University of Oulu

International evaluation of research at the University of Oulu : Research Assessment Exercise RAE2020: executive summary

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Author: Tikkanen, Pertti1; Ryyppö, Aija1; Sassali, Jani2; (eds.)
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Unit for Strategy and Science Policy
2University of Oulu, Library
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 6.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: University of Oulu, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-06-01


At the University of Oulu (UOULU) we work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We also train future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. We are committed to promoting the United Nations´ goals of sustainable development with our research and education. UOULU was founded in 1958. Today, with 3400 employees and 13500 students in eight faculties, it is one of the largest and the most multidisciplinary universities in Finland, encompassing fields of a classical university as well as technology and economics and business (Fig. 1.1.).

The University of Oulu is an active partner for collaboration. We collaborate in many ways with our stakeholders to meet the changing demands of information and working life, and to promote well-being and competitiveness in society. University´s experts and scientific expertise, research services and equipment are available to UOULU’s partners. To this end, this RAE2020 executive summary report provides an overview of the research in UOULU and its quality.

The RAE2020 evaluation of research units (RU, organizational unit joining closely allied research groups) was performed by three international panels, consisting of 9‐11 international experts representing the relevant scientific fields of each panel. The data provided by and for each RU formed the basis for assigning each RU to one of the three evaluation panels. The information provided for the panels were a self-evaluation and scientific action plan report provided by the RUs. In addition, the panels interviewed the RUs remotely. To support RUs in their own self-assessment and the panellists in their evaluation, publications by UOULU scientists were analyzed. The publications for the 2013‐2017 period were analysed in two parts: by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CTWS) from Leiden University and by the Oulu University Library.

Besides the university and RU level analyses, we now have for the first time a coherent view of how the RUs are related to the university´s focus areas and profiling themes, and how RUs’ scientific action plans relate to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG).

The panels noted together that the RUs of the UOULU engage actively in research and achieve extremely high standards, with several being world leading. Further, the defined five focus areas of UOULU give the university a unique profile. These focus areas are directly related to the UN SDGs. The RUs are aligned very well with these focus areas and use them for developing ambitious, yet feasible strategic plans.

The RAE2020 evaluation provides valuable input to re-evaluation and updating of UOULU’s strategy in the coming years. It offers for the RUs specific opportunity to plan how to achieve excellence in their fields of research and stimulate the multidisciplinary research approaches for building their excellence. UOULU’s strategic vision to target its expertise to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world is well justified based on the new data.

Taina Pihlajaniemi, Vice Rector (research) 26.4.2022

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ISBN: 978-952-62-3250-8
ISBN Print: 978-952-62-3249-2
Type of Publication: D4 Published development or research report or study
Field of Science: 999 Others
Copyright information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.