The education reform makes it easier to bring StartUp School part of the student paths

Haaga-Helia's educational reform and new organizational structure will make StartUp School's studies more accessible to students. At the same time, the reform strengthens the brand and brings new regional dimensions of cooperation to the development of entrepreneurship.

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Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences launched an educational reform in 2019, and now it has progressed to the stage where the introduction of a new curriculum is at hand. The aim of the education reform is to shape a dynamic learning environment for degrees and lifelong learning solutions.

At the same time, Haaga-Helia's new strategy period started at the beginning of 2021, in connection with which the internal structure of the university was also reformed so that it supports better the implementation of the new curriculum created in the education reform.

OVER THE YEARS, Haaga-Helia has built vibrant and strong operating environments with a prominent brand. However, the education reform and all the changes it has brought have raised unnecessary concerns about the future of the brands.

According to Mr. Hannu Vahtera, Haaga-Helia's Director of Research, the current structure will make the courses more widely available for students, while at the same time it supports more goal-orientated research, development, and innovation activity.​

The changes have greatly affected the everyday life of the research department, whose practices, he thinks, got more harmonized.

- Based on their subject areas, our various experts and activities are now more focused on the areas of expertise and research. Although the core and the accelerator of everything we do is cooperation across team boundaries, he says.

Changes always cause uncertainty, which drives in a situation where the new and the old are still running side by side. According to Vahtera, the current position and role of StartUp School, in particular, have caused concern among staff and students.

- Some have even gone so far as to suspect that we have put up the shutters on the StartUp School's door. However, to answer to skeptics I quote Mark Twain and say that the reports of our death are greatly exaggerated, he laughs.​​

Instead, Mr. Vahtera predicts that the future of StartUp School looks very bright, both in terms of entrepreneurial studies and a strong brand and learning environment.

STUDENTS have always been at the heart of StartUp School, but not all students are the same. Therefore, Mr. Vahtera considers the ongoing education reform to be an excellent opportunity to expand and build studies for entrepreneurship in a way that attracts more and more students.

The new learning paths have taken into account the specificities of different fields of education, but also the needs arising from the diverse backgrounds of learners to identify existing competencies.

Mr. Vahtera believes that this will work for the benefit of the StartUp School, as clear learning paths also make it easier to communicate with students.

- In the future, we will be able to communicate better about the diverse opportunities offered by entrepreneurship studies and the different ways to accept existing work experience and skills as part of university studies, he says.

According to Mr. Vahtera, in terms of RDI or project activities, concentrating work and factors in the Research Area of Entrepreneurship and Business Reform is an effective solution.

Centralization facilitates, among other things, the planning of working hours, the project portfolio, and everyday life in general, as they can be prioritized through common objectives as part of a larger whole.

- This year has been very positive for us. Our project applications have been very successful and we are pleased to inform you that we are working on more inspiring projects in our research area. That should be very beneficial for our students and the business community in the area, he says.

Mr. Vahtera says that RDI is currently evaluating various opportunities for cooperation between different actors in the SME region, but it is still too early to report on them.

- I hope we can say more later this fall. In a situation where there is already a lot of work to be done, it is wisest to carefully prioritize our resources so that we can ensure and guarantee quality in everything we do, he says.


For more information on StartUp School, research and development, and the Entrepreneurship and Business Reform Research Area, visit:

+358 294471171