A year of development and progress

The year 2021 at Vaasa University of Applied Sciences revolved around the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and learning new things. During the year, the challenges turned into opportunities.

Vaasa University of Applied Sciences plays an important role in addressing the regional, national and international shortage of skilled professionals. In accordance with our strategy, we are the main partner in expertise. We offer a competitive edge to the main working life operators by training future talent and generating trendsetting vision.

As CEO, I found it important to start building the development of our organisation from the perspective of ethics, responsibility and sustainability. With this in mind, in December 2021, we published the Ethical Code of Conduct drawn up through community participation. In addition to this, our community created the sustainable development and responsibility programme. Responsibility is caring.

In June 2021, we passed FINEEC’s international audit. The audit team paid particular attention to our ambition to develop our activities in a manner that is communal and serves the working life and businesses in the region. Our operating culture was described as supportive of participation and the relationship between staff and students as close. With the feedback from the audit, we are now systematically improving our operations. However, we want to stick to our values of sympathy and openness. To come and be close to people.

The battery industry must also be highlighted here. Throughout the year, we have built, launched and developed new training related to the battery industry. The green transition, carbon neutrality and sustainable energy solutions, such as wind power and electricity storage, are part of our day-to-day activities. We live in sync with the region’s industry, or, preferably, a bit ahead of it.

Our activities are guided by the development targets set in our strategy. To support our work, we introduced more elements of knowledge management. We monitor and anticipate the evolution of our operations by simulating different models that focus on forecasting and modelling the economy and our performance. The entire management and all supervisors started a long, one-year coaching process with the aim of strengthening our shared management culture.

Our finances were further strengthened in 2021. Our determined financial management is reflected in our financial indicators. As part of our financial management, we updated our investment policy, and the active, careful management of our investments also had a positive impact on our results.

2021 was the year of RDI activities and the development of continuous learning. The choice of pursuing the development work one major theme at a time has proved to be effective and fruitful. In 2022, we will focus on pedagogical development. Our staff have learned many new things during the year. Developing something new in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has certainly been difficult at times, but I know that it has also given people faith in the future. We can influence our future through our own actions.

An increasing number of our staff will retire over the coming years. We started systematic recruitment efforts in autumn 2021, and the strengthening of our employer image was reflected in an increased number of job applicants. People want to work for us!

As early as 2022, we will significantly increase our RDI activities and continuous learning provision. Through pedagogical development, we will create an ever deepening experience for our students that being close also means high-quality teaching and guidance.

International students are interested in Vaasa and Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. The number of international students is growing as planned, and we have also increased international recruitment in our community. We are heading courageously towards new things. Through development and progress.

I would like to thank our staff, students and partners for being with us on our journey.

Kati Komulainen

President, CEO