fi.wikiversity.org and the Finnish University reform

The Finnish Wikiversity – called in Finnish “Wikiopisto” – was just given its own domain under the http://www.wikiversity.org. The Finnish Wikiversity is now the tenth “official” Wikiversity in the world. You can now found us from here http://fi.wikiversity.org.

In Finland, having your “own university” feels right now so good. Why?

We are in a middle of a University reform, that is basically changing everything in our current higher education system. The website of the Finnish Ministry of Education writes about the reform:

The Finnish Universities Act is under reform. The draft law will further extend the autonomy of universities by giving them an independent legal personality, either as public corporations or as foundations under private law. At the same time, the universities’ management and decision-making system will be reformed.

The Government is planning to submit its proposal for a new Universities Act to Parliament in the spring of 2009. If passed, the new law will replace the Universities Act of 1997.

The network of universities and institutions for higher education is also changing. For example universities of Joensuu and Kuopio have formed the University of Eastern Finland whereas the Helsinki University of Technology, Helsinki School of Economics and University of Art and Design have together founded Aalto University. This will increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Objectives and key impacts

The reform will facilitate operation in an international environment. Its purpose is for universities to be better able to:

  • react to changes in the operational environment
  • diversify their funding base
  • compete for international research funding
  • cooperate with foreign universities and research institutes
  • allocate resources to top-level research and their strategic focus areas
  • ensure the quality and effectiveness of their research and teaching
  • strengthen their role within the system of innovation

Wikiversity is not a research university – at least not today. Still from the objective and main key impacts of the Finnish University reform, I would like to point out a few things in which the Wikiversity has a huge potential to do very well. These are:

  • react to changes in the operational environment
  • diversify its funding base
  • cooperate with foreign universities and research institutes
  • ensure the quality and effectiveness of its “teaching” (or learning taking place in there)
  • strengthen its role in innovation

So, let’s have our “own University”. Please, start editing! 🙂

And if you are interested in to know, I am not against the university reform. I am reformist.

I also think, that it is a great privilege to be part of the reform. It’s going to be interesting to see if we will succeed. We are serious and doing our best.

If we will fail, I think I can always do something else. Like write HTML. There is always place for quality HTML 2.0 – I am really good in it.

In a global scale, I see that Wikiversity can be a great change agent in online learning. It may – and should – have also some impact to the “old university” system. Well, this is already another story that was reported before.

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