There have been significant changes in the domestic flow of funding of higher education institutes. The level of basic funding has decreased considerably in the last two years. In 2016, the level of basic funding was even less than in 2011. When compared to the previous year, basic funding decreased by 4.1%. In addition, the funding model reform of universities and universities of applied sciences has begun in accordance with the government decision in 2017.
Although the flow of funding has shown signs of weakening, the level of external research funding at universities has stayed relatively stable over the past three years. Funding granted, for example by Tekes, to higher education institutes has decreased drastically due to changes made in funding policies, but the universities of the Tampere Region have been clearly more successful in funding applications to the Academy of Finland in the last two years. This suggests that reactions to the changes in funding channels have been effective.
In 2016, higher education institutes also received more EU and other similar international funding (+25.3%) than in the previous year. Then again, 2015 was quiet in terms of EU funding due to the change of the programme periods, which explains in part the previous decline in EU funding. The utilisation of international funding channels will become increasingly important in the future, if the weakening of the domestic funding flow continues. In the future, it is predicted that the funding of higher education institutes will rely increasingly on several funding sources, and the institutes’ own abilities and opportunities to accumulate funding from different sources will be highlighted.
Tampere Region actors successful in EU funding application processes – room for improvement in strategy
The Tampere Region is definitely in the leading group when looking at the amount of EU Horizon 2020 funding granted to Finland. Actors in the Tampere Region receive the second largest amount of Horizon 2020 funding in Finland. Especially higher education institutes have an excellent success rate. Their share of the funding received by the Tampere Region is nearly two-thirds and they are also active in participating in projects. The projects funded correspond well with the Tampere Region’s strong industry and RDI profile. It would, however, pay off to invest in the quality of project preparation. Read more in the EU-office’s article.
Although domestic public funding decreased in comparison to previous years, domestic private finance (+15.5%) was accumulated more in 2016 than before. On the other hand, the level of international private finance decreased (–7.4%).
The same amount of companies were established at higher education institutes as the year before. However, the number of observed units is still small. Entrepreneurship among graduates of higher education institutes has also stayed at the level of the previous years. In 2015, of the employed who had graduated from a higher education institute the year before, 2.4% operated as entrepreneurs.
Higher education institutes have played an important role in attracting international experts to the area. However, the number of foreign higher education institute students continued its decline in 2015 (–7.5%). On the other hand, the number of foreign researchers increased in 2016.