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About me

I am a teacher and researcher at Tampere University, Faculty of Management and Business, Higher Education Group (HEG). 

Research interests and profile: higher education (both universities and universities of applied sciences) autonomy, governance and management, leadership and funding 

 If you require any further information, please feel free to contact me.


Academic leader and coordinator of Higher Education and Governance program KOHA* (40/50 ECTS).  

Teaching and supervising doctoral students and their theses, KOHA students, and master level students 

Researching higher education autonomy, governance, management, leadership, and funding

*)Tampere University's Faculty of Management and Business gave a recognition to KOHA-progam of its success in teaching (2022). 

KOHA is an innovative national expert education for higher education administrators and for other experts who are working with higher education issues.


Introduction to Research on Higher Education, 5 ECTS

Higher Education Systems - Steering and Coordination, 5 ECTS

Organisation, Administration and Management, 10 ECTS

Finance and Financial Administration in Higher Education, 5 ECTS

Funding and Financial Management in Higher Education, Research and Innovation, 5 ECTS

Quality, Evaluation and Development in Higher Education, 5 ECTS

Fields of expertise

Teaching and supervising higher education governance and management related topics

Qualitative and quantitative research and evaluations

Planning, coordinating, and academic leadership roles

Main positions of trust

Vice member of the Board of Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä

Vice member of the Board of Faculty of Management and Business, Tampere University

Member of Salary Evaluation Group, students and researchers, Tampere University

Member of Health and Safety Team, Tampere University

Mission statement

To construct state-of-the-art understanding of higher education institutions and their governance

Research topics

Universities, universities of applied sciences, higher education policies in Finland and internationally

Research unit

A full time member of Faculty of Management and Business/Higher Education Group

Research fields

Administrative sciences, social sciences


Funding from the Finnish Work Environment Fund; the State Council, Finland; the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland

Research career

At level 3 (associate professors, university lecturers, senior research fellows)

Selected publications


Kohtamäki, V., Pekkola, E., Kivistö, J. (2020 ed.). Korkeakouluhallinto: johtaminen, talous ja politiikka. Gaudeamus.  

Research articles

Kohtamäki, V. (2022). Autonomy-driven segmentation for competition among Finnish universities: leaders' perceptions. Studies in Higher Education (Dorchester-on-Thames), 47(1), 67-79. 

Furiv, U., Kohtamäki, V., Balbachevsky, E. & Virta, S. (2021). COVID-19 Crisis Response of Higher Education Institutions: Tampere University (TAU) and University of São Paulo (USP)Leadership and Management Strategies for Creating Agile Universities. Connolly, T. & Farrier, S. (eds.). IGI Global. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8213-8

Kohtamäki. (2019). Academic leadership and university reform-guided management changes in Finland. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 41(1), 70-85.

Kohtamäki, & Balbachevsky, E. (2019). An explorative study of the consequences of university autonomy in Finland and Brazil. Higher Education Quarterly, 73(3), 328-342.

Kallunki, J., Kivistö, J. & Kohtamäki, V. (2018). Funding of Higher Education in Finland. Bloomsbury Education and Childhood Studies, DOI: 11.5040/ArticlesonHigherEducation

Puonti, P. & Kohtamäki, V. 2018. Miksi korkeakoulut tavoittelevat kansainvälisiä kumppanuuksia? [Why Finnish higher education institutions seek international partners?]Journal Administrative Sciences 37(4) 257-269.

Kivistö, J. & Kohtamäki, V. (2016). Does Performance-Based Funding Work? Reviewing the Impacts of Performance-Based Funding on Higher Education Institutions. In Pritchard R., Pausits, A. & Williams, J. (Eds.) Positioning Higher Education Institutions: From Here to There. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers, pp. 215-226.

Kohtamäki, V. (2015). Does structural development matter? The third mission through teaching and R&D at Finnish universities of applied sciences. European Journal of Higher Education 5(3), 264-279.

Kohtamäki V. (2015). Interaction between teaching and R&D: The Struggle of Academic Leaders in Finnish universities of applied sciences. Nordic Studies in Education 36(2), 133-147.

Kohtamäki V., Hölttä S. & Bisaso R. (2015). Training in Professional Development and Capacity Building. In S. Bergan, E. Egron-Polak, J. Kohler & L. Purser Handbook Leadership and Governance in Higher Education. Berlin: Raabe. 75-94.

Kohtamäki V. (2014). Driving strategic development in Finnish universities : Reflecting on two case study examples. In Cai Yuzhuo, Kohtamäki Vuokko (ed.) Transformation of higher education in innovation systems in China and Finland. Tampere: Tampere University Press, 79-97.

Kohtamäki V. (2014). Rahaa opetukseen ja tutkimukseen: rahoituksen sisäinen allokoiminen yliopistoissa [Funding of teaching and research: Internal resource allocation models of Finnish universities]. Hallinnon tutkimus 33 (4), 314-331.

 Kohtamäki V. (2011). How do Higher Education Institutions enhance their Financial Autonomy? Examples from Finnish Polytechnics. Higher Education Quarterly 65 (2), 164-185.

Kohtamäki, & Lyytinen, A. (2004). Financial Autonomy and Challenges to Being A Regionally Responsive Higher Education Institution. Tertiary Education and Management, 10(4), 319–336.