Education Provided by VAMK Matches the Region’s Profile.
Working life needs as a starting point
VAMKs position in the core of the international energy cluster gives us a special status and a task to ensure that the education we provide meets the needs of the regional working life. Besides a strong engineering competence, the region also needs expertise in business administration and health care and social services to enhance its services. Every year over 500 Bachelors of Engineering, Social Services, Nursing and Business Administration graduate from VAMK, many of them find employment in Vaasa or in the near-by area because the employment situation in the region is one of the best in Finland.
In addition to the education political objectives agreed with the Ministry of Education and Culture, when VAMKs strategy and educational emphases are determined, the starting point has been above all the regional economic structure and needs of working life.
VAMK has an ability and willingness to listen to the needs of working life
The past year with the pandemic has shown how quickly changes can take place in the operating environment. These changes have long-term and permanent effects not only on single actors or line of business but on all people worldwide. Managing in these situations requires an ability, both from public and private sector, to foresee the future and make quick decisions to change the operations.
At VAMK, we have actively striven for continuous and close dialogue with our working life partners to ensure that we are up-to-date and working life oriented.
The feedback and requests from employers are essential for enhancing our activities. To function, co-operation needs to be on a sufficient personal and detailed level, and to achieve this we have signed co-operation agreements with our key partners and arranged annual partner meetings in which a large number of experts from VAMK have participated.
Attention to RDI Activities
Towards more sustainale and digital society
Companies have their own visions for the future towards which they direct their operations. The financiers also have their main focuses, in which the development of a more sustainable and digital society is emphasised. VAMKs management and Muova, operating as part of VAMK, keep track of any changes taking place in the environs and assess where we should direct our resources in the future. The work will become visible when knowledge and understanding are coupled with the emphases chosen in the strategy so that we can do applied RDI that is also relevant for the region.
The objective of open science is to advance the societal impact and enable a new kind of co-operation and innovation. Although VAMK is already utilising several open science practices, it is only now that it has been raised as its own entity when deciding on the new strategy and values. With this objective, we have gathered the open science practices applied by VAMK to which the staff will be introduced in a series of trainings, Basics of Open Science and Research, starting on 4 December 2020. In addition to our existing web site, we have launched a new Energiaa online magazine, which makes out research more widely known.
Organisational Culture that Promotes Renewal
more impact with co-operation
Co-operation with vocational secondary education, Vaasa Consortium of Higher Education and with vocational institutes in the region has produced more than what each unit would have achieved alone. Flexible study rights agreements increase the students’ possibilities to integrate studies taken in another institute into their competence.
In future, study modules and digital study provision, including international, aiming to add continuous learning, create more opportunities for students to achieve the competence they want.
alumni activity into a new gear
In a small HEI, the interaction between the staff and the students is straightforward and easy, and keeping contact often continues after the graduation when the student has stepped into working life. Many employees in working life in the region have their roots at VAMK and this has been a great advantage in co-operation with working life. However, this is not enough but we need more systematic ways to maintain relations with our alumni. This has been noted especially with our international students, many of whom return their home country after the graduation. Our objective is to create an international alumni network. In addition to Finnish students, VAMK had students from 44 countries in 2019.
new forums, new platforms
During the last year, new ways and forums have been tested at VAMK, how to bring together ideas and people pertaining to a common theme. An example of this are the Teams meetings on continuous learning, the results of which have been inspiring. Under development is also an operations model for continuously renewing innovation in which research, development and education as well as services form a platform for innovation. The innovation platform could also include creating a new business in which design is integrated into technical and/or business competence in a new way.