Strong support for science and scientists via the government programme
Prime Minister Petteri Orpo’s government is not starting from an easy position. The public economy is in poor shape, and too many of the core services of a welfare society are not functioning.
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We are also facing major questions in terms of our education and science policy. We are lagging behind our main competitor countries not only in learning outcomes, but also general level of education and RDI investments.
Despite the extremely difficult financial situation, we are committed to protecting the educational system from cuts. As a small, even somewhat remote country, Finland has very few trump cards up its sleeve. This makes it imperative for us to invest in the things that increase well-being, growth, and expertise in our society, give people new perspectives and let them face tomorrow with confidence. Education and science are precisely such things.
We will improve early childhood education and primary school and are committed to increasing the level of education. RDI investments will be increased by 280 million euros per year in accordance with the parliamentary working group’s proposals and the RDI Funding Act. These historically unprecedented investments also strengthen our higher education institutions and science facilities and improve researchers’ working conditions.
The government programme also strongly highlights the need to secure the accessibility of RDI experts. Higher education institutions and businesses both need more hands, because experts with researcher training are required to accomplish the goals we have set for research, development, and innovation work. Finland needs more doctors, top people in their fields, both domestic and international.
I am confident and excited about my role as Minister of Science and Culture. I expect and hope for active dialogue and exchange of ideas with researchers and representatives of the entire academic community. The parliamentary term has started in unpleasant circumstances. My hope is that we will get to work on implementing the government programme as quickly as possible when autumn arrives. The higher education and science policy has plenty for us to work on.