A statement by the cities and institutions of higher education in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area

Competence clusters, internationalisation and funding for higher education institutions must be strengthened to safeguard welfare.
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With its constituent cities and institutions of higher education, the Helsinki Metropolitan Area comprises an innovation and competence cluster unique to Finland, containing the potential to succeed in stiffening global competition, thus benefiting all of Finland.

The cities and higher education institutions of the capital region believe that the next government and parliament have the opportunity to provide better preconditions for the cities and higher education institutions in the region, as well as throughout Finland, to succeed. This is why the next government must support the region’s development into the best innovation and competence cluster in the world, consolidate its skills base and its ability and opportunities to make investments, as well as foster conditions that generate new jobs.

By creating preconditions for success, the government will

Support the development of the metropolitan area into the best innovation and competence cluster in the world. To achieve this, the government must

  • Increase the gross domestic product share of its contributions to research, development and innovation funding in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. The goal is to raise the RDI share of the private and public sector to 5% of the regional gross domestic product.
  • Promote the availability of skilled employees, as well as the operating conditions of universities and universities of applied sciences.
  • Support with separate funding the consolidation of research and development clusters in the Helsinki Metropolitan Region, particularly in potential growth sectors, such as applications related to artificial intelligence and virtual reality, robotics, clean and smart solutions, health technology, the bioproduct industry, biomedicine and information networks, as well as related application opportunities.

Promote the attractiveness of Finland and the Helsinki Metropolitan Region among international experts together with the region’s cities and institutions of higher education. To achieve this, the government must

  • Set attracting international experts to the Finnish labour market as one of the spearhead themes of its programme.
  • Launch, together with the largest cities, a programme to attract international experts to Finland, as well as make related permit processes smoother and faster.
  • Support higher education institutions in attracting international students, as well as in measures related to their smooth transfer to the Finnish labour market.
  • Improve the employment opportunities of the spouses and other family members of international experts, as well as expand foreign-language services.
  • Ensure sufficient resources for language education and connect the education to employment and professional training in an increasingly flexible manner.

Ensure in both the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and the whole of Finland sustainable resources for universities and universities of applied sciences to provide education and conduct research. To achieve this, the government must

  • Guarantee the preconditions needed for stable development and long-term operations to higher education institutions by raising their core funding to a sustainable level. This will be achieved by permanently reinstating the university index or by seeing to the matter, for example, by providing capital to universities or by making an increase in the level of core funding. Funding can also be developed by merging existing resources into clearer strategic entities.
  • Allocate a new, fourth duty of lifelong learning to universities of applied sciences, as well as provide funding to increase the student intake of the vocational schools and universities of applied sciences in the Helsinki Metropolitan Region.
  • Push for the increase of research and innovation funding also in the EU.

Signatories:

Helsinki
Espoo

Vantaa
Kauniainen
University of Helsinki
Aalto University
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
Hanken School of Economics
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Arcada University of Applied Sciences
University of the Arts Helsinki
Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
Humak University of Applied Sciences