– sustainable vitality

Over the coming decade, our focus will be on promoting continuous learning and education-based immigration. Our strategic strengths include well-being services in sparsely populated areas, intel­ligent production and services as well as carbon neutral solutions.

Population ages, work changes,
environ­mental respon­si­bility concerns everyone

The central change trends in our opera­tional environment are trans­for­mation of work, digital­i­sation, an ageing population and climate change. As work trans­forms, the organ­i­sation of work, content and technologies as well as ways of working and compe­tence require­ments also change. Employment requires a solid educa­tional base, and responding to quick changes in work requires the constant update of compe­tence. Digital­i­sation is a central driver of change in technology and compe­tence. Routine work is trans­formed into infor­mation-intensive specialist work and the produc­tivity demands increase. The ageing population and the decreasing number of young people impact Finland as a whole. Regionally extensive higher education becomes increas­ingly important to each area’s vitality and the signif­i­cance of education-based immigration is empha­sised. This also increases the compe­tition for students, compe­tence and partner­ships. Finland has committed to being a pioneer in fighting climate change. This calls for fast and major changes in the whole society.

The opera­tional cooper­ation between Karelia UAS, Savonia UAS and the University of Eastern Finland supports compe­tence and vitality in Eastern Finland, in particular. Together with different operators, the univer­sities invest in work and education-based immigration and strive to commit talent to the needs of the region and Finland as a whole.

Karelia vision 2030

Karelia is a respected, prosperous and inter­na­tional university community. We support vitality within our opera­tional environment. We are known for innov­ative, high-quality operation, good results and strong compe­tence of staff. Both our students and partners receive an excellent service experience.

Karelia values


We are a respon­sible employer and university community and promote sustainable devel­opment. We contin­u­ously assess and develop our university opera­tions. We implement an open operating culture in line with the principles of open science and research.

Pioneering spirit

We are a skilled and innov­ative university community. Our operating and learning environ­ments support goal-oriented learning and the continuous devel­opment of expertise.

Working life orientation

The devel­opment of the region’s working life and industry as well as promoting entre­pre­neurship are central to our opera­tions. We emphasise customer-orien­tation, inter­ac­tivity and partnership.

Strategic choices

Vitality to working life through competence!

We listen and react atten­tively to the needs of working life. We support the strength­ening of entre­pre­neurship and the extending of careers at their different stages. Together with our partners, we boldly take the initiative in order to strengthen the vitality of the region. We are a wide-ranging developer of working community compe­tence and emphasise services of continuous learning. We provide solutions to the challenges of an increas­ingly complex working life through flexible education and partner cooper­ation. We build career services for degree students and students updating their compe­tence together with working life operators. We develop hybrid learning processes and make efficient use of modern teaching technology. We increase the attrac­tiveness of education by expanding our recruitment area, profiling our education and providing different entry routes to education.

Education-based immigration and internationalisation!

We respond to the challenges posed by an ageing population, poor avail­ability of workforce and trans­for­mation of work by increasing the inter­na­tion­ality of the region and the university. We signif­i­cantly increase the amount of inter­na­tional funding in Karelia’s research and devel­opment activ­ities. We strengthen education-based immigration together with companies, education organ­i­sa­tions and other partners in the region. In order to respond to the needs of working life, we will develop degree quali­fi­cation and retraining and upgrading quali­fi­cation in English that will also include strong teaching of Finnish and support for integration and employment. We build education and employment paths to support education-based immigration together with other education organ­i­sa­tions. Karelia will be a genuinely inter­na­tional and networked university community.

Sustainable well-being in a sparsely populated area!

We support the avail­ability of skilled employees in the region’s welfare services outside the urban areas by devel­oping flexible and effective education solutions. We strengthen the precon­di­tions of ageing social and health care employees for partic­i­pating in working life and continuing their working careers. Together with our partners from different fields, we develop products, services, operating models and techno­logical solutions that support sustainable well-being. We operate actively in regional, national and inter­na­tional well-being networks. Together with our working life partners, we build research and devel­opment environ­ments for continuous learning that enable the enhancing of compe­tence, imple­men­tation of new technologies and devel­opment of user-oriented products and services. We work to make North Karelia the leading area in promoting age-friend­liness, health and wellbeing.

Intel­ligent production and services!

We develop new and intel­ligent indus­trial solutions and service process automation in a multi­dis­ci­plinary manner with our working life and business partners. We support the smooth imple­men­tation of advanced technologies and innova­tions in order to increase the growth and compet­i­tiveness of companies. We reform multi­dis­ci­plinary learning, research and innovation environ­ments for intel­ligent production and services. We support the growth and compet­i­tiveness of companies with ongoing training in intel­ligent products and automated services. Our research and innovation environment offers our partner companies a possi­bility to develop their operation in inter­action with students from various fields. Karelia graduates are profes­sionals who know the oppor­tu­nities of data systems, automation and digital­i­sation in their operating environ­ments and can develop them together with experts from other fields. Digital­i­sation is integrated into all education. We are a pioneer of digital­i­sation and knowledge management in our own processes.

Carbon neutral solutions!

We are committed to the carbon neutrality objec­tives of the City of Joensuu and the region of North Karelia. Climate change and the solutions to fight it, such as circular economy and resource wisdom, are included in the education and activ­ities of all our programmes. We focus on solutions which replace products based on non-renewable natural resources with products based on renewable natural resources. Related product and process devel­opment allows us to create new business that supports investment, bold innovation and export promotion in the region. Our particular focus areas include construction, building technology, renewable energy utili­sation and energy-efficient solutions. Here, our aim is to be a national pioneer and to achieve strong inter­na­tional devel­opment orien­tation together with our national and inter­na­tional partners. Karelia enhances processing chain compe­tence, such as product design and manufac­turing as well as services related to their use and mainte­nance. The objective is to create advanced bio-based products.

Strategy imple­men­tation

The imple­men­tation of our strategy is monitored on an annual basis with the help of Karelia/TASO agree­ments, management reviews as well as perfor­mance and devel­opment discus­sions. Finances and opera­tional results connected to strategic indicators are monitored monthly and the reali­sation of strategic devel­opment measures every four months in connection with the opera­tional and financial review. The sector-specific imple­men­tation is evaluated together with Savonia UAS through internal auditing performed once or twice a year. The overall imple­men­tation of the strategy is evaluated every three years in interim evalu­a­tions, the first of which will take place in 2023.