A year of change and mergers

The year 2021 did not bring the much-needed way out of the corona pandemic, but Jamk has nevertheless persistently pushed forward. There have been particularly big changes in Jamk's management: a new board formed at the turn of the municipal election period and, at the same time, a new rector was elected, writes Bella Forsgrén, who started as the chair of Jamk's board in October 2021.

Bella Forsgren

It has been a great pleasure and honor for me, as a Member of the Finnish Parliament, to be able to steer Jamk together with Rector Vesa Saarikoski since last autumn. Already at this point, I would like to thank Vesa for the smooth start of the cooperation.

Getting to know Jamk and its people, I have been impressed by the staff's expertise and dedication to their work. Therefore, I want to thank the staff for how professionally they have made it through the long corona period. The motivation of the students has also been evident, despite the fact that corona has influenced the community in many ways.

The digital leap already made in the previous year has become an established part of teaching during 2021. Now that society is free again, it is time to return to contact teaching. However, digital learning environments have come to stay where applicable.

I am particularly excited that Jamk has taken a step towards promoting an internationally significant study of physical activity and well-being as Likes merged into Jamk’s School of Health and Social Studies.

I see that the merger of Likes and Jamk offers even better opportunities to develop national sports models and bring sports research and working life closer together. At the same time, the city Jyväskylä's role as the sports capital of Finland is further strengthened.

Jamk is constantly developing a wider range of experts for the future: Every year, more than 1,500 students graduate from eight different fields. I see for myself that universities of applied sciences are a key part of the toolbox of the future.

With climate change, environmental degradation, globalisation, the revolution in labor and other megatrends, we need even more research and practical know-how. The methods of social change and continuous learning are already essential – and both are provided by Jamk.

Bella Forsgrén, Chair of the Board