The Evaluation Council operating in connection with the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) has selected Jouni Koski, President of Laurea University of Applied Sciences, as its chair and Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdmann, Professor at the University of Turku, and Jarmo Paloniemi, Director of Joint Municipal Authority in the education and training consortium OSAO, as vice chairs. At the very beginning of its term, the Council has the important task of drawing up a proposal for the new education evaluation plan for 2024–2027 and participating in the preparation of FINEEC’s new strategy.
The Evaluation Council appointed by the Government is an important body for FINEEC as its members represent diverse perspectives on education policy and societal change. At best, the Council also challenges FINEEC in a positive sense. The Evaluation Council chooses the chair and the vice chair from its membership at the beginning of each term and these positions of trust continue throughout the Council’s four-year term. Jouni Koski, President of Laurea University of Applied Sciences, has now been chosen as the chair for the term 10 June 2022–31 May 2026. The position of vice chair is shared by Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdman, Professor at the University of Turku (first two years) and Jarmo Paloniemi, Director of Joint Municipal Authority in the education and training consortium OSAO (latter two years).
“It is great to be able to participate widely in developing FINEEC’s activities through the strategy work and drawing up the new evaluation plan 2024–2027. FINEEC’s role as an independent authority could be characterised as the objective conscience of society that identifies matters requiring evaluation in education and in the education system. Although I have already had a career of more than 25 years in universities of applied sciences and have extensive work experience and experience of positions of trust from the education sector, I believe I will learn a lot about the functioning and development of our education system from both the specialists at FINEEC and the members of the whole Council,” says Koski, who was chosen as the chair.
Vice chairs Mikkilä-Erdman and Paloniemi also emphasise the importance of evaluation of education:
“Finnish society has always believed in education and based its success on it. We must continue to look after it. Through education, we create success and wellbeing to the individual as well as to society as a whole. I see FINEEC’s role in passing on researched information and making it visible really important. As a member of the Evaluation Council and as its vice chair, I want to promote the utilisation of researched information and making the produced information available for use to everyone from decision-making to the participants as fast as possible,” Mikkilä-Erdman says.
“I’m sure the work of the Evaluation Council will provide a broad perspective to the current state of the Finnish field of education, but also to the change taking place in it. I therefore want to do my part in promoting the development of Finnish education and the cooperation of different levels of education,” Paloniemi says.
New strategy being drawn up in a participatory manner
One of the Evaluation Council’s most important tasks is to participate in the planning of FINEEC’s strategic activities. The Council has the opportunity to participate in this preparation work directly at the beginning of its term as FINEEC’s current evaluation plan period will end at the beginning of 2023. The planning of the next evaluation plan and FINEEC’s strategy for the period 2024–2027 has already been started.
“The Evaluation Council began working on the analysis of the operating environment in its first meeting and the intention is to use it as the basis for the work on the new strategy. The Evaluation Council highlighted topical themes such as halting the development of inequality, promoting the wellbeing of children and young people, and the themes of sustainable education. This is a good basis for continuing to work together,” say strategic developers Mafi Saarilammi and Mari Räkköläinen from FINEEC.
Different stakeholders and personnel will also be widely heard in drawing up both FINEEC’s new strategy and the new evaluation plan. For example, proposals for evaluation projects will be requested with a form that will be opened on FINEEC’s website later. The external evaluation of FINEEC’s operation carried out by the OECD, the results of which are due to be completed in autumn 2023, will for its part play an important role in the strategy work.
- Jouni Koski, Chair of the Evaluation Council, jouni.koski(a)laurea.fi, +358 46 856 7660
- Harri Peltoniemi, Director, harri.peltoniemi(a)karvi.fi, +358 29 533 5532
- Strategic Developers Mari Räkköläinen, mari.rakkolainen(a)karvi.fi, + 358 29 533 5558 and Mafi Saarilammi, marja-liisa.saarilammi(a)karvi.fi, + 358 29 533 5528