2.1 Managing the societal engagement and impact

Auditeringsgruppens bedömning

HAMK’s goals for societal engagement are well defined, as are the ways to measure the progress

HAMK’s strategy of becoming the most inspiring and the most workplace-oriented university, and a bold and inspiring reformer, is promoted through its societal engagement and impact. In the interviews, the impact of HAMK was also referred to as an emerging ”growth mindset”, providing a sound basis for a shared vision locally and regionally. HAMK’s objectives in societal engagement and impact focus on a student-centered approach, strengthening labour market orientation, promoting internationalisation and sustainable development. Goals for societal engagement and related indicators are well defined, as are the ways to measure the progress and milestones.

HAMK’s management enhances the impact of the societal engagement with Management by Objectives system (MBO). Power-BI and reporting systems for RDI, based on data collection and regular analysis of the institutional environment, add to the transparency of HAMK’s activities. This ensures the legitimacy and relevance of strategic choices with regards to societal impact. Appropriate procedures are in place, which support the achievement of the set goals and objectives.

Societal relevance is ensured through engagement with local and regional stakeholders

The changes in HAMK’s operative environment are monitored through a variety of activities, for instance by the bi-annual the Labour Market audit, which can be mentioned as a particularly useful activity of capturing the labour market’s needs and demands. There is regular feedback from and dialogue with local employers and stakeholders, as well as involvement in planning the curriculum to ensure its relevance and usefulness for the local and regional labour market. The interviews emphasised the importance of long-term partnerships in responding to changes in the operative environment and in achieving working-life impacts.

The local and regional relevance and impact is clearly visible and addressed through diverse actions and governance practice; whilst national and international impact is less evident and needs further attention to become stronger and more visible. Among the actions already undertaken to ensure the access of international talent into the regional labour markets is, e.g., the Talent Boost Pledge, which seeks to support incoming international students to find their path into the Finnish labour market. The audit team heard promising examples of work to play a more active part in international talent attraction, including the recruitment of coordinators and specialists. Furthermore, the audit team also learned that first steps have been taken to involve more companies and thus ensure more practice-based learning in various areas and ecosystems, such as bio economy and bio economics.