Mies esittelee tussitaulua, jossa matemaattisia kaavoja

TEK criticizes the expansion of the degree education of academic engineers

29.9.2021
|
News article

Jari Jokinen from TEK: It would make more sense to improve the resourcing of existing educational establishments.

The University of Turku announced that it will apply for an expansion to its education of professional engineers. The University of Eastern Finland has also announced it will apply for the right to provide degree education in the field of technology on grounds of higher education and regional policy.

Jari Jokinen, CEO of Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK, does not see reason for the national expansion of degree education in technology.

– Expanding degree education is a waste of money. The reckless addition of student places will lead to a major spillover. We can already see signs of this in universities of applied sciences where student places have been increased substantially. Half of the professional engineers in UAS establishments end up dropping out, says Jokinen.

The reckless addition of student places will lead to a major spillover.

– Even now, there are not enough students for the current higher education places in technology. There are more places available than there are those who take a written matriculation examination in advanced mathematics (pitkä matematiikka in Finnish). Something should be done near the beginning of the education path to encourage more students to study advanced mathematics.

Technology Industries of Finland published a report stating that the technology industry will need 130 000 new workers within the next ten years. Jokinen understands the employers’ concern and does not object to education as such.

According to him, it would make more sense to improve the resourcing of existing establishments that educate professional engineers. He points out that educating professional engineers is much more expensive than educating students pursuing various other degrees. High-quality higher education in technology requires expensive equipment and other infrastructure. Effective cooperation with companies in the region is also an essential requirement. These things take time to develop.

Educating professional engineers is much more expensive than educating students pursuing various other degrees.

– The example of LUT University shows that it takes 50 years for a university to establish itself as a provider of high-quality degree education, measured against research and educational criteria, he says.

The regional universities have justified their applications for the right to offer new degree programmes by saying that companies in the region require competent labour. In Jokinen’s opinion, this explanation is unfounded.

– Scattering degrees across Finland does not produce more talent for local businesses to use. Studies show that only 20 percent of the higher education students studying technology in regional universities remain in their place of study after graduation, he says.

Keywords: