Annual Report 2021
President’s review: We believe in strong cooperative action and bold experiments
We began the new strategy period under very unusual conditions in the middle of a pandemic. However, we succeeded in laying a foundation for our new organisation and new methods. The implementation of education reform also progressed according to plan. Through the educational reform we strive for wider access routes, more personal study paths and more expansive internal cooperation. We have progressed in all of these and will continue to do so in accordance with our plans.
Our operations were in hybrid mode for most of the year. We practiced the new normal, different ways of performing work, which was a big challenge for us all. However, we performed excellently despite the challenging conditions and achieved the academic targets we had set for ourselves. The academic results for 2021 were the best ever. Even our financial result was better than we had budgeted for.
Nevertheless, we know that the pandemic period has been very challenging for some of our personnel and about 15 per cent of our students. Therefore, in late 2021 we allocated more resources for counselling and supporting students. Since the start of 2021, our students have been covered by the Finnish Student Health Services’ (YHTS) services, which has been our goal for many years.
Our commercial and international operations suffered due to the pandemic. On the other hand, we succeeded better than expected in our RDI operations, continuous learning and the number of graduates. Another positive thing was that the number of students whose studies progressed within the allocated time grew by 15 per cent. Confidence in the future and Finland’s success remained strong throughout the year.
At the beginning of the year, a new financing model for universities of applied sciences entered into force, a model that is very disadvantageous for Haaga-Helia. Our degrees mainly belong to the so-called cheapest basket. The strong employment rate of our students delays the graduations a little and the fact that Haaga-Helia’s degree portfolio does not have degree programmes in technology, health care and social services is a challenge for us. Large institutional RDI financing instruments are not available to us.
Despite these challenges, we managed to steer our large ship in a new direction, with respect to both operations and finance. We are positive about the coming years, even though the transitional periods caused by the changes in the financing model pose a challenge for us. Another sign of the trust placed in Haaga-Helia’s operations and high quality is that we succeeded well nationally when new additional study positions in degree programmes were allocated to the sector of universities of applied sciences.
In close cooperation with the Board of Haaga-Helia, during the year we drafted a programme for the upcoming years and the programme will help us survive the challenging times. We hold all the keys and, now that the year has ended, we can say that the first year of the programme went according to plan. We believe in creative work, strong cooperative action and bold experiments.
I want to express my sincere thanks for 2021 to our students, committed personnel and friends of Haaga-Helia – together, we once again opened doors to the working life and kept them open.
Haaga-Helia is a higher education institute for companies and in our role we are a bold and international reformer of working life.
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences