Research, policy and practice

The mission of EAIR is to be a European society with an international membership and view. It aims to strengthen the interaction between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. It seeks to be a professional and attractive partner to other associations in Europe and beyond, working in similar areas of higher education.

The research and development programmes of the European Union, especially the Erasmus+ programme and Horizon 2020, are policy-based programmes that implement the Europe 2020 Strategy. These programmes aim to create innovations using the participating organisations from various Member States or Partner Countries of the European Union. Innovations are based on novel ideas that are applied in practice to create new or improved processes, services or products.

EAIR and the research and development programmes of the European Union have a similar mission that emphasises the importance of policy, research and practice in the Member States and Partner Countries. The experiences surrounding the EAIR Annual Forums indicate that participants can take steps to share experiences about the research and development programmes of the European Union and look for participating organisations for new projects.

The Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) was the most successful Finnish higher education institutions in the Lifelong Learning programme during the last programme period. The institution was the only higher education institution in the Nordic Countries that coordinated the projects of Strategic Partnerships, Knowledge Alliances and Capacity Building of the Erasmus+ Programme in 2016. The excellence in these projects influenced TUAS to make an assessment for the European Parliament regarding the implementation of the Erasmus+ Programme.

An important success factor of TUAS in research and development projects is the Consortium on Applied Research and Development (CARPE, of six European higher education institutions, which was established in 2011. The strategic network has been used to promote, in particular, the exchange and collaboration in European research programmes.

Another success factor of TUAS is innovation pedagogy, which extends the lecture-based education to collaborative and networked learning where students participate in projects and use social networks and relevant information and communication technology. Innovation pedagogy responds to regional development needs through multidisciplinary projects that are integrated into education to create innovation. The projects gain new insight from international collaboration and promote entrepreneurship.

The success in boosting the research and development was a learning process for the institution. Strategic objectives were defined for research and development. Budgeting was aligned to achieve the strategic objectives. If resources are not directed toward achieving the strategic objectives of research and development, these will remain distant goals to which the organisation is not committed.

New and capable staff were hired to organise support services and information systems and to establish research and development groups to take responsibility for the research and development projects and their integration into education. Since the paperwork is extensive for these projects, administrative personnel were hired to help operative personnel such as researchers and teachers.

The success rates of the European funding programmes are low due to the limited budget and high demand across the programme countries. Continuous improvement was developed according to the quality assurance system so that many of the failed project proposals were improved until they succeeded.


Kettunen, J. (2011). Innovation pedagogy for universities of applied sciences, Creative Education, 2(1), 56-62.

Kettunen, J. (2015). The strategic network of higher education institutions, Business Education & Accreditation, 7(1), 87-95.

Juha Kettunen

Juha Kettunen

Dr Juha Kettunen is the Chancellor of the Turku University of Applied Sciences, having previously served as University Rector for 14 years. He is also an Adjunct Professor of the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. He holds a PhD (Econometrics) from the University of Bristol in the UK, a DSc (Economics and Business Administration) from the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and a DSc (Technology) from the University of Oulu in Finland.

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