Sally Mapstone: Other countries are watching what happens to research in Finland

In recent years, the University of Helsinki has had to grapple with sizeable cuts. Index cuts and the elimination of what is known as the pharmacy compensation have resulted in a €167 million reduction in funding since 2010. Nearly 400 employees have been laid off.

Staff and students are the heart of any university, and it is on their everyday life and activities that the funding cuts continue to have an effect. So it is now of the utmost importance that the University has the opportunity to develop its operations. A sustainable future and restored equilibrium requires sufficient core funding and the reinstatement of the university index.

The attractiveness of the University of Helsinki on the international stage is based on its strong academic reputation, as well as a modern and open brand. The significance and impact of digitalisation are a driving force for universities, and in this area too, the University of Helsinki can compete with the best in the world. But will this last with the current funding model?

Academia is watching what is taking place in Finland: will Finland reassume its place as a top country in higher education and research and in terms of investment in universities?

Sally Mapstone

Chair of the International Advisory Board of the University of Helsinki

In the series Science Advocates, people describe the significance of research and research-based teaching for themselves. Read the other instalments on the Researchmatters website (scroll down).

Why do we need science?

The world and, thus, the needs of people and the environment are changing at an ever-accelerating pace. At the moment, we don’t know what kind of questions will require answers fifty years from now. What we do already know for certain is that solving these future challenges requires long-term research.

This is where science comes in.

For the sake of Finland’s welfare, it is crucial to safeguard our high level of expertise from early childhood education to the highest level of education and research. Our future lies in expertise and skilled specialists, which is why we should increase our investments in education and research.

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