In 2010, Helsinki University of Technology, the University of Art and Design and the Helsinki School of Economics were merged to form Aalto University which was appointed with a special task: to strengthen the innovative ability of Finland through first-class research, artistic activities and teaching. Now, as the first decennial celebration approaches, it is an appropriate time to assess how the objectives have been achieved. Therefore, Aalto has commissioned a review of its research operations, artistic activities and level of societal impact. The assessment is to be carried out in August by a team of 45 international top-level specialists who represent the different fields of the university.
“The assessment will show how we have succeeded in implementing our strategy for research and artistic activities, and it will also serve as an important tool when we start planning our new strategy next year. The results are also very important with a view to the funding negotiations that will take place with the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2020,” says Vice President for Research and Innovation Tuija Pulkkinen.
The accomplishments of the 26 departments will be evaluated in different panels from the perspectives of the four core competence areas of Aalto: art, design and architecture; business and economics; chemical engineering and physics; engineering and information technology and mathematics. The specialists will also assess the development made in multidisciplinary research fields aimed at solving major challenges: energy, health and welfare, and living environments. In addition, the operation of the innovation ecosystem encompassing the entire university is evaluated.
The assessment period reaches from the beginning of the year 2013 to the end of 2017. As a foundation for their work, the specialists will receive self-evaluation reports, case studies on societal impact, an international publication analysis and other background materials. In addition, they will interview representatives of the departments and other evaluation units during the assessment week on 27–31 August.
The preparations for the RAI 2018 project began already in late 2016. In 2017, the people at the Management Information Service and Learning Centre carried out a massive task by producing all the statistics related to publication and artistic activities, Funding and personnel for the departments. For the academic personnel, RAI 2018 captures the results of years and decades of work; indeed, the departments have been dedicated in participating RAI workshops and preparing self-assessment reports and case studies on social impact.
“I want to thank everyone for their massive efforts, commitment and co-operation,” says Marjo Kettunen, RAI 2018 Project Manager.
This is the first time that Aalto results are evaluated as one university. A similar assessment was last carried out in 2009, when Aalto was still in the founding stage. The specialists will submit their assessment report in the fall, and Aalto will publish the final report in late 2018.
At the end of the assessment week, the Aalto community is welcome to hear the panel chairpersons’ views on the development of our scientific fields and on the social impact of the artistic activities and research. The event takes place 31 August 13-15 in Otakaari 1, Mellin hall