Page updated 10.4.2019

Highlights from 2017


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To educate the professionals of tomorrow, we need a new culture of learning. The readiness for change is required of learners, teachers catalysing learning and curricula. In 2017, we carried out a comprehensive renewal of curriculum work. In future, the Finnish term to refer to curricula is “learning plan”. The Innopeda Curriculum, originated from the cornerstones of innovation pedagogy and innovation competences, was further developed through the discussion rounds led by the Vice Rector. 

Innovation pedagogy has aroused interest also abroad. New market areas in 2017 included, for instance, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Georgia. In a Brazilian partner university, seven teachers were validated as Innopeda trainers. They will further train Innopeda trainers in their own provinces.  

We continued as the primary coordinator of the Summer Semester portal, The development of the summer semester has made excellent progress. The number of courses available in the portal has been on a good increase; in 2017, there were as many as 440 courses available. The summer study portal, created in cooperation between 23 universities of applied sciences, has been extremely positively received by students.  

The Future Learning Design team arranged five eTUBE online pedagogy trainings and six Innopeda® trainings for staff members in 2017. In addition, we arranged an Innopeda® further training cruise, as a result of which we gathered 100 new ideas for work. The quality of pedagogic approaches can be improved through continuing staff training, likewise the online pedagogic skills of teaching and training professionals can be enhanced.  

In spring 2017, the Ministry of Education and Culture released their policies to promote internationalization in Finnish higher education and research for 2017–2025. The policies emphasize that higher education institutions should be multilingual and multicultural communities that systematically consider creating the readiness for internationalization in their planning of studies.

In 2017, we promoted internationalization actively e.g. through the CARPE network. In addition, we were granted the first Erasmus+ funding for global mobility and in November we signed the Fulbright–TUAS Scholar Award agreement.

Read more about innovation pedagogy through the eyes of a visitor from an article published in the Talk Innopeda magazine !

Publications on the topic during 2017:

  • Keinänen, M.; Oksanen, A. 2017. Students’ perception of learning innovation competences in activity-based learning environment. Ammattikasvatuksen aikakauskirja 2017 (4)  
  • Konst, T. 2017. Developing Learning in Organizations with Innovation Pedagogy Methods. In International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering, May 2017.  
  • Konst, T.; Jagiello-Rusilowski, A. 2017. Students’ and Higher Education stakeholders’ concepts of resilience in the context of innovation camps. In Adult Education Discourses 18/2017, pp. 19–34. University of Zielona Gora – Faculty of Education, Psychology and Sociology.  
  • Kairisto-Mertanen, L.; Penttilä, T.; Schneider. & Vania, E. 2017 Pedagogia da Inovação: A experiência finlandesa. EDUCS, Editora da Universidade de Caxias do Sul, Brazil. 

Research, Development and Innovation Services

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Our RDI activities continued to steadily increase in 2017. The long-term internal development work of our RDI activities bore fruit, resulting in strong and established project success in national as well as international funding programmes. Our external funding for projects increased to EUR 7 million and during the year, altogether 196 projects were in implementation. Our staff members wrote 718 publications.

Support for positive structural change

The regional impact of our RDI work was emphasized during 2017 as the positive structural change taking place in Southwest Finland was manifested in the increasing demand for competent workforce and up-to-date training in the fields of engineering. Our aim is to strengthen the regional research and development infrastructure to meet the changing needs of the businesses operating in our region. We carry out RDI cooperation wider than earlier with multidisciplinary working life networks and invest in, for example, up-to-date infrastructure. 

The positive structural change shows also in our projects started during 2017, such as 

  • PoraKONE – Responding to Regional Structural Change through Expanding Engineering Education,
  • RADICAL – Filling Skills Gaps in Blue Industry by Radical Competence Boost in Engineering VET, and 
  • SoteNavi – Training Project for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and Associations.

A Horizon 2020 project to be coordinated

In 2017, we invested particularly in improving our competence regarding the Horizon 2020 programme. Our efforts were rewarded as we made it to be one of the very few Finnish higher education institutions that act as the coordinator of a Horizon 2020 project. Our cooperation project “Co-creation of Service Innovation in Europe” (CoSIE) that is implemented in ten countries creates new ways of developing public services together with services users.

Developer of 5G testing environments

We are also in the frontline to develop the 5G networks of the future. During 2017, three new projects in which TUAS has a key role as an expert in the development of testing environments were granted funding:

  • Wireless for Verticals (WIVE),
  • Critical Operations over Regular Networks (CORNET), and 
  • Broadcast and Multicast Communication Enablers for the Fifth-Generation of Wireless Systems (5G-Xcast). 

The aim in all projects is to influence the 5G development and simultaneously create testing environments where the 5G technology can be tested before proceeding to the commercial phase.

Read more about our new projects:


Services for Business

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Services for Business developed partnership cooperation

TUAS Services for Business cover the development needs of companies as well as individuals in all our fields of study. We offer expert trainings and services, opportunities for student cooperation and RDI services to the working and economic life of Southwest Finland.

In 2017, Services for Business focused on developing partnership collaboration. The centre of our operations concentrated on the implementation of our stakeholder and partnership activity plan in the form of a guide to customer work. The guide, published in spring 2018, covers all areas of customer work at TUAS and it aims at building joint customership thinking within TUAS, customer segmentation as well as deployment of instructions and tools.

Another significant development target regarding partnership and customership work was achieved when out customership management system was updated in the Dynamics365 environment. For teachers, the discussions are regular work-time planning work and they take into account the integration of teaching and RDI, cooperation with working life and services for business. Our recruitment services directed at employers will also become more efficient as the new system is deployed. ASKO will be introduced in stages during 2018. 

In addition to developing internal processes, we were strongly directed outwards. We collaborate actively with other working life operators in Southwest Finland. We operate in Korkeakoulukumppani (University Partner) as well as Team Finland networks, in addition to which we have participated in educational institution cooperation that improves the services of businesses and is coordinated by Turku Science Park. 

Alumni Afterworks

The Alumni Afterworks events, launched in autumn 2017, have been received extremely well. Alumni from all faculties have participated in the alumni evenings that are organized once a month. The events focus on topical subjects, such as personal branding and international expertise, with TUAS experts and alumni as keynote speakers.

The Alumnus of the Year award was granted to CHRZU Lindström, who has studied animation at TUAS and works actively in the field of animation, also as director and visiting teacher.

Learn more about our alumni activities

Demand for competence in the increase

The positive structural change and the reform of social and health care services show in the increase in the demand for our training services. There is a clear need for upgrading competences to up-to-date level among businesses as well as individual customers.  Employers and professionals wished to secure their expertise in the future markets related to the reform of social and health care services, says Manager of Continuing Education Tiina Aalto. The trainings organized by the Faculty of Health and Well-being were participated by as many as 3,000 professionals during 2017. 


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In 2017, Turku University of Applied Sciences was home to 8,747 students (present and absent young and adult learners), a figure that is slightly smaller than the year before (8,808 in 2016).

The profitability of the educational mission of TUAS incresed from the previous year. The number of students completing a Bachelor’s degree was 1 617 (1,590 in 2016) and the number of those completing a Master’s degree was 171 (142 in 2016), in total 1 788 graduated students in 2017 (1,734 in 2016). 

The number of students who completed 55 ECTS credits also increased significantly to 5,615 from the previous year’s figure 5,461. The yield from the Open UAS ECTS credits decreased from 9,941 to 8,950. 

According to student feedback, students are happy with the teaching they received. The general student satisfaction had according to the Student Barometer (January 2018) remained the same as in the previous year (3.6, scale 1–5). According to the University of Applied Sciences Graduand Feedback Questionnaire AVOP, the general satisfaction in terms of Bachelor’s degrees had remained stable and in terms of Master’s degrees increased from the previous year.  The average satisfaction was 5.0 regarding Bachelor’s degrees and 5.4 regarding Master’s degrees (scale 1–7). 

Awards for students in #TUASopening

In the #TUASopening, the event opening the academic year 2017–2018, third-year ICT student Katariina Tiura was awarded as the Student of the Year. Katariina started to participate in the activities of the Firma learning environment where she later worked as Student CEO. She also participates in the activities of Student Union TUO as a student representative. Katariina is described as an active, energetic and easy-to-approach person.

The Into award of the students went to Chair of Student Union TUO Jukka-Pekka Salmela.


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The number of full time staff was 713 at the end of the year, which is 9 employees more than in the previous year. However, the total number of person-years decreased by 6 person-years from the previous year, which was due to, for example, the higher number of part-time employees. The financial situation continued to be tight, and particular discretion was exercised in the recruitment of new personnel to replace retiring employees.

The number of retiring employees was almost as high as in the previous year (18). 15 employees retired because of old age and one employment ended due to disability. The retirement peak will take place in 2020–2021. The number of employments terminated for reasons other than retirement was 18, compared to 7 in the previous year. In other words, personnel turnover has increased from the previous year. 

In 2017, we continued developing the support services and recruitment of visiting experts. We signed an agreement on scholarship students with the Fulbright Finland Foundation. The agreement enables recruiting American researchers and lecturers for 3–9 months. We had a total of 24 full-time employees with an international background.

In the course of 2017, we promoted the teachers’ work planning model that emphasizes teachers’ result-oriented teamwork for which they are responsible themselves instead of the earlier mechanical hour/ECTS credit model. During the autumn, we intensively prepared for the deployment of the TEPPO project management system. The Tilipussi system that was previously utilized for drawing up teachers’ working time plans expired and as of the beginning of 2018, working time plan reports can be retrieved from TEPPO. 

We had drafted a long-term development plan (2017–2020) with emphasis in terms of the digital operating environment on, in addition to expertise, teachership and leadership of learning as well as research, development and innovation activities, and community spirit in a new work environment. During 2017, we made progress in all these emphasis areas.

The development work regarding the salary system proceeded and we simultaneously created an evaluation tool to be utilized in the context of development discussions that was ready to be introduced in the beginning of 2018 for the whole TUAS. 

We invested in well-being at work and preventive activities by starting closer cooperation with occupational health care services and by utilizing the work counsellors of our own organization in the conflict situations and resource trainings of the work community. We also strengthened our early intervention scheme to become part of the everyday life of our community.  

In early 2017, a Corporate Spirit staff survey was conducted for the first time. Compared to the norm among expert organizations, our result was at a satisfactory level. Based on the results, all units were required to include two or three hands-on development targets in their plans of action. The realization was monitored during the rest of the year.

Staff recognitions and decorations

At the #TUASopening in autumn 2017, International Relations Officer Reetta Partala received the Into award for staff members. The Teacher of the Year award, voted by students, was handed to Senior Lecturer in Advertising Minna Teittinen. The community-oriented Tarmo award went to the learning environment #factory (see also the annual report film). 

Decorations were awarded on 6 December, the Independence Day of Finland, by the President of the Republic of Finland to merited members of our staff. Decorations were awarded to: 

  • Jouko Lehtonen,
  • Esko Ovaska,
  • Saara Lampelo, and
  • Juha Kettunen.


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#FairTUAS – #Commitment2050 in preparation 

We were recognized as a Fair Trade University already in 2013. In order to keep the honorary title, we report annually on our fair trade promotion activities that include, for instance, fair coffee hours and fair trade weeks. The student union at Turku University of Applied Sciences – TUO has also committed in their operations to promote fair trade, for example, by offering fair trade coffee and tea in the events they arrange. 

During 2017, we prepared participating in the Commitment 2050. TUAS signed the agreement in January 2018. The society’s commitment to sustainable development is a joint long-term ambition regarding the Finland of the future. Behind the commitment is the sustainable development committee.  

By signing the commitment, we committed to building a sustainable and safe Finland. We produce expertise in circular economy and well-being. The aim of the society’s commitment to sustainable development is to each year increase the number of projects related to circular economy and inclusion and to produce top experts in these fields to meet the regional, national and international needs. 

Get to know the commitment in more detail  

Group finances

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The financial situation remained stable in 2017. The radical decrease of state transfers has ended for the time being, and the state transfers paid to TUAS, including the strategic aid, was EUR 53.9 million, which is slightly higher than in the previous year (EUR 53.6 million). The increase was also affected by positive trends in the funding model metrics that determine the amount of state transfers to TUAS.

Profits for the financial year are EUR 367,310.15 (0.5% of turnover), while the target recorded in the budget was EUR 54,807. The total income of the group was EUR 67 million (EUR 66.35 in the previous year), which exceeded the income target recorded in the budget (EUR 66 million). Similarly, the total expenditure of EUR 66.6 million in 2017 (EUR 66.5 million in the previous year) exceeded the budget (EUR 65.95 million).

External income in research, development and innovation activities increased further to EUR 7 million, which is 10.5 per cent of the total income (2016: EUR 6.5 million, 9.8% of the total income). Meanwhile, the self-financing share of TUAS decreased to 33 percentage points from 38 percentage points last year. Total funding for RDI activities, including both external funding and funding by TUAS, was at EUR 10.5 million. Turku University of Applied Sciences was the second best university of applied sciences in Finland in terms of external RDI funding.

Turnover from services provided to external customers increased to EUR 2.3 million (EUR 1.45 million in the previous year) and the result was positive for the first time since the incorporation of TUAS.

The largest expenditure item was personnel expenses: EUR 42.7 million (EUR 43.6 million in 2016), which is 64.1 per cent of the total expenditure (65.5% in 2016). The lower payroll costs were mainly due to the decrease in payroll add-on costs. Despite the several spatial alterations (relocations, repairs, furniture purchases), real estate costs remained at the previous year's level, at EUR 13.9 million. The convertible loan investment, which was mostly made in 2016 and complemented in 2017, resulted in interest of EUR 360,000.

The financial situation of TUAS remained stable. This is evident, for example, from the excellent self-sufficiency rate of 63.4 per cent (77.7% in 2016) and a quick ratio of 1.1 (1.3 in 2016), which represents our cash position.

Another sign of a stable financial situation is credit rating Alfa by Suomen Asiakastieto Oy and the Strongest in Finland certificate, which is granted to companies with positive financial indicators, good credit-worthiness, background and payment status. All in all, the financial result of Turku University of Applied Sciences is satisfactory.

Group shares

The group has 100 shares with a nominal value of EUR 5,000. Each share is entitled to one vote in the general meeting. Because TUAS is a non-profit seeking group, it does not pay dividends or generate other kind of financial gain for the shareholders or other actors taking part in the activities. Any profit is used for developing the group’s operations.

(Shareholders’ agreement 17 September 2014; section 5 of the Act on Universities of Applied Sciences 932/2014)

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Financial key figures (click for a larger image)

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Income statement (click for a larger image)

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Balance sheet (click for a larger image)

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Sources and uses of funds statement (click for a larger image)


Other Key Figures

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Students (click for a larger image)

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Degrees (click for a larger image)

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Staff (click for a larger image)

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RDI Activity (clic for a larger image)


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The implementation of our strategy calls for directing investments from traditional classrooms towards laboratory and practice facilities that are jointly used with working life as well as towards virtual environments that support learning. The development of the competence of staff and operational networks in chosen spearhead fields will require investments. 

The higher education collaboration in the Turku region will be intensified between local higher education institutions as well as with national and foreign technical higher education institutions. The Turku Future Technologies and Health Campus Turku cooperation will be increased, likewise the collaboration regarding the business development environments in the Turku and Salo areas. A central target is to be able to respond to the rapidly increased regional demand for workforce particularly in the fields of construction, technology and chemical industries.

We centralize our operations in the area of Kupittaa Campus by the end of the decade. We will give up the Ruiskatu and Sepänkatu premises in Turku and relocate their operations to Medisiina D, the premises of Machine Technology Center Turku Ltd., ICT-City and the new campus building currently under construction.