Laurea’s societal impact and interaction
The report examines Laurea´s actions increasing societal impact in 2017.
Laurea’s societal impact and interaction report was published in August 2018. The report presents Laurea’s most important actions associated with societal impact in 2017.
Higher education institution and societal impact
Higher education plays an important role as the mainstay of a society that is based on knowledge and competence. Higher education institutions are responsible for producing and applying new knowledge and educating new experts, while collaborating with various stakeholders and parties. The impact of higher education is created in interaction with the different sectors of society and through international cooperation.
Interaction is an important factor in making an impact.
Laurea University of Applied Sciences interacts with its own operating area and the international field, enabling its students to develop wellbeing and competitiveness
for the future society and build their personal future. International cooperation is very important also for reasons such as bringing new innovations to Finland.
Higher education institutions have approached impact and its documentation in different ways, varying from the number of graduates to the level of
satisfaction among business customers. At Laurea University of Applied Sciences, we have always based our activities on equal cooperation with our students, partners and staff. At its best, this cooperation has created permanent effects on the wellbeing or competitiveness of the parties involved. We believe that the best way to make an impact is through cooperation between the parties involved.
Similar to last year, this report on Laurea’s impact in 2017 is based on the Laurea 2020 strategic themes. At the beginning of each chapter, there is a description of the strategic theme in question and Laurea’s most important actions associated with impact in 2017.
What does impact mean?
Impact plays a key role in the assessment of education, research and innovation activities. However, no actual consensus on what ‘impact’ actually means has been reached. Perhaps the clearest way of structuring different impacts is based on the IOOI model. These letters stand for Input, Output, Outcome and Impact.
I Our inputs into the activities (resourcing) play an important role in impact. In higher education, inputs include the number of students starting their studies, the RDI funding received and the number of assignments agreed on with local organisations.
O The next step consists of the outputs of the activities: the number of graduates, the number of publications produced by a project, or the number of hours spent on cocreation. Measuring these outputs is high up on the agenda at many higher education institutions – partly because of the guiding influence of the funding model.
O Outcomes refer to concrete changes achieved as a result of the inputs and outputs. They may include a student’s professional skills acquired during studies, a new nursing practice developed through RDI activities, or security competence that a partner has obtained as a result of a student project.
I The final link in the chain is impact, or a permanent long-term change in the wellbeing or competitiveness of a partner or the region. Professional skills which for an individual student mean wellbeing and the ability to earn a living. A new nursing practice improves a patient’s health. By applying the acquired new skills, a partner can ensure safe operations. All of these also have knock-on effects on wellbeing and competitiveness. While long-term changes usually are the most interesting results, they are also the most difficult
ones to measure.
The Laurea community is comprised of approximately 7,800 students, 600 staff members and more than 30 000 Laurea alumni.