The University of Applied Sciences KAMK in Kajaani is being forced to axe 12 jobs as part of cost-cutting measures.
Unveiling its budget proposals, the school said it had to make a very difficult decision when faced with reductions in government funding: they could either make a dozen people redundant, or lay off all 200 employees for four weeks to cover the budget shortfall.
The university ultimately decided to cut two teaching positions, and ten other employees, during the course of the year.
KAMK’s funding was first reduced by the Ministry of Education back in 2012 during the Katainen (NCP) government. The current coalition government also made huge cuts to education budgets when they came to power in 2015.
“Although the economic situation is challenging, we strive to make our decisions so that they have the lowest impact on the student’s everyday life or projects with our partners”, says KAMK’s Principal Matti Sarén.
The university’s latest financial records show a loss of €1.348 million loss, which is roughly in line with other universities of applied science in Finland. At the same time, the school is considered one of the better performing institutions of applied science in the country when it comes to corporate cooperation, graduation rates and working life placement rates for students.
“We are in a strange situation regarding financing. In practice, all KAMK’s results have improved [during the past year]. The number of graduates, student satisfaction and employment have developed very positively. Cooperation with companies has deepened and the amount of project funding has increased by about €1 million in the last two years” says Sarén.
“Still our core funding is being cut, and we either cannot use project funding for our core business. We do not want to have the same strategy as many other universities around the country, where resources have been centralised only on one main campus. That would be harmful in general to the Kainuu region” he explains.
KAMK has approximately 2000 students studying nine bachelor’s degrees in Finnish, and four in English. The multi-campus school in the north east of Finland also offers five master’s degrees in Finnish, and one in English.
According to a survey published in Talouselämä magazine in 2011, KAMK was the best university of applied sciences in Finland based on a number of indicators.