Osekk educational operations began 20 years ago
Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education (Osekk) started their educational operations 20 years ago. From August 1995 onwards, altogether 12 institutions in the Oulu region joined Osekk administration; 7 previously state-governed schools and 5 from the municipal sector.
The operations that were previously governed by the Northeastern Ostrobothnia Joint Authority for Vocational Education got transferred to Osekk in 2009. Oulu University of Applied Sciences remained a part of the Oulu Region Joint Authority till 2014 when it separated as a result of the incorporation process.
Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education was founded after the state of Finland decided to discontinue administrating their vocational institutes. As a consequence, Haukipudas, Ii, Kempele, Kiiminki, Kuivaniemi, Liminka, Muhos, Oulu, Oulunsalo and Yli-Ii investigated their options for organising education and ended up with the joint authority model. Later, Hailuoto, Lumijoki and Tyrnävä also joined the group.
Osekk have made the original institutional structure lighter by executing all the Osekk educational services through Oulu Vocational College (OSAO) since 2005. The educational units are located in Kempele, Liminka, Muhos, Oulu, Pudasjärvi and Taivalkoski.
-Our starting point was 12 institutions and we have succeeded in finding a common will and aspiration, says Suvi Lindén, the chairwoman of the Osekk consortium assembly.
-I hope that next we would become the flagship school in using digital learning environments on a national scale. Furthermore, I hope that we would be able to incorporate teaching asylum seekers in our operations. At the moment, the terms are rigid, so that if your language skills aren’t good enough, you can’t participate in the teaching. We could educate people on different levels and stop using the language requirements, Lindén says.
Osekk made their best pedagogical result this year. At the same time, cuts in the public sector will have their consequences and services will have to be reconsidered. Manager of the Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education - Principal Jarmo Paloniemi believes that on-the-job learning is on the increase. That won’t mean less work for teachers but new and more flexible models. The use of premises will be optimized and working environments will be invested in.
-There are loads of students in Oulu and the Oulu region. We will have to be able to make the right educational decisions. I believe that in 2020, we’ll have 13 000 students. Studying will become more working life oriented and international, Paloniemi says.
The present owner municipalities of the joint authority are Hailuoto, Ii, Kempele, Liminka, Lumijoki, Muhos, Oulu and Tyrnävä. There are 11 000 students and 970 members of staff within Osekk. The annual operational revenue is about 115 million euros. Mostly the Osekk assets are in properties the value of which is approximately 300 million euros.
Further information: Jarmo Paloniemi, Principal and Manager of the Oulu Region Joint Authority for Education, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.: +358 50 538 3929.