Karelia2030 – sustainable vitality

The Karelia2030 strategy was approved in the Board of Directors’ meeting in December 2019. In accor­dance with the estab­lished practice and the plan set out in the strategy, the mid-term review of the of the strategy has been carried out in spring 2023. On the basis of the review, the strategy has been updated to reflect the challenges and oppor­tu­nities arising from the changing opera­tional environment.

Strategy (pdf)

The population ages, work life changes, environ­mental respon­si­bility concerns us all and the global situation creates uncertainty

Central change trends in our opera­tional environment are trans­for­mation of work, digital­ization, ageing population and climate change. As work trans­forms, also the organi­zation of work, content and technologies as well as ways of working and compe­tence require­ments change. Employment requires a solid educa­tional base, and responding to quick changes in work calls for the constant update of compe­tences. Digital­ization serves as a major trans­for­mative power in changes in technology and compe­tence. The nature of work changes from routine tasks to infor­mation-intensive expert work and the produc­tivity require­ments rise. The ageing of the population and the decrease in younger age groups are concerns throughout Finland. The signif­i­cance of regionally extensive higher education as a reinforcer in vitality is growing, and the impor­tance of education-based immigration is highlighted. At the same time, competing for students, compe­tences and partner­ships is highlighted, as well. Finland has committed to being a pioneer in fighting climate change. This calls for quick, major changes in society.

Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Savonia University of Applied Sciences and University of Eastern Finland work together to support compe­tencies and vitality in Eastern Finland. In collab­o­ration with different operators, the insti­tu­tions of higher education invest in work and education-based immigration and engaging experts in the needs of the region and the nation. The COVID-19 pandemic revolu­tionised teaching, learning and working practices. The trans­for­mation of work accel­erated, and in many sectors the opera­tional require­ments changed dramat­i­cally. Digital­i­sation and the use of artificial intel­li­gence (AI) have progressed faster than antic­i­pated. The Digivisio 2030 programme will lead to increased collab­o­ration between Finnish higher education insti­tu­tions. As a result of the Russian Federation’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the signif­i­cance of the security of supply and energy has increased. Economic uncer­tainty has increased and inter­na­tional cooper­ation relation­ships have had to be reassessed.

Karelia’s vision 2030

Karelia University of Applied Sciences is a valued, prosperous and inter­na­tional community in higher education. We are a central force in strength­ening the vitality of our opera­tional environment. We are known for high quality, innov­ative work, good results and highly competent staff. Our students and partners rate their service experience as excellent. We are a strate­gi­cally networked expert at digital teaching and learning.



As an employer and a higher education community we operate in a respon­sible manner, promoting sustainable devel­opment. We constantly evaluate and develop the opera­tions of our university of applied sciences. We aim for an open opera­tional culture that follows the principles of open science and research.

Taking bold initiative

We are a competent and innov­ative higher education community. We are proactive and take bold actions to strengthen the vitality of our area. Together with our partners we proudly showcase the North Karelian expertise. 

Proximity to working life

Our opera­tions are based on the devel­opment of regional work and economy and on promoting entre­pre­neurship. Our opera­tions emphasise customer-orien­tation, inter­action and partnership.

Strategic choices

Experts for the work life of tomorrow!

We provide seamless, high-quality training to produce experts with the skills needed in the work life, and strengthen entre­pre­neurship. We offer students clear and learner-centred options for skills devel­opment and degree completion. We emphasise guidance that supports learning, well-being and a sense of community in learning. We will strengthen the quality and attrac­tiveness of the education through educa­tional profiling, close partner­ships and cooper­ation and division of labour between higher education insti­tu­tions. We offer innov­ative and pedagog­i­cally high-quality digital learning content and imple­men­ta­tions. We provide customer-oriented continuous learning services for individuals and commu­nities in changing work life and career paths. Through teaching cooper­ation, we provide signif­icant added value to students from other higher education insti­tu­tions in our country. We strengthen the vitality of the region through bold, knowledge- and research-based openings. 

Education-based immigration and internationalisation!

In cooper­ation with businesses, educa­tional organ­i­sa­tions and other partners in the region, will actively increase the educa­tional and labour immigration. We will expand the foreign-language degree training and retraining and upgrading of quali­fi­ca­tions to meet the labour market needs, including a strong emphasis on Finnish language teaching and support for integration and employment. We will develop inter­na­tional student recruitment to support study require­ments, employment and local integration. We actively support the inter­na­tion­al­i­sation of the region’s work communities.

We will increase the amount of inter­na­tional funding for research and devel­opment. Our inter­na­tional business will focus on profitable devel­opment projects, contract training, commis­sioned education and student recruitment. We will build strategic, strong and long-term inter­na­tional higher educa­tional partner­ships. In our partner­ships and in the areas where we recruit students, we take into account the changes in the global situation. We will create a truly inter­na­tional and networked higher education community in Karelia.

Sustainable well-being!

We will develop flexible and effective education solutions to improve the avail­ability of skilled staff, especially nurses, across the region. We will support the devel­opment of staff skills in a changing service structure. We will promote the renewal of workplace culture and first line management, as well as the conti­nuity of careers.

Together with our partners, we will innovate services and digital solutions that support sustainable well-being. We work together to build research and devel­opment environ­ments that enable deeper skills devel­opment, the deployment of new technologies and user-driven product and service devel­opment. Our aim is to make North Karelia a leading region in age-friend­liness and the promotion of health and well-being.

Intel­ligent production and services!

We work in multiple sectors to develop new indus­trial solutions and automation of service processes with our partners in work life and businesses. We will support the imple­men­tation of advanced technologies and innova­tions to strengthen the businesses’ growth and compet­i­tiveness. We will integrate smart manufac­turing skills into degree programmes, continuous learning and research, devel­opment and innovation.

We will train people with compe­tencies in designing and deploying AI-enabled services and appli­ca­tions. We will develop knowledge management skills in the degree programmes and continuous learning. In our own processes we are at the forefront of digital­i­sation, knowledge production and knowledge management.

Solutions for the green transition!

We will integrate green transition solutions into all the teaching and activ­ities at the University of Applied Sciences. We are committed to the carbon neutrality goals of the city of Joensuu and North Karelia region.

We will promote new invest­ments, bold innova­tions and exports in our area through product and process devel­opment. We aim to be a national leader in climate-smart construction, new energy solutions and energy efficiency. We will develop green transition solutions in inter­na­tional networks together with our partners in work life and higher education institutions. 

Karelia 2030 Metro Map

Increasing the amount of degree programmes -> Open UAS 20 000 credits -> High school to UAS route -> Increasing continuous learning -> New curricula 2022 -> Profes­sional production of digital content -> Career guidance services -> 75% of students gradu­ating on schedule -> UAS Master’s Degrees 120 -> UAS Bachelor’s Degrees 740 -> 5% gradu­ating as entre­pre­neurs -> Senior UAS -> Open UAS 30 000 credits -> UAS Master’s Degrees 150 -> UAS Bachelor’s Degrees 800

Degree Programme in Indus­trial Management 2020 -> Inter­na­tional networks in focus areas -> Renewed Degree Programme in Inter­na­tional Business 2021 -> ICT education launched 2022 -> Secondary education path for immigrants -> Inter­na­tion­ality as a target for audit 2023 -> 1st Horizon project -> Member in the EUA network -> Inter­na­tional commercial activ­ities 0.5 M€ -> Inter­na­tional experts graduate to working life -> Immigration services -> Inter­na­tional quality audit 2029 -> Inter­na­tional commercial activ­ities 0.5 M€ -> 450 Inter­na­tional degree students -> Inter­na­tional RDI funding 2,0 M€

Social and health care living lab for sparsely populated areas -> Inter­na­tional networks for compe­tences in ageing -> Supporting the social and health care service structure renewal -> Elderly Care Profes­sionals education starts 2022 -> Multi­dis­ci­plinary health commu­ni­cation -> Active Ageing education starts 2023 -> Social and health care experts for sparsely populated areas -> 1st Horizon project -> KAFS unit launches -> Service business 0,4 M€ -> RDI funding 1,0 M€ -> Inter­na­tional RDI funding 0,5 M€

Industry 4.0 demo environment -> Robotic process automation (RPA) service products -> A digital twin for building automation -> ICT Education starts 2022 -> Karelia processes automated -> Knowledge management service products -> Learning environment for business -> Intel­ligent automation education -> Strategic inter­na­tional network -> Diploma studies -> Smart summer school -> 1st Horizon project -> Service business 0,4 M€ -> RDI funding 1,0 M€ -> Inter­na­tional RDI funding 0,5 M€

Strength­ening national and inter­na­tional networks -> Inter­na­tional seminars -> Carbon neutral solutions for building and energy management -> Environ­mental liability to curricula -> Modernized R&D and learning environ­ments -> 1st Horizon project -> Environ­mental certi­fi­cation 2024 -> RDI funding 1,0 M€ -> National pioneer in wood construction -> Carbon neutral Karelia 2028 -> Service business 0,6 M€ -> RDI funding 2,0 M€ -> Inter­na­tional RDI funding 1,0 M€