Tampere3 – to the international top leagues

The Tampere3 higher education institution project is guided by a vision of creating a new kind of strong, innovative university community that operates on the top level in both the national and international field of education and research.

Combining the education and research resources of the University of Tampere and the Tampere University of Technology will significantly increase and diversify the amount of education, research, financial and support service resources available to the new university community and enable a new way of directing these resources to serve top level education and research in many degree programmes and research projects. The goal is to reach the national and international top level in the focus areas of the new higher education community. The target level must be high. At the new university, we will move up from the good or excellent national university level to play in the international top level university leagues.

Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) joining the new higher education community is an important added value factor for Tampere3. TAMK brings our community excellent expertise in education and applied research and enables more extensive contacts with the business world and the rest of society for the whole higher education community.

The regulations of the new university foundation have defined the research and education of health, technology, society and the economy – the educational and research profile of the university – as the focus areas of research and education at the Tampere3 university. The national and international top level must be reached in these areas. At least an excellent national level must be reached in the rest of the fields of education and research.

Do the goals stated above merely describe a utopia, or are they a real chance to make a leap towards the international-level university leagues?

Reaching the goals of the Tampere3 higher education community is perfectly possible, if we work for it together. The Tampere3 vision and the high target levels have already guided the construction of a new higher education community for a year in numerous education, research and support service planning groups. Dozens and hundreds of teachers, researchers, students and support service staff members have been involved in the Tampere3 preparations. Much has already been achieved, but there is still much left to do. The planning is becoming concrete in phases as new kinds of education and research programmes that are sure to be innovative in many respects and will definitely spark positive attention in the national and international field of higher education. The Tampere3 university will garner positive attention in the university world. Tampere3 will have many of the strategic strengths and novelty factors that make it possible to educate students in solving the problems of the digital world in the new economy while encouraging researchers to study them at the same time.

Last year, the Tampere3 higher education institution project achieved a great deal. The planning of new education and research programmes started, acceptable basic outlines for the regulations of the new university in the form of a foundation were created, and a representative and diverse group of foundations that support research, public organisations, strong influential organisations in the business world and working life as well as third sector organisations joined together as founders of the foundation. The new higher education community can be proud of its founders, and they can be proud of the new Tampere3 in turn.

Now we have reached the final stretch of the Tampere3 project. The focus is on establishing the new university foundation. Members of the appointment committee are currently being selected to elect the new board for the foundation and thereafter also the new university. Discussion is ongoing, and it has already been partially concluded in our higher education community. The foundation can be established during this spring, creating a basis for the birth of a new university in this respect.

The students and the whole staff of the higher education community have been eager to discuss the policies of the new university regarding university administration, teaching and studying, research, and support services. Even if differing views have emerged within the higher education community regarding certain issues, some of them even matters of principle, the new Tampere3 has been built with a good community spirit. The vision has been widely accepted. The discussion will continue, which is as it should be. Through discussion, matters can be brought forward together. A strong autonomy and participatory democracy in making decisions on its own issues are a part of the university world.

Not everyone will agree that there was enough time for discussion and making decisions with university autonomy during the Tampere3 preparation phase, but it has been possible to work together to drive matters forward reasonably easily. There is a constant need for discussion in the university community, and it is good that the discussion continues.

Tampere3 is a strong investment in the wishes and needs of students, the university staff and the society surrounding the university, both regionally and nationally as well as internationally. In the Tampere3 project, we are all building together the world of the future, where high-level expertise and research findings are strategic success factors.

Let us create this world of the future together with the help of Tampere3!

Kari Neilimo
Chair of the Strategic Executive Group of Tampere3
Chair of the Board of the University of Tampere

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