Research group

Our group is analyzing critically the Finnish universities, and especially the impact of the new Universities Act on the university, its staff and power structures. In addition, we are interested in how this reform has affected the work of researchers and its targets: what is allowed to be researched and who is allowed to do research at the University.

Our group began at the Joensuu campus through joint discussions between three fellow academics. Very soon we realized that we were wondering the same thing: what is happening to the university: who defines what can be studied at the university, how the perception of human sciences and ways of working are changing, and why academics are being monitored increasingly.
The group consists of three people whose disciplines and methodological skills are complementary. The team's work has been characterized by the testing and development of methods related to different types of texts - oral and written - and their interpretation.
Ismo Björn is a senior researcher at the Karelian Institute. His background is in the study of history, where social and nature-related topics are in the focus of the analysis. Pirjo Pöllänen is a researcher at the Karelian Institute and specializes in social policy issues, e.g. changes in working life. Jarmo Saarti is the director of the University Library. In his research he has dealt e.g. the management at the universities and also communication process of fiction.
The group has published studies about university strategies and the rhetoric of the academic leadership and management.

Group description

Introducing image of the groupNollatutkijat


Björn, Ismo & Pöllänen, Pirjo & Saarti, Jarmo (2018). “We Have Decided to Guarantee the Continuity of the Universities Long-Time Funding”: The Political Rhetoric of the Ministers of Education and the Reform of University Funding During 2005—2015 In Finland. Slovak Journal of Political Sciences, 18(1) (2018, April 15).


Group members - UEF