Change will never stop

Tarja Filatov, Member of Parliament of Finland and Board Chairperson of Häme University of Applied Sciences Ltd

The best way to adapt to change is promoting it. The operating environment of universities of applied sciences will not be the same tomorrow as it is today. The legislation bolsters a dual model where science universities and universities of applied sciences both have their own roles and tasks. Practical experience shows, however, that these roles overlap. The municipalities in Lapland sold their university of applied sciences to the university, a Tampere3 concept is being planned in Tampere, consortiums are being created and unravelled. Labour market change, digitalisation, robotisation, artificial intelligence...and many other rivulets that feed the stream of change are forcing us to rethink its scale.

The change will be exponential, not evenly paced. Rather than being paralysed by uncertainty about the future, we must use it as an incentive to develop. In the midst of all structural changes, we must be clear about one thing: the university of applied sciences exists for the students, and its task is to benefit the world of work. To secure the nation’s education, competence and thus success.

The development work carried out at HAMK has also been rewarded financially. The new funding system strongly relies on strategic funding. In the competition for strategic funding between universities of applied sciences, HAMK secured a bigger share than its size would warrant. We must be able to use our resources wisely in order to develop.

Internationalisation fosters competence, our most important capital. Translating international partnerships into concrete and every-day work may be a challenge. It cannot just be something extra we do on top of our normal work, or a project in which a chosen few participate. It must support our strategic choices.

Regional impact, on the other hand, keeps our feet firmly on the ground in terms of our task of serving the labour market. Universities of applied sciences have a significant role in regional development, especially in Häme, where HAMK is the only higher education institution in the region. While HAMK cannot do things on behalf of municipalities or companies, we must be a good partner. Workplace orientation and cooperation with companies are areas where we have yet something to learn. A piece of string cannot be used for pushing, and we thus have to find operating concepts that will draw different companies to the collaboration on a win-win basis. While keeping an eye on the development in the operating environment is a good idea, being one step ahead is even better.

The Rector's review of 2016

Pertti Puusaari, Rector and Managing Director

At a seminar for the management of higher education institutions in 2015, Anita Lehtonen, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture, asked us: "Are you ambitious enough?” This is an interesting question at a time when education, and especially universities of applied sciences, are experiencing severe cuts in their funding. HAMK’s basic funding has been reduced by over EUR 8 million, and over 140 employment relationships have been lost.

HAMK is guided by its Strategy 2020. We acknowledge that we are not there yet, and we will need time and goal-oriented work to reach our goals. We have to make choices – we cannot do everything for everyone.

The quality of education is important for us. In the quality management audit conducted by an international team, HAMK was awarded a quality label for six years. All degree programmes reviewed in the audit were found to be at an advanced level, which is the highest possible standard. This was good news, as our education is undergoing a significant reform. In the future, authentic workplace phenomena will have an increasingly strong presence in practical work and in theory. This will enable us to use genuine workplace assignments as part of teaching. To support the change further, our Business Services will be developed. This reform plays a key role in establishing a link with the SME sector.

The bioeconomy sector and professional teacher education are some of HAMK’s special strengths. We have been given permission to start a degree programme for engineers in bioeconomy, which will strengthen our activities related to the circular economy. In line with international models, HAMK proposed an experiment concerning a professional doctoral degree in its draft agreement with the Ministry of Education and Culture. This would be a key element of a fully authorised, professionally oriented higher education institution – the only higher education institution in the region. However, the time was not yet ripe for this decision.

HAMK needs strong international and national partners. Strategic partnerships with Feevale University in Brazil and VIA University College in Denmark culminated in an alliance formed in the spring. This alliance brings new potential, especially in terms of competence development and promoting applied research. Our agreement on strategic cooperation with Natural Resources Institute Finland will support this whole. These two partnerships, which will play a key role for our structural development, were complemented with a partnership agreement with HUMAK University of Applied Sciences.

Internationalisation has also brought along other possibilities. In export of expertise, HAMK is doing well as one of the leading institutions in the country. An education product created by HAMK and produced in strong cooperation with Tampere University of Applied Sciences is highly successful, especially in the Brazilian market.

International activities need to be balanced out by more local ones. After all, our core area is here in the regions of Häme and southern Pirkanmaa. Examples of how we have developed our activities include a strategic partnership with Häme Entrepreneurs’ Association and a cooperation agreement with the Armoured Brigade. FUAS, on the other hand, has striven to expand courses offered through cooperation.

Hämeenlinna University Centre is gradually moving into the next phase. Next year, the health care and social services programmes will be operating from the Centre. The building of the University Centre is an important step on our journey towards a professionally oriented higher education institution. The support of the city and the region is vital for us. We would also like to thank Etelä-Hämeen Osuuspankki for a donation to enhance our applied research activities focusing on Smart services.

We are neither a vocational institution or a business venture, and we do not wish to become a traditional university. We are on our way to becoming a professionally oriented higher education institution. The foundation of our renewal and success is laid by competent personnel – our intellectual capital.

In the agreement between Häme University of Applied Sciences and the Ministry of Education and Culture concluded following last autumn’s negotiations, HAMK’s profile was defined as being a developer of ecologically sustainable technology, professional teacher education, and education in the natural resources field. In this context, professional competence, bioeconomy, sheet metal technology and smart services were confirmed as HAMK’s focal areas. The strategic funding granted to HAMK in the negotiations for the following year amounts to EUR 2.25 million.


The year of education in 2016: Good results from concrete activities

Pirjo Kuisma, Head of Education Development

The year of education at HAMK in 2016 can be described by growth: in concrete terms, the number of degrees completed broke all records, and the share of students achieving 55 credits a year continues to grow. The module model is making progress, and it has been fully introduced in all degree programmes for three intake batches. The degree programme staff have been highly successful in developing the modules into functional wholes. Feedback is being collected on the activities and evaluated, and changes are made in subsequent implementations every year.

The feedback from students indicates that we are heading in the right direction: the module model shapes the student’s every-day life, while the number of things to learn is smaller and associated with workplace phenomena addressed in the same module. Cooperation with employers has increased. The close-knit module structure also promotes student well-being, as group formation is an elemental part of the studies.

Additionally, the students are showing a growing interest in selecting studies from the modules offered by other degree programmes, and to support this trend, the scheduling and registration processes of the modules have been harmonised at the HAMK level.

Year-round studying has become more popular, and FUAS Summer Studies are an integral part of the academic year. In addition, year-round studying is promoted by joining in on the joint offer of summer studies at universities of applied sciences through the kesälukukausi.fi website.

The greatest education-related change in HAMK’s history is under way, and the possibilities of implementing it by 2020 as stated in the strategy seem realistic. The entire work community, of which the students constitute an elemental part, is working to build the renewed education in line with the goals.

At the School of Bioeconomy, the Green Year theme (Vihervuosi2016) was integrated in the work of students at Lepaa during the year through a number of events that put the spotlight on the landscape industries, the environment and environmental values. A nature park developed by the Age Institute was created in Linnanpuisto park in Hämeenlinna, a Green Flag audit was conducted on the park on Lepaa campus, the Park of Encounters designed for Hämeenlinna market place park had a key role in the Night of the Arts event, and the miniature garden of Valli was implemented with day-care centre children in the city centre. These examples involved many types of cooperation with different stakeholders.

Sustainable development launched a degree programme as an online implementation. The idea was to boldly experiment with the new operating method of providing expert education in Natural Resources that is independent of the time and place. The objective was to offer not only theoretical online studies but also practical competence through module projects. In addition to individual assignments, the implementations also include team learning and the development of discussion, team work and organisation skills. The studies draw on authentic learning environments and the students’ workplaces by observing and researching various issues and phenomena.

At the School of Wellbeing, the modular structure is going full steam ahead in degree-awarding education, and student feedback has been positive. Cooperation with the OmaHäme programme (aiming to renew the social and health care services in the Kanta-Häme regional) has been launched. “Specialisation training in wound care” (30 credits) was started as business and industrial services in cooperation with ten universities of applied sciences. A new Master’s programme in Culture, “Promoting well-being through cultural and artistic activities”, was launched. Cooperation with international strategic partners has gone ahead as planned. During the year, a 15-credit "Successful Ageing” module was produced together with Feevale University. The module will be piloted in spring 2017. A cooperation project aiming to promote mobility has been prepared with VIA University College, and a teacher exchange programme has been started.

At the School of Technology, the number of graduates reached the targets, and the accruals of credits were excellent in most programmes. In addition to practices that activated the students, the good results were promoted by the expansion of web-based studies, thesis workshops and summer studies. The latter have, over the last seven years, established their position as an essential part of the technology programmes. A new Master’s degree programme, “Future transport systems”, began in the autumn. The newly launched cooperation with both Riihimäki-Hyvinkää Chamber of Commerce and Yrityskiihdyttämö First Round Oy has opened up new and promising cooperation possibilities with companies in the region.

Students in the Degree Programme in Electrical and Automation Engineering began their studies with a technology project in which they learned about team work, projects and interaction and communication skills at the very start. All this was combined with acquiring theoretical information relevant to the vocational sector and practical work. The project was so successful that two teachers presented it to the Higher Education Forum in Soul under the title ”Change challenges the teacher. Education in Electrical and Automation Engineering develops through module implementations”. HAMK’s team teaching model attracted a lot of international interest.

At the School of Entrepreneurship and Business, a new cSchool model for learning and teaching was developed in the Business Administration programme, in which the students familiarised themselves with business world phenomena through authentic, individually supervised workplace projects. The work also included short pop up lectures and workshops where the students got together to solve challenges related to their projects under supervision. During the academic year, the cSchool completed 51 projects for over 40 customers.

In addition to cSchool projects, the school also implemented other successful workplace projects, as an example of which should be cited the third-years’ clothing range project KAJO W16, which was presented to a large audience at Merikaapelihalli in Helsinki and in which workplace representatives selected clothes and footwear to exhibit at their own stands at the Finnish Craft and Design Fair in Tampere. The exhibition pieces produced by glass and ceramics students together with Tavastia Vocational College students were granted Suomi 100 status, and they will on display in the Finnish Glass Museum in spring 2017.

At the School of Professional Teacher Education, the highlight of the year was achieving good graduate numbers in all programmes. On the national scale, the staff engaged in plenty of cooperation aiming to develop teacher education in different networks, including the Ministry of Education and Culture’s teacher education forum. Together with HAMK’s strategic partner, VIA University College, a joint unit of teacher education was implemented which, after some further development, can be utilised in a broader international context. Digitality has been promoted strongly, for example by launching study counsellor education as an online implementation.

A strategy update for the 20-year-old student union – focus on member satisfaction and continuous learning

Emma Kokkonen, Chair of the Student Union of Häme University of Applied Sciences' board 2016

The Student Union of Häme University of Applied Sciences worked closely together with HAMK in 2016. The student union was actively involved in developing the institution at large, for example by participating in HAMK’s internal working groups while continuing its regular meetings with the management. The students contributed their views to the alteration work at the University Centre, and the student union gave statements on HAMK’s guidelines and participated in the institution’s events.

The higher education institution audit was also reflected in the student union’s activities. We helped find students to be interviewed and, after the audit report was published, participated in the planning of further measures.

Updating the student union’s strategy was one of our major projects last year. Our new strategy puts greater emphasis on member satisfaction and continuous learning. Peer tutoring was also developed, and a new Tuutorointi 2.0. model was developed.

The student union used the local media to enhance its regional impact. Among other things, we expressed the student body’s views of the discontinued train departures from Hämeenlinna and Riihimäki and lobbied for more investments in cooperation between the municipalities, companies and the students. We also commented on cuts in student financial aid.

The student union reached its 20th anniversary in 2016. To mark the anniversary year, the union’s logo and visual look were modernised, while the climax of the celebrations was the annual gala held at Raatihuone in Hämeenlinna in December.


Steps forward in research, regional development and internationalisation in 2016

Janne Salminen, Vice Rector, and Marja Räikkönen, Head of International Affairs

International partnerships are a central pillar for a professionally oriented higher education institution, such as Häme University of Applied Sciences, for example in quality development.

The year 2016 was particularly significant for HAMK, as it marked the establishment of an alliance with our strategic partners, VIA University College and Feevale University, known as Beyond Alliance for Knowledge. Among other things, the alliance already has concluded an agreement on strengthening our research cooperation further. The building of network-based research units and a joint research programme was initiated, and some concrete joint research projects have already been launched. For example, HAMK’s Sheet Metal Centre opened a joint weathering test environment with Feevale in Novo Hamburgo.

In cooperation with companies and technology parks within the operating areas of the Beyond Alliance members, a new opening from the perspective of internationalisation was created. Its objective is promoting the internationalisation of companies while also involving students. This cooperation offers students a good opportunity to not only acquire expertise relevant to their field together but also improve their international competence. The joint virtual courses that the alliance has agreed upon will offer additional support for this. The first pilots in this area were carried out in 2016. In other words, while virtual mobility will increase in the future, it will not replace more traditional modes of mobility. The increased international mobility of students was one of the highlights of HAMK’s internationalisation activities in 2016.

HAMK’s Research Units sharpened the focus of their activities, and their services were taken up by stakeholders in need of support. A good level of external funding was obtained, and the future of the activities seems bright. A new publication portal, HAMK Unlimited, was opened. Its edited contents are openly accessible for everyone. Members of the HAMK community can now publish information on their work at many levels: from quick reviews to peer reviewed articles that discuss applied research. The content is offered in Finnish and English.


Guided by the new HEI leadership prototype – towards a professionally oriented higher education institution

Heidi Ahokallio-Leppälä, Vice Rector, Director of Development and Human Resources

The competence management and leadership model introduced at Häme University of Applied Sciences is underpinned by a longitudinal study, in the course of which HAMK has integrated strategic leadership with personnel development. We can already note that the competence management and leadership model has brought about changes in practical leadership at HAMK. Leadership has become more goal-oriented as strategies, development plans, performance appraisals and competence are no longer seen as separate elements but as an intertwined system. In practice, this means continuous discussions on the organisation’s strategic goals and the links between different functions.

The competence management, leadership and development model sets particularly high demands on leadership by enabling each employee to be a top expert in his or her own work and operating area. This does not mean, however, that everyone can do what they like; it means that everyone can do what they are good at and capable of, while the organisation’s goals set the direction. The new prototype of HEI leadership requires capabilities for increasingly interactive work where decisions are made on the basis of knowledge built through joint discussions and development efforts. The management and supervisors, on the other hand, support the building, maintenance and development of communal competence in keeping with both our strategies and our goals. Competence management, leadership and development also require interactive and collective leadership behaviour in the organisation. Hierarchic leadership models can finally be scrapped.

A Better Work Community (Parempi Työyhteisö, or ParTy) survey was carried out at HAMK in 2016. Delightfully, the results indicate that the work of HAMK’s front-line managers has improved significantly compared to the results of the previous survey (2014). Of course, we continue to have units where the front-line managers need support on their development paths. The personnel workload continues to give cause for concern, however, and an effort is being made to find solutions to this problem by better planning and new education models. We naturally must keep in mind that, in the early stages, developing something new takes up more energy than what it produces.

The world around us keeps changing. The task of leaders and managers is to look into the future together with other actors in the organisation, build up conditions that support competence development, and translate the strategy into continuous new competence needs. Comprehensive and co-operative development also promotes the creation of a shared value base where the operation of the entire organisation is geared to supporting the simultaneous development of productivity and quality in the world of work. Even the Government Programme notes that we here in Häme are about to create a higher education institution of the new generation, an institution where the students yearn to keep learning. An institution that will be known as a leading higher education institution of education, applied research, competence and modern learning and leadership.

Head Shop Steward’s review of 2016

Toni Laitinen, Senior Lecturer in Information and Communication Technology, Head Shop Steward (Trade Union of Education in Finland)

In the spring, the shop stewards and top management reverted after a short interval to the practice of organising joint meetings. This reinstituted dialogue and promoted an atmosphere of openness. The participation of head shop stewards in other decision-making groups also helps to bring up both the personnel’s perspectives to development and potential sore points.

The staff also has statutory representation in occupational safety and health activities. In 2016, OSH activities included conducting a well-being at work survey, solving internal air problems, and taking action to prevent stress.

Eight-week teaching periods were introduced in the autumn, and this resulted in stress at times by increasing the short-term workload. Fortunately, we were alerted to this problem, and the development of corrective working time models was initiated. While the application of the working time monitoring scheme included in the collective agreement on working hours for government employees was also a topic of excited coffee break discussions, the ructions died down as the employees became more familiar with the system.

The cooperation negotiations triggered by changes in internal and reductions in external funding affected the staff, first at the School of Entrepreneurship and Business, then at the School of Bioeconomy and, finally, also at the School of Technology towards the end of the year. Negative impacts on the sense of solidarity at these workplaces could naturally not be avoided.

The dwindling resources are forcing us to do things in new ways, and hopefully, a controlled change will bring new potential for increasingly motivating ways of doing our work. At the end of the day, the students are at centre stage in the operations of an educational institution, and we must always ensure that the work we do promotes their interests.


HAMK’s finances are on a sound base – the University Centre is making progress in Hämeenlinna

Johanna Närhi, Director of Finance and Administration, and Tuomas Salonen, Director of Property Management

As further cuts have been made in funding, financial administration has required careful planning and discipline. However, the year was successful in financial terms.

2016 was Häme University of Applied Sciences' second year as a limited liability company. The general and financial administration functions have become more streamlined, whereas the year before, the incorporation process and transformation from a municipal federation into a group required considerable work inputs.

HAMK’s turnover was EUR 49 (52) million, capitalised production EUR 0.2 (0.2) million, and other operating profits EUR 2.5 (2) million in 2016 (previous year’s figures given in brackets). The other operating profits mainly consisted of rental of facilities.

Operating expenditure in 2016 was EUR 51 (54) million. Expenditure on personnel was EUR 33 (35) million, expenditure on materials and services EUR 2.9 (3.4) million, depreciations and impairment EUR 3.7 (3.6) million and other operating expenditure EUR 11.3 (12.2) million. The profit for the period was EUR 544,594.84 (-254,095.87).

HAMK’s investments amounted to EUR 4 (3.9) million. Investments in new buildings were EUR 1.7 (2) million, while investments in building renovations were EUR 1.1 (1) million. Teaching-related investments amounted to EUR 1.1 (0.8) million.

The limited company had a strong balance sheet, and its liquidity is at a healthy level.

Häme Vocational Institute Ltd and Häme University of Applied Sciences Ltd form a group. The Vocational Institute is fully owned by the University of Applied Sciences. The group’s turnover was EUR 54.2 (57.7) million in total. The profit for the period was EUR 373,691.67 (50,859.99).

Towards a shiny new University Centre

The most important investments completed during the financial period were the renovation of student hall of residence Kivelä in Evo and the building of a new sauna for the students’ use. In Lepaa, the façade of the students’ dining and residence hall was renovated, and the windows were replaced.

The building of the University Centre started in Visamäki in May. In this project, 4,900m2 of new facilities will be built. As a link between the existing buildings, a unit will be constructed that houses the library and the joint services of the campus. In addition, a new building will be constructed in conjunction with the existing one for the special needs of health care and social services education that will relocate to the University Centre from Lahdensivu campus. The project also involves alterations to existing buildings. The restaurant’s capacity will increased, and the staff’s working facilities will be improved.

The goal of the project is to also use the new facilities concept to support pedagogical development, staff well-being at work and space adaptability.

The staff and students from Lahdensivu campus will move to the new University Centre in autumn 2017.


Year 2016 at Häme Vocational Institute

Ari Mikkola, Rector of Häme Vocational Institute

Häme Vocational Institute is an educational institution that provides education programmes in natural resources and the environment and the related field of food production. The institution also offers driving instructor and management training. The Vocational Institute's central operating methods are vocational education and training leading to upper secondary vocational qualifications aimed at young people and adults as well as vocational further and continuing education. The Vocational Institute is an educational institution fully owned by Häme University of Applied Sciences Ltd. It engages in close cooperation with, in particular, Häme University of Applied Sciences’ School of Bioeconomy, as the two institutions operate on the same premises and use shared resources.

The admissions process of the Vocational Institute continued to be relatively successful, regardless of the smaller age classes. The number of first-choice applicants to education leading to an upper secondary vocational qualification was slightly lower than the year before. In programmes for young students leading to a vocational qualification, the number of primary applicants was 1.1 per each available place. The total number of students at the Vocational Institute fell slightly short of the maximum of 340 students stated in the operating license. The main reason for this was the record-breaking number of graduates in the year before (140). In 2016, the number of graduates was 124. While the number that dropped out (43 students) was slightly higher than in 2015, the general trend has been decreasing. The completion rate in education leading to an upper secondary vocational qualification for young people increased to 78%, which can be considered an excellent achievement.

The operating licenses of vocational institutions were renewed in 2013. As a result, the maximum number of students that the operating licence entitles the Vocational Institute to admit has seen a step-wise reduction from 375 to 340 in 2016. This together with an approximately 7.7% cut in the unit price had a negative effect on the Institute’s financial situation. When it was discovered during the year that further cuts amounting to approximately 12.5% would be made in 2017, cooperation negotiations that affected the entire Vocational Institute were initiated at the beginning of the autumn semester. As a result, two employees were given notice. A larger number of redundancies was avoided as several employees retired in this period.

The values of the indicators on which the performance-based funding of vocational education and training is based declined slightly from the year before. Gauged by the performance index, Häme Vocational Institute ranked 62nd among the 111 education providers that had been granted performance-based funding, putting the Institute roughly at the same level with other vocational institutions in the Kanta-Häme region. In 2015, our ranking was 57th. The performance figures are expected to improve in the years to come, as the Institute has engaged in long-term development aiming to improve the completion rate and reduce the number of dropouts. The employment rate of the graduates was slightly lower than usual as a consequence of the general economic situation. Graduating in time and a good employment rate are central criteria for performance-based funding.

An internal student feedback survey was carried out in 2016 among both those studying for an upper secondary vocational qualification and students in preparatory training. Both surveys showed that the students are reasonably happy with the teaching and services they receive. Management-related development needs were charted by means of a staff survey that covered the entire group. At the national level, the Vocational Institute took part in an evaluation that assessed the effectiveness of cooperation between vocational education and training and universities of applied sciences. Towards the end of the year, the Institute responded to a survey measuring the competence-based nature and customer orientation of education and training and the effectiveness of the operations. This survey was conducted by the Finnish Education Evaluation Council.

The Vocational Institute continued its activities in various forms in the Välkky network based on a partnership agreement between institutes providing upper secondary vocational education and training in the region. Several joint projects were ongoing within the Välkky network and in cooperation with other partners, with aims such as improving the teachers’ digital skills.

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HAMK Häme University of Applied Sciences Annual Report 2016

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