LUT’s board decided yesterday that our university will apply for educational responsibilities in social sciences from the Ministry of Education and Culture. The ministry has announced it will handle applications of this kind from universities – likely tens of them – later this year and make decisions in early 2022.
Many highly ranked international universities have lately started to link natural sciences and technology with the humanities and social sciences to solve global challenges. As a university of technology and business, also LUT needs to conduct social sciences research of its own. It enables taking the behavior of people and communities into consideration throughout the life cycle of a problem and creating and implementing more functional and acceptable solutions to the problems of humankind.
We are not applying for new educational responsibilities simply because it is now possible but because social sciences a) fit our strategy very well, b) compose a stellar entity with technology and business, and c) are in global demand in science, education and business.
The new educational responsibilities would give our students an excellent opportunity to complete studies in behavioral sciences in-house. With a combination of technology, business and social studies, employers would fight over our graduates. For future social sciences scholars, LUT would provide an exceptional study and research environment.
LUT has conducted research related to social studies for decades. If our Minister of Education and Culture is inclined also to give us the official responsibility to provide social sciences degrees, we could start doing so in autumn 2023 at the earliest. These educational responsibilities would be closely connected to LUT’s current fields of science, and LUT is already conducting a significant range of behavioral studies and research in all of its schools.
If the ministry officially assigns us to provide social sciences education, we will start on a rapid schedule by opening tenure track positions to strengthen our current research in the field. Without hard science there can be no high-level education.
Social sciences research already conducted at LUT seems to be at a very high international level if we look at its field-weighted citation index, which is 1.72 (world average 1.0), and new researchers will reinforce our current activities.
These new initiatives would mean we need to raise a significant amount of external funding. In addition, we will discuss using our balance to build our new field of education. It is important that it not take anything away from our current activities. It should genuinely contribute something new to all of us.
Because this will ultimately be a political decision, we will need all of our friends to convince politicians and the ministry of the fact that we can be trusted to build a new field of education. We will start preparing the matter seriously and provide updates as we progress.
I want to thank you all in advance for all of your ideas, networking and critical comments that will help us to achieve this objective. If we work together, we will get a lot done.
Your wacky rector, @JuhisSaksa, +358400166659 #becausewecan
The author is the rector of LUT University. Keep on rockin’ in the free world.