The operations of the Lapland University of Applied Sciences started at the beginning of 2014. Preparations for the launch took place throughout 2013. 2014 can be described as a year of clashing operating cultures. The Kemi-Tornio and Rovaniemi Universities of Applied Sciences both had their own ways of operating. The creation of the operating culture of Lapland UAS started in 2014. The process is still ongoing.
2014 was an excellent year for Lapland UAS. The joint applications in spring 2014 proved that the new Lapland UAS has made a place for itself in the field of higher educational establishments by increasing its attractiveness compared to the universities of applied sciences that existed before the merger.
The operating year also saw a new degree record; never before have so many polytechnic degrees been completed in Lapland than in 2014. Furthermore, according to a survey by Taloustutkimus, the Lapland UAS brand was the third-best in Finland at the time of the study, even though we had only been operating for a few months at that point.
In 2013, a strategy until 2020 was approved for the Lapland University of Applied Sciences. Development groups were appointed for the strategic areas of emphasis to work on the practical implementation of the strategy. In 2015, the implementation of the strategy will be enhanced by ensuring that the strategic choices that have been made are clearly visible in the basic operations, education and RDI activities of the university of applied sciences.
Our vision for 2020 is a challenging one: “We are a pioneer in Arctic expertise in our areas of emphasis and an internationally acclaimed educator, developer and partner.” The aim is achievable but requires a lot of work and commitment from the entire staff. Step by step, we come closer to making the vision reality.
STRONG FINANCIAL FOUNDATION
The financial result for 2014 was also excellent. Careful and systematic financial management, the commitment of profit centres to efficient and economical operations, and the structural development actions made at the previous universities of applied sciences all contributed to the good financial result.
Maintaining and improving liquidity became the primary task of financial management. Operations started with a minimal coffer compared to the volume of operations. Liquidity improved during the operating year, primarily due to the accelerated settlement of strategic financing from the Ministry of Education and Culture.
A new performance-based financing model for universities of applied sciences was adopted at the beginning of 2014. The adoption of the new model significantly decreased the predictability of financing because the effects of the financing mechanism were not really known. In any case, the new financing model will lead to increasing competition between universities of applied sciences.
A clear agreement procedure was adopted in the internal results management of Lapland UAS. It will be used to distribute the result and key figure targets of the agreement with the Ministry of Education and Culture among the university’s profit centres. At the same time, the profit centres will also receive the resources to achieve the aims. The result management model will be developed in 2015.
The Lapland University Consortium collaboration with the University of Lapland continued. The strongest showings of the collaboration include the Multidimensional Tourism Institute, the Institute for Northern Culture, the Lapland University Consortium Library and the Sociopolis network for social sciences. There is also close co-operation in information management and the production of information management services, student services and project financial management.