The excellent cooperation between the three large universities of applied sciences in the Helsinki metropolitan area (3UAS) continued and was strengthened in the selected areas of partnership in education export, international project activities, provision of opportunities for cross-institutional studies and entrepreneurship education.
The academic results were good. We reached the targets set for the number of graduates. Financially, our result was better than budgeted. In part, this was due to the fact that all planned research, development and innovation projects were not realised and expenses were lower than expected as a result of the cost-consciousness of Haaga-Helia personnel. Our recruitment policy continued to be strict.
Cooperation with students and the student union Helga was excellent. Our objectives are aligned, and the student union had a constructive approach to development. Active members of student clubs and the student union, in particular, supported Haaga-Helia’s objectives by their proactive involvement both internally and on national forums. We continued the personnel’s continuing education, and employees were active in attending the courses provided while also carrying out their work duties diligently. The pressure for self-development in a higher education institution is immense, as one has to both learn and teach new things. Continuous self-development has become the new normal.
In the Commercial Services, our development was quite favourable. We created new initiatives and, among other things, the second group of students started studying in the International Business programme in Mexico. The operations of 3UAS’s export company. EduExcellence progressed well and also generated the first new export deal. During the year of operation, we prepared the operating licence application of the university of applied sciences being planned in Tallinn and governed by the laws of Estonia. The decision in the matter will be received in the spring of 2019. We were also active in fundraising and obtained EUR 365,000 of donations that were eligible for the State’s match funding. The largest donations came from the Konstsam fundet Foundation, Local Tapiola, OP Group and the Tre Smeder Foundation.
Strategically, the year was in line with our objectives. As surveys have shown, we were still the best-known university of applied sciences in Finland, and our appeal increased by 11% during the year of operation. Cooperation with the Board of Directors that supervises our operations was open and forward-looking. With the support of our shareholders, we were also able to make new investments in areas we find important, and we celebrated the opening of the SalesLab and eComLab. Among our shareholders, the Helia Foundation supported our operations by approximately EUR 380,000; and the EUR 600,000 donated by the Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce in 2017 could still be used during the year of operation.
The year 2018 was full of work and helped us prepare for a society in which digitalisation and robotics are increasingly common and in which the essence of work will be defined in a completely new manner. I would like to extend my thanks to our personnel, students and extensive network of partners for being part of building Haaga-Helia into the university of applied sciences that it is today. Our shared mission is to open doors to the working life and keep them open.