

For more information, please contact:

Mayor Timo Koivisto, City of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 (0)14 266 1501, +358 (0)50 336 2819
Rector Jussi Halttunen, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, tel. +358 (0)400 644 913
Rector Matti Manninen, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 (0)40 680 0215

1.11.2016Satu Heikkinen

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