The task of universities, in addition to scientific research and teaching, is to interact with society. Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius serves this task in the best possible way, as university centres have been ahead of their time in expressing themselves as an interface with society.
“We are a joint platform, where different universities and actors meet each other. Due in particular to our close links to both working life and business life, we increase the effectiveness of universities and strengthen society’s ability to achieve economic growth,” says Tanja Risikko, Director of Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius.
Kokkola University Consortium Chydenius connects the universities of Jyväskylä, Vaasa and Oulu and forms a center of excellence at the Kokkola campus. The university centre coordinates a significant co-operation between the chemical, bio and mineral sectors called Biovalley, which also makes Kokkola an internationally important innovation ecosystem.
“Both generally and in the Biovalley case, Chydenius attracts and congregates the actors of the area around the same table. We strive to enhance and renew the competence of the region directly together with business and industry partners. We have managed to create new circular economy innovations at the borderline of inorganic chemistry industry and agriculture,” Risikko explains.
Regional development requires not only cooperation, but competent professionals. Chydenius complements the academic education of the main campuses by offering flexible and tailored individual academic education paths. The popularity of adult education in academia is a direct reflection of the transformation taking place in working life. According to Risikko, this growing trend is also visible in Kokkola.
“Current working life requires expertise in many areas. Therefore, the availability of flexible studies that can be carried out alongside work are increasing in popularity, both in terms of the number of applicants and the amount of qualifications. As a university centre, we are happy to comply with this thirst for knowledge. We assist the learning and renewal of individuals, working life and the entire surrounding society.”