Development of higher education
The objective is to extend careers and provide flexible learning paths. Young people’s transition to further education will be facilitated. Flexible learning paths will make it easier to complete qualifications and reconcile work and studies.
- Implementation plan for the key projects and reforms of the Government's strategic programme (2015)
Higher education institutions will improve the quality of education by updating the contents of education, teaching methods, learning environments and teacher competence and by increasing cooperation.
They will make full use of the possibilities offered by digitalisation.
The institutions will develop student admissions, procedures for the recognition of prior learning and degrees in order to promote national and international mobility. As a rule, higher education institutions will give up bridge programmes.
In 2016, the Ministry of Education and Culture conducted negotiations concerning the agreement period 2017-2020 with each higher education institution and agreed on objectives that speed up transition to working life. The Ministry also directs the funding it allocates to the strategies of higher education institutions to measures that support these objectives.
Furthermore, in its negotiations concerning the public finances plan for the period 2017-2020, the Government decided to allocate a total of EUR 105 million to the development of teaching in higher education and to the promotion of research conducted by young researchers. Funding is allocated to purposes such as strengthening the digital learning environments and improving the preconditions for year-round studies.
Development projects in higher education
The Ministry of Education and Culture has organised two calls for applications for special discretionary government transfers granted to projects that support the development of higher education.
As a result of the call for applications organised in autumn 2016, funding totalling EUR 25 million was granted to 17 development projects. As a result of the call organised in autumn 2017, funding totalling EUR 40 million was granted to 19 development projects. The central themes in the projects are openness and flexibility of studies, cooperation in the provision of education and accelerated transition of students to working life.
Higher education development projects 2017–2019
The term of the projects funded in the call for applications in autumn 2016 is 2017–2019. The projects use the opportunities provided by digitalisation to support especially the flexibility of studies and year-round studying.
Field-specific projects support flexible studying with the help of methods such as different digital learning entities and learning environments. Furthermore, students' contacts with working life and the development of their working life skills are supported in the projects. Two of the projects are related to the development of student admission processes in the universities and universities of applied sciences.
Projects related to students' wellbeing and higher education pedagogy are also included.
Higher education development projects 2018–2020
The term of the projects funded in the call for applications in autumn 2017 is 2018–2020. The projects support flexible studying and new digital solutions, for example, by taking advantage of learning analytics. Five of the projects focus on developing knowledge and teaching in the fields of social and health care and medicine.
The other field-specific projects support studying and teaching solutions in fields such as natural sciences, design, bio-economy, automation technology, computer science and languages. In addition, the projects support expertise in the circular economy and sustainability.
The projects also improve cooperation between higher education institutions and working life and develop the open RDI activities of the institutions.