In the future, LUT University's graduates will have degrees in technology, business and social sciences. Social sciences were added to the university's range of programmes as a result of the decision by the Ministry of Education and Culture to expand the university's education responsibilities.
Rector Juha-Matti Saksa sees many advantages in the entity composed by social sciences, technology and business studies. "Social sciences will introduce a new kind of culture and thinking into LUT's education and research. It will also undoubtedly increase students' mutual understanding of the importance of multidisciplinarity."
"Our education will emphasise social sciences that lean on internationalisation and behavioural sciences. Our graduates will be able to build a future where they solve grand global challenges and renew society responsibly," Saksa explains.
Research and education in the field will be developed together with international partner universities. LUT is involved in the European Universities Linking Society and Technology (EULIST) initiative with a number of universities conducting education and research in technology and social sciences.
"We will engage in strategic collaboration with international universities. We also welcome collaboration with Finnish universities."
Aiming for a school of a thousand students
LUT conducts globally impactful research which is recognised increasingly in international comparisons. Saksa also considers the expansion of LUT's educational responsibilities as an acknowledgement of past successes and expects social sciences to enhance the university's impact further.
"In addition to high-level research, teaching requires significant funding. It goes without saying that we are highly grateful for, for instance, the exceptionally strong financial support provided by the City of Lappeenranta."
In autumn 2023, a total of 40 social and behavioural sciences students and 20 communication and information sciences students will start their studies in LUT's Bachelor's programmes. Master's and doctoral programmes will start in autumn 2024. Initially, the programmes will be incorporated into the LUT School of Engineering Science (LENS).
"The aim is ultimately to establish a social sciences school of roughly a thousand students and a hundred researchers, which will play a key role in our activity."