Changes ahead, changes made
Although the effects of the coronavirus still marked the year 2021, the highlights of the year can be seen in a number of positive aspects: moderate growth in the economy, new openings and positive developments in job satisfaction. The year 2021 has a strong spirit of can-do attitude, writes Vesa Saarikoski, the new Rector of Jamk as of September 2021.
The financial statement of Jamk University of Applied Sciences speaks of doing things right. There were one tenth fewer degree graduates than in the previous year, but in line with the national trend, it was a question of returning to the normal level before the pandemic. A sharp, one third increase took place in the completed open studies (more than 41,000 credits) and the number of foreign degree students (631) increased also by a third. These are strong signals of the importance of continuous learning and internationalisation. The volume of RDI also increased to a record high of more than EUR 12 million.
Financial figures for 2021 show that Jamk's turnover is over EUR 65 million, with a 6% increase. The relatively largest increase, about a quarter, took place in education exports, which reached almost three million turnover. Of this, more than half accounted for tuition fees for non-EU and non-EEA students. Jamk's equity ratio (81.5%) reflects the university's solvency.
The accounting process sums up the past year and paves the way for the current one. Growth in 2021 was moderate, but decisions made, such as the integration of Likes' operations into Jamk and strategic project funding applications, built on growth this year. This year, Jamk's turnover will exceed EUR 70 million and the number of employees will increase to around 900. Jamk has not reached such figures before.
In 2021, we received positive measurement results regarding the well-being of our personnel, as there was a positive trend in the matters selected as special areas for development within our personnel. An extensive personnel survey conducted in the spring of this year confirmed that personal satisfaction had improved significantly and extensively compared to the results from two years ago. The development of the competence and well-being of the personnel is a cornerstone of our work and a continuous task that enables success from one financial year to the next.
The year 2021 can still be seen as a year highly affected by the coronavirus. Both the prolongation of the pandemic and the ups and downs caused by the virus variants strained Jamk’s operations. At the same time, however, there has been a deep debate about the university's operating model. Jamk’s model of multimodal work (presence, distance, and hybrid) and digital pedagogical development suggest that 2020-2021 paves way for something new. There is no longer a physical return to workplaces and educational institutions to the same extent as in the previous period.
Jamk’s strategic focus areas, which are only “mountain tops” of our operations, were systematically developed during the year. This year brought the war of aggression to Europe, launched by Russia, and at the same time cyber security and the bioeconomy, for example, gained even more strategic depth. Aging, increasing immobility and the reform of healthcare and social services increase the strategic importance of the Institute of Rehabilitation and the newcomer Likes, for example.
The Jamk community is made up of students and staff in teaching, research and university services. Particularly gratifying were the strategic partnerships strengthened in 2021 from educational institutions within EduFutura to major technology companies. It seems that the reform of healthcare and social services in 2021 has also positively strengthened the ownership interest of Jyväskylä and other owners of Jamk University of Applied Sciences.
Thank you all for the joint effort and the continuous journey to make a better future!