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Getting all Lapland - co-operation is the way forward

The School of Business and Culture passed the first operating year of the joint university of applied sciences building a shared operational practice and sharing competence between campuses.
We met Lapland-based operators from businesses and municipal and educational organisations at several events throughout the year. We take the needs that were noted at these meetings into consideration in the curricular development work.


For lively future business and culture

Digitisation, corporate co-operation, international competence, entrepreneurial operation and business competence are emphasised in all of our degree programmes.

The InnoBarents Lab activities in the International Business degree programmes and the LiikeAkatemia business academy model in Finnish-language degree programme in Business are suitable for future learning environments. We also launched the Napalaakso (“Polar Valley”) learning environment, where first-year business students study business activities using simulation methods.

The InnoMaraton study module was implemented in collaboration with the University of Lapland and Lapland-based entrepreneurs, culminating in a closing event at Ylläs. InnoMaraton was also built as an international concept.

Entrepreneurship training was also offered to municipalities in Lapland with the Summer Entrepreneurship (Kesäyrittäjyys) concept. It was implemented, and will be repeated next summer for upper secondary education students around Lapland.

The changes in the ICT field will be major, and the work to develop online services should already be under way in Lapland as well. In fact, co-operation with municipal actors in information processing has already been opened.

In visual arts, we collaborated under the auspices of the Institute for Northern Culture and with organisations in the region, and prepared a national development project for entrepreneurial education.

As regards the communications degree programme that is ending, we will retain the competence that brings added value for the other educational sectors.


Supporting internationalisation and management of distances

Lapland needs competence in international networks and on the global market. That is why we linked managing distances with competence and the need to develop not just the virtual campus but also remote management, working remotely, teleconferences and creative solutions and tools in virtual environments. The first Horizon 2020 project of the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, the SmartSet virtual studio, deserves a special mention.

We developed the integration of RDI activities and instruction. Most of the teachers took part in project work, and most projects also had students participating. We also committed to emphases in accordance with the strategy.

The From Borders to Shared Space (BOSS) project financed by the Ministry of Education and Culture opens the development work of cross-border business and service operations at the borders of Lapland and the whole country. The Young Innovative Entrepreneurs (YIE) project was implemented in the countries of the Barents Region, focusing on students interested in entrepreneurship. The Creative Momentum project networked entrepreneurs and students of the creative fields with the aim of creating creative business activities in the northern periphery. The Practise Future project facilitated innovation work in sparsely populated regions in three countries of the Barents Region, engaging students, entrepreneurs and municipal organisations.

We got our first experiences of education export to France and Russia. Foreign customers are especially interested in utilising distance learning.


Achieving and exceeding our targets

The joint national university-polytechnic applications were a success. Students’ interest in international exchange increased, and its hard target was reached, as it was on the part of the staff.

Excellent results were also achieved in the number of completed degrees, RDI targets and publications. In addition, the year was very good financially, enabling investments in the coming years.

The ‘lost lamb’ project launched for drop-outs also has social significance and is progressing on schedule.

The staff’s ability to cope was constantly monitored. However, the results of the personnel survey indicated trust and a positive atmosphere. The handling of student feedback was enhanced, and the exchange of information and views proved necessary, especially regarding the degree programme in communications.


Leena Alalääkkölä
School of Business and Culture