Technologically, Finland is facing structural changes, and the nature of the jobs in the sector is also changing. We are moving towards service-intensive industry. The next-generation engineer will need even more diverse competence: logic, creativity and social skills. Engineers have a unique ability to develop and create new things and apply them in practice. We can only meet these challenges by organising our engineering education efficiently and with high quality in co-operation with working life and taking its needs into account.
The needs of education arise in working life
Digitisation is coming to all sectors, including conventional industry. We are also taking its opportunities into consideration in the curricula.
The mining sector will continue to be a strong field of industry in Finland. In the future, we will have deeper mines with a higher level of automation. Our aim is to be a well-known and acclaimed mining engineer educator in Finland. In fact, we strengthened our mining expertise by organising extensive practical training for our personnel at Finnish mines and mining subcontractors.
Bioeconomy is predicted to become a growing industry, and has a lot of unutilised potential in Finland. There is a call for more extensive and efficient utilisation of domestic renewable energy sources in particular. In this and in education for forestry and agricultural business, there are opportunities to stand out as a stronger developer and competence producer in the region.
The development of competence-based and problem-based curricula continues in co-operation with working life.
As regards learning and development environments, investments in electrical and automation training environments and the competence and instruction development project were completed. At the same time, a preliminary project was launched to implement a similar unit in civil engineering.
The year of change did not preclude profit
The financial result of the School of Industry and Natural Resources was significantly better than budgeted. Economical financial management and the large number of project work hours by teachers contributed to it. With the economic recession, the target for chargeable service business was not achieved, although it perked up later in the year.
The service business in industry and natural resources amounted to more than half of the total realised service business of Lapland UAS.
The result targets pursuant to the result agreement were mostly achieved well. The target was exceeded in the number of completed degrees, and the percentage of students who completed the goal of 55 ECTS credits during the year increased from 29% to 37%. The integration of instruction and RDI activities progressed well during the year, which reflected in the strong increase of RDI credits.
There is room for improvement, especially in increasing the international exchanges of students and decreasing the number of drop-outs. These are the key development targets for 2015.
RDI work as the most important tool for strategic implementation
In 2015, the RDI activities of the school will be reconciled with the new strategy of the university of applied sciences by creating action plans for each RDI group until 2020.
In early 2015, two European projects were launched (FP7, ECSEL-JTI). The school is also the partner of Fimecc Oy in a SHOK programme (S-STEP) and a subcontractor in two others. The natural resources field launched the Virtual Forest (“Virtuaalimetsä”) project, which is aimed at creating a new kind of virtual learning environment combining the expertise of the ICT degree programme laboratory and the degree programme in Forestry of Lapland UAS. The agricultural industry education strongly integrated with working life in RDI projects by developing reindeer husbandry and Green Care activities in particular.