"Besides raising the level of competence and education domestically, Finland must be more attractive to international researchers, experts and RDI professionals"
The targeted growth of RDI activities also requires a significant increase in the national level of competence and education. As R&D funding doubles, there will also be a need for many more highly educated experts and other RDI professionals. This challenges the education system from early childhood education to higher education institutions. The transformation of work and the changing needs for competence in the business community require an increase in the workforce and a more competent workforce. In addition to education leading to a degree, there is a need for diverse opportunities for continuous learning for the entire population. Civics and science education deepen and increase the human resources available in the RDI environment.
Besides raising the level of competence and education domestically, Finland must be more attractive to international researchers, experts and RDI professionals. Work based and education based immigration and intersectoral mobility must be facilitated. Our competence and research and innovation environment must also attract international research funding and investments from outside Finland. Finland’s attractiveness is also affected by services that increase the smoothness of everyday life, such as healthcare, daycare services and ease of mobility. Basic English language services are also needed to support work based and education based immigration.
Wide ranging raising of competence levels and continuous learning
1. The Ministry of Education and Culture and higher education institutions are responding to erosion of the level of competence by raising the share of young adults (25–34 years) with a degree from a higher education institution to 50 per cent by the year 2030. The intention is to achieve this by expanding admission to higher education institutions, bringing forward the start of studies and improving the completion of higher education.
2. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will ensure that the parliamentary reform of continuous learning takes into account the competence needs of high productivity and RDI skills in working life. Education is focused, in a multidisciplinary way, on the needs of the business community and society, the development and application of new technology, and on the development of various areas of competence such as management and customer understanding. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Academy of Finland support the profiling of higher education institutions in their strong areas of competence.
3. The mobility of people between research and the business community will be increased. The fixed term working of researchers and experts in companies will be increased, and people with business competence will be encouraged to work in research organisations.
4. Universities are developing researcher education in cooperation with key stakeholders so that graduates’ competence can be utilised more widely in the business community and elsewhere in society. The Ministry of Education and Culture is preparing a broad based working group to be appointed in the spring of 2020, which will examine doctoral education and researchers’ career opportunities for employment outside higher education institutions. The working group will also work on ways to increase mobility across different borders and on cooperation in working life during education.
5. Together with its own actors and actors from other administrative branches as well as companies, the Ministry of Education and Culture will develop practices for the joint provision of RDI services to companies and public sector organizations by vocational education, higher education institutions and research institutions. Methods will be built on existing cooperation and vocational education competence, especially in practice based innovations.
Broad based utilisation of society’s resources and competence in RDI activities
6. The Ministry of Education and Culture, the Academy of Finland and the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies will coordinate the implementation of the Year of Research Based Knowledge 2021. One of its priorities is the availability and comprehensibility of the research based knowledge to all citizens. Citizens, regardless of location or level of education, must have the opportunity to be involved in understanding of the changes in society, and the knowledge base needed in resolving them and the possibility to influence it. Infrastructures for culture and cultural heritage will be utilised in this. Libraries, archives, museums and other actors in the field will organise community based activities and activities targeted at individuals in order to make research based knowledge available.
7. The Ministry of Education and Culture supports actors in science education and promoters of scientific competence, among others, in science centres and teacher education. The objective is to deepen and expand citizens’ problem solving abilities and understanding of the development of science, the aim being to promote learning and Finland’s competence based growth.
8. The Ministry of Education and Culture will carry out a two stage study on the realisation of parity and equality in higher education institutions and RDI activities in 2020–2021. Further actions will be decided together with the higher education institutions on the basis of the study.