New Winds Blowing in Our Community
All in all, the past year has been an unusual one from the perspective of the Board, the staff and the students alike. The transition to distance teaching and learning happened practically overnight. Despite all the potential for chaos, this transition was a very successful process overall.
The flexibility of the operative management, staff and students facilitated a smooth switch. It was perhaps also helped along by the priorities of the new strategy and, in particular, the focus on digital learning in the reinvented higher education institution.
I would like to thank you all personally for the successful transition, which showed that Jamk can be extremely agile when needed. In numerical terms, the fact that both the number of degrees completed and our result in euro amounts broke all records is another indication of the success of this process. Our turnover, too, reached the milestone of EUR 60 million.
In this context, I would also like to thank Rector Jussi Halttunen for his extensive contribution to the Jamk community. Under Jussi’s direction, our community has become one of the best universities of applied sciences in Finland measured by quality and performance alike. Thank you for everything, Jussi, and enjoy your retirement.
We can take it for granted that the new Rector will also change Jamk. Personally, I see this as an opportunity from the viewpoint of both existing structures and staff. A new Rector from outside Jamk will certainly bring new views and experience to bear on our work. Our updated strategy with its focus areas and emerging fields will definitely give the new Rector a good starting point for developing Jamk in the right direction.
In addition to Jamk having a new Rector, the term of our Board in its current composition is also about to expire. The Board’s main concern will now be ensuring that the transition is as smooth as possible; we currently have many balls in the air, and we need to finish the game successfully. As the greatest challenges I see the possible impacts on our community of the LIKES integration, the sale of the Education Facilities and the Hippos project involving the relocation of Jamk's main campus.
It goes without saying that none of these changes should have a negative impact on Jamk's quality, competence and future in the years to come. With these words, I would like to wish you all a better year less affected by COVID-19 in 2021.