CoastAL boosts the vitality of Southwest Finland with cooperation
How do Southwest Finland and Satakunta respond to international competition and boost their vitality?
The answer lies in competence development. For this purpose, the Board of CoastAL, the consortium of Turku and Satakunta Universities of Applied Sciences, has decided to create shared structures which include e.g. Master’s degree studies, a year-round course supply and developing a provincial university of applied sciences.
“By bringing the experts from both universities of applied sciences for the use of the entire region we can increase our impact in a very resource-wise manner”, states Olli Mertanen, the Executive Director of CoastAL.
The recently approved strategy of CoastAL defines joint structures from the beginning of 2016.
One of the focus areas of the strategy is Master’s degrees. Their course supply and options can be increased once the total number of students increases as a result of the cooperation. At the same time, the diversity of the studies, the joint planning of the degree programmes and the shared supply and implementations will be developed.
The course supply will be expanded as year-round. The course supply of the universities of applied sciences will be opened more extensively to all students with a study right.
“We will increase studies that are independent of time and place and develop part-time teaching methods as well as those that are completely implemented online”, promises Olli Mertanen.
A provincial university of applied sciences is also being developed.
“In practice it means that we support the business life of the region also outside the main UAS locations. We will pay special attention to adult and continuing professional education, Open UAS studies, students’ practical training periods and theses and research, development and innovation activities. Thus studying and cooperating with working life is possible in entire Southwest Finland, including the smaller places”, states Assistant Executive Director Anne Kärki.
The other focus areas of CoastAL are quality management, publications, research groups, business accelerator activities and a PhD accelerator. The aim of the cooperation is to create a nationally and internationally competitive structure to serve Southwest Finland, and to take the focus areas of the regional programmes and the cooperation in Southwest Finland into account. This will happen by combining the activities of the two universities of applied sciences which complement each other.