Haaga-Helia’s organisational culture based on courage supports innovative RDI activities that promise to create societal impact
Haaga-Helia has well-functioning procedures and platforms for managing and updating its stakeholder relations and collaboration networks which are suitable for supporting the use of competences possessed by its staff and students.
Haaga-Helia promotes courage and collaboration as essential values of its organisational culture. The audit team finds these values to support innovation within Haaga-Helia. According to the interviews, engaged teachers and researchers do not have to fear failure. One of the aims set for the new organisational structure along with competence areas is to allow more flexibility in teaching. Haaga-Helia aims for the new flexibility to bring education and RDI closer to each other. For the time being, this hypothesis can neither be confirmed nor rejected and should be monitored in the future.
Both interviewees and the self-assessment report have identified potential for enhancement in the management of projects, i.e., by a central project management office. For external stakeholders it should be very clear and obvious whom to contact within Haaga-Helia in case of interest. Teachers should gain more competence in the area of entrepreneurial activities and be encouraged to experimental activities.
Membership in a European university alliance offers great opportunities
There is compelling evidence that Haaga-Helia maintains strong European and international networks. Among the ten most important RDI projects of the past years there were seven projects that were funded by the European Union, and three that were funded by the Finnish government (Ministry of Education and Culture or Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment). Haaga-Helia is one of only a few universities of applied sciences that is a member of one of the European University alliances. The European University alliance of Haaga-Helia (Ulysseus) offers great future opportunities for internationalization and enhances Haaga-Helia’s attractiveness for international students and networks. One of the ambitious targets of Ulysseus is the establishment of innovation hubs at each partner university, thus providing relevance also at the regional level. In the interviews it became obvious that regional stakeholders are mostly not aware of the existence and importance of Ulysseus. In the future, Haaga-Helia should further integrate the regional stakeholders into the activities of Ulysseus. The staff members, students and external regional stakeholders could benefit from this network.
Haaga-Helia’s goal to establish a regional ecosystem is ambitious and should consequently be followed
At the regional level the 3AMK network strengthens relationships between cities and other HEIs. In the interviews, 3AMK did not play a significant role. If the ambitious objective to establish a regional ecosystem supporting business and organisations is taken seriously, Haaga-Helia should enhance the promotion of the potential of the network both internally and externally. The same applies to the partner collaboration network.
Given Haaga-Helia’s alumni network of more than 41,000 individuals, there is significant potential to leverage this resource for RDI activities beyond its current use for teaching, mentoring, and career services. Hence, the audit team recommends that the institution more actively engage this valuable network in its RDI efforts. For example, an annual event on one of the campuses of Haaga-Helia with an interesting programme for alumni could provide a platform to network with them.