The proposal for expertise and education reform has been prepared in cooperation with businesses and cities in Southwestern Finland, institutes of higher education in Turku and educational institutions in the field, as well as the technical universities in the rest of Finland.
The proposal is included in the extensive report on the positive prospects of the marine and manufacturing industries and the sizeable supporting operations in Turku and on the southwestern coast brought to the Turku City Board on Wednesday 14 December. The proposal for the reform on education has been filed with the government and the Ministry of Education and Culture, as well as the Ministry of Employment and the Economy on Friday 9 December.
The education reform is based on the development prospects of the marine and manufacturing industries in the Turku area and Southwest Finland surpassing all expectations. All ripple effects considered, this could result in employment for up to 30,000 people by the mid-2020s. The construction industry and service sector also have positive prospects.
“This is a positive challenge and an opportunity for the whole of Finland - a positive structural change whose significance and effects are more far-reaching than just the coming years. The core question is how the strong economic growth in the Turku area and Southwest Finland can be translated to spell economic growth and an increase in vitality in the whole of Finland. The volume and quality of education are key here,” says Aleksi Randell, the Mayor of Turku.
The development operations of education, both in the short and long term, are necessary in terms of securing the future success and labour force requirement of the marine industry and other manufacturing industries. Altogether 29 companies have joined in supporting the proposal.
Turku wants a faculty of technology
The City of Turku collected assessments on the situation of the development of expertise and concrete proposals for measures from the educational institutions and institutions of higher education in Turku and Southwest Finland, as well as cooperating universities of technology, and this proposal is based on these assessments.
The core question is how the strong economic growth in the Turku area and Southwest Finland can be translated to spell economic growth and an increase in vitality in the whole of Finland.
The renewed educational system in accordance with the proposal drafted by the City of Turku should be completed by the joint application process in the spring of 2018, at the latest, and the implications of the reform should be considered in educational institutions’ state subsidies in the future.
The broad-based educational reform contains new solutions for the education of engineers, Masters of Science (Technology), upper secondary and adult education, as well as the structures supporting education and research.
“The lack of a faculty of technology in the core competence areas of the manufacturing industry in Turku, such as mechanical engineering, manufacturing technique and industrial engineering, is a serious structural problem in the long-term, and it should be addressed with a sustainable, permanent solution,” says Aleksi Randell, the Mayor of Turku.
Cooperation coordinated in the TFT network
Educational cooperation in the field of technology is still being strengthened in Turku. The cooperation is based on the Turku Future Technologies (TFT) cooperation network founded in 2016. Its role is completed by establishing a development and coordination network for the technology industry in connection with the TFT by the institutes of higher education in Turku.
According to the City of Turku, the goal of the educational reform is not merely to increase the volume of education. Effective and long-term actions affecting the entire country, in order to improve the attractiveness and image of the technology sector as an education and career option across all levels of education, are also needed.
In addition to the education proposal, the City of Turku has initiated comprehensive operations to support growth. These operations concern housing, employment and immigration issues, expertise and education, accessibility, logistics and mobility of the labour force.
This entity is coordinated by the City of Turku City Development Group and implemented in close cooperation with group companies, educational institutions, the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, TE services, the Regional Council of Southwest Finland and other partners. Turku Science Park Ltd is in charge of operative actions, and its operations will be reorganised to meet the new challenges.