Aalto University Research Assessment Exercise completed – Impact on society identified as a particular strength
Press Release 4 September 2009
The Aalto University Research Assessment Exercise carried out by international expert panels and published today identifies the societal impact of research as a particular strength.
Intensive cooperation for example with companies is a special characteristic of the research at Aalto and a competitive advantage in the international market. On average, also the other assessed areas were found to be better than good by international standards, while the greatest future challenges include the development of the tenure track system for research staff, safeguarding the prerequisites for goal-oriented basic research and increasing the internationalization of the research community.
The results of the international research assessment exercise implemented by the Helsinki School of Economics (HSE), the University of Art and Design Helsinki (TaiK) and Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) were published on 4 September 2009. The assessment was performed early in the summer by international expert panels consisting of 62 members from altogether 20 countries. It was carried out in 46 research units in order to find out the quality and scientific and societal impact of their research, the research environment of the units and their potential for developing into world-class research units.
On average, the scores given for the units were higher than good by international standards in each of the assessed areas, and many were excellent. What is more, several units were already considered to carry out world-class research.
A shared special characteristic and strength of HSE, TaiK and TKK turned out to be the societal impact of their research: it was assessed as being outstanding or very good by international standards in nearly 70% of the units.
‘The reports by the panels contain highly valuable observations, constructive criticism, advice and suggestions both for the units and for the management of Aalto University. The results provide a good starting point for the future strategic planning at Aalto University and for identifying the strong points of our research’, says President of Aalto University Tuula Teeri.
In addition to its societal impact, the scientific quality of the research at HSE, TaiK and TKK and the units’ potential for development were assessed very positively; many units were assessed as having the potential to develop into world-class research units.
The expert panels stressed that, to eventually rank among the world's top universities, Aalto University must increasingly focus on basic research and promote the systematic and goal-oriented development of its research. The panels encouraged Aalto University to create an internationally comparable and attractive tenure track system for young researchers.
'The preparatory working groups of Aalto University are already looking for ways to enhance the internationality of the research environment, and a tenure track system is being prepared. The comments by the panels reinforce our belief in the importance of these issues and motivate us to continue working for them’, Teeri continues.
You can read all the assessment reports at http://www.aaltouniversity.info/aaltorae.
Chair of the Assessment Working Group, Professor, Vice Rector, Outi Krause, outi.krause [at] tkk [dot] fi, tel. 050 384 1698
Project Manager for the Assessment Exercise Antti Saaristo, antti.saaristo [at] hse [dot] fi, tel. 050 402 7080