Universities’ allocation of funds will hinge more on quality in the future.
Starting next year, universities’ basic funding could be influenced by student feedback and the number of students who complete 55 credits per year, suggests a working group from the Ministry of Education and Culture (see link in Finnish). Quality would be further emphasised in the allocation of funds by adopting a publications rating system.
Rector Jukka Kola hails the increased emphasis on quality as a welcome change to university funding.
“The new funding model is a step in the right direction. The University of Helsinki would not directly benefit or suffer from the proposed changes, but they would of course influence our work.”
Publications rating system to be adopted
The Publication Forum Project worked to find a way to highlight quality as a criterion in university funding. The working group from the Ministry proposes that the publications rating system developed by the Forum be adopted as a funding criterion starting next year. The rating system covers all disciplines and includes different academic publication channels.
Rector Kola believes this proposal would have a positive influence, as it would focus more on the quality of research.
“Some problematic situations will surely arise in certain disciplines, but we should bear in mind that the University will not use the Ministry’s system when deciding on the internal allocation of funds.”
Students to have their say
Since last year, study feedback has been collected from Bachelor’s graduates. If the proposal of the working group is accepted, beginning next year, this Finnish Bachelor’s Graduate Survey will determine three percent of the basic funding granted to universities.
This is a considerable sum – the three percent amount to €60 million.
In addition, the number of students who complete at least 55 credits per academic year would become a funding criterion. Meanwhile, completed degrees would be a less important criterion for funding.
“The Bachelor’s graduate survey must be used as a tool of internal development at the University alongside our own feedback systems. Feedback must be used in the development of teaching and learning at both the University and unit levels,” insists Kola.