The university opened the academic year 2020–2021 on 3 September, this time entirely online.
Rector Mönkkönen emphasised that the impact of scientific research must be strengthened through diverse ecosystems that create links between different actors.
“The university can be seen as a knowledge community that works together with other universities, research institutes, cities, public sector actors, companies, civic organisations and citizens to form ecosystems of knowledge.”
These are also the elements the University of Eastern Finland’s strategy for 2030 is built on: interdisciplinary research communities of a high scientific standard and ecosystems of impact created in collaboration with various stakeholders.
Rector Mönkkönen also pointed out that the Finnish universities have coped well under the exceptional situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“The coronavirus pandemic forced us to change the way we work and study, and we did this in a very short span of time last spring. In fact, we took the famous digital leap, which has been discussed and debated for years, in just a matter of weeks. Although we certainly have faced challenges, everything has run very smoothly on a larger scale of things.”
Rector Mönkkönen also stressed the importance of educational immigration and labour immigration for the development and growth of eastern Finland.
“What we need here is a lot more people from elsewhere in the world. Our goal is to double the number of our international students by 2025. An internally united and collaborative, and a much more international eastern Finland, is a vision we should strive for with everything we got.”