One-man committee: Universities' budget funding needs to be increased

Jorma Rantanen, assigned by the Ministry of Education, has studied the structural development of research at universities and polytechnics.

A researcher at work Rantanen's one-man committee gave his report to Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Education, on Wednesday, 10 November. According to the report, Finnish university research is of a high international standard. The university system is geographically comprehensive, but in terms of future challenges, also fragmented, its resources spread too thinly, while the level of internationalisation could be higher.

For the universities to be able to meet future challenges, their budget funding needs to be increased. Rantanen proposes in his report that the budget funding be increased yearly by 90 million euros. The funding ought to be allocated to advancing strategic top research (30 million euros), strengthening the infrastructure (30 million euros) and expanding universities' international activities (30 million euros).

Rantanen says that there is no reason to extend the university system in Finland further. All university research should aim to produce top quality results. Large and multidisciplinary universities should concentrate on international top research and improving their international competitiveness. This requires that the output of basic research is increased by, for example, increasing the number of Centres of Excellence and creating international research alliances.

Rantanen also points out that there is little public debate on science policies. The debate on science and research policies should be more active and include a larger circle or more actors than is currently the case.

Text: Tapio Nurminen
Photo: Ida Pimenoff
16.11.2004
www.helsinki.fi/digitalcommunications

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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