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President Tapio Kujala’s first day at TAMK started with chains ceremony

Published on 5.1.2021
Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Rehtorinkäätyjen vaihto TAMKissa 4.1.2021 Lainopelto, Kujala, Lahtinen - kuva Emmi RämöAs a symbolic gesture, Tapio Kujala (in the middle) received the president's chains from his predecessor Markku Lahtinen (right). Assisting in the ceremony was Emmi Lainpleto, the Chair of TAMK's students' union Tamko. (Photo: Emmi Rämö)
Doctor of Social Sciences Tapio Kujala started his work as the president and managing director of Tampere University of Applied Sciences on Monday 4 January. His first task was ceremonial: Kujala received the president’s chains, which Tampere businesses donated to TAMK in 1996.

“It is especially great to receive these chains this year when the Finnish university of applied sciences sector turns 25 years,” stated President Tapio Kujala.

He promised brave ideas and great dreams obliged by the very history of TAMK and its position as the second largest Finnish university of applied sciences. President Kujala sees the prevailing situation and the new funding model of universities of applied sciences as challenges of the near future.

“For now we have managed well with the hybrid model and there is no return back. We have to listen to students carefully as there is no higher education institution without students. The new funding model which emphasises graduation brings challenges. We have to find new teaching methods and ways to support students. If anyone, TAMK has good preconditions for this.”

Everything TAMK does for the good of the surrounding community impacts its success as a working life oriented higher education institution. According to Kujala, the Tampere Universities community is a unique combination to promote this work.

Chair of the Board of Tampere University of Applied Sciences Mari Walls thanked the outgoing President Markku Lahtinen for his long and distinguished career. She particularly mentioned the extensive respect for Lahtinen as a cooperation partner and leader and doing together which characterises TAMK.

Even if election of a new president means a change, TAMK’s strengths and identity remain the same.

“Tampere University of Applied Sciences continues to respond to working life needs. But we are more together and we can use the synergy gains of our universities community.”

As an example of these, Walls stated continuous learning and different cooperation models with companies, upper secondary educational institutions and strategic partners.

Markku Lahtinen, who led TAMK successfully for 23 years, handed over the chains donated by Aamulehti, Merita Bank and Nokia Mobile Phones to his successor Tapio Kujala.

“The situation was different then when the entire university of applied sciences system was only taking shape. But the strategic objectives were very similar to the present ones: time and place independent studying, development together with working life and international cooperation.”

Tampere Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Chair Juhani Lehti brought greetings from the business life. He encouraged the new president to make sure that TAMK keeps up with the changing working life requirements and need for new professionals in all fields.