Teemu Kokko 1344x401

On the cusp of a new strategy period

The operating year 2020 was the final one in the last strategy period, and once again we took major steps towards the future. We prepared an updated strategy as well as an organisational change for 2021 based on the educational reform that began in 2019.

At the beginning of the year, the Limited Company Board of Directors approved the new strategy to guide our operations from 2021 to 2025. At the end of the spring, we presented the strategy to the Ministry of Education and Culture during the contract negotiations for the 2021–2024 period. As a result of the group effort of the stakeholders and the strategy process that involved our academic community, the strategic base and our mission, Haaga-Helia opens doors to future careers, received broad support and were considered sustainable. In the new strategy, internationality rose to vision level, and services, especially from the point of view of business, are emphasised in our profile. Higher education pedagogy is now also included in our profile, and continuous learning rose as a point of focus to the same level as learning and guidance. The word ‘courage’ comes up twice in our strategy and encourages experimentation and the fostering of an experimental culture in our academic community. 

In March, the coronavirus pandemic forced us to move to a hybrid model almost overnight, and the model was used for the rest of the year. We were able to offer the planned education almost fully and ensure our services. Our competent and committed staff deserve many thanks for this. The year meant a digital leap for many, and it also created many new everyday heroes. Students’ studies advanced and graduation goals were reached, even though 10–15% of our students experienced challenges in their studies because of the pandemic, for example with work placement opportunities. 

The central theme of our operational year was improvement of academic results, which allowed us to influence the funding basis of the following years. Big steps forward were taken in our RDI activities. We were able to join the European Universities alliance in the Ulysseus consortium of six universities. New initiatives were projects utilising artificial intelligence, which are based on development work done in the 3UAS cooperation between Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia universities of applied sciences.

Financially, the year was better than budgeted for, which is at least partly a result of so-called coronavirus savings. We are socially and environmentally responsible, since we honour the climate commitment we made and have promised to be carbon neutral by the year 2030. 

We considered the societal impact of the pandemic in our operations: we gave up partner billing and the tuition of the open UAS was made free-of-charge for the unemployed and those who had been temporarily laid off. 

Very many thanks to all the members, alumni and partners of our academic community – Haaga-Helia opens doors to future careers even during demanding times! 


Teemu Kokko