Education, Research, and the Economy

Veugelers ReinhildeToivanen OttoTanayama Tanja

The Evaluation of the Finnish National Innovation System

The objectives in reforming the Finnish education and (public) research sectors are as follows:
– Increasing the quality of research.
– Streamlining the sectors to reduce fragmentation and overlapping activities.
– Increasing internationalization.
– Tackling the problem of late graduation.
– Enhancing efficient knowledge dissemination from the sectors to the rest of society.

The most pressing and timely challenge is to increase the quality of research in Finland, which is best achieved by providing autonomous universities incentives through funding rules emphasizing it (see our separate proposal for details).

To streamline the higher education sector we recommend a clear division of tasks between universities and polytechnics. In addition the role and tasks of public research organizations (PROs) should be critically re-assessed.

To reduce the problem of late graduation, our main policy recommendation is to make a clear distinction between bachelor’s and master’s programs and ensure that it is easier for students to change fields and establishments when exiting the bachelor’s and entering the master’s programs. To further enhance industry – science links we stress the need to avoid top-down policy making in selecting areas for academic research.

In addition, technology transfer offices should have an adequate scale, expertise and resources to truly be efficient.

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