Multidisciplinary discussion and networking – the new PhD Club of the University of Vaasa was launched

Posted on 20/05/20.

The new PhD Club meets twice a year, in spring and autumn.

The PhD Club of the University of Vaasa was launched on Tuesday, May 20th. The new club gathered a number of the university's PhD holders across Finland via a remote connection.

– At the PhD Club, we want to create a platform for multi- and interdisciplinary discussion and the opportunity to network and intensify the connection with our own alma mater, says Vice Rector Annukka Jokipii.

At this stage, the PhD Club is intended for doctors who hold a doctorate from the University of Vaasa, but according to Jokipii, the club will later be opened to those living in Ostrobothnia who have completed a doctoral degree at another university. The languages of the club are Finnish and English.

– The PhD Club meets twice a year, in spring and autumn. If the coronavirus situation allows it, the group will meet at the university in September. Even in that case, participants can join the meeting online, says Nina Jokiaho, the expert in charge of alumni organising the event.

A doctoral degree brings more demanding tasks, better pay and status

To date, a total of 425 doctors have graduated from the University of Vaasa. When introductions were made at the first meeting of the club, it became clear that PhD holders from the University of Vaasa have found quite diverse jobs in different fields. In addition to those employed by universities, the club meeting was attended by doctors working currently or in the past in business, the public sector and organisations, as well as entrepreneurs.

Professor Tommi Lehtonen sparked a lively discussion with his presentation Global megatrends: What are doctors needed for? Lehtonen first presented a report on doctoral careers prepared by Unifi, which showed that in addition to universities, doctors are employed primarily by large companies and municipalities, municipal associations and companies owned by municipalities. Many doctors work in research, product development and development, and teaching and education.

The report also showed that the majority of respondents were of the opinion that the doctoral degree has led to better pay, a better position in the workplace, and more demanding and meaningful tasks.

 

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The PhD Club could meet the challenges with a hackathon

Lehtonen reminded the participants that doctors are needed to solve both global and national challenges, which now include the coronavirus epidemic as a new and strong force, and its various effects on the economy, for example.

– The coronavirus will definitely leave its mark on the world. The importance of preparedness is emphasised, and the threat of epidemics will be increasingly taken into account in overall security.

Other such challenges, especially in Finland, include climate change, the gap in public financing, an aging population, the social and healthcare reform, and urbanisation.

Lauri Tuomi, a doctoral alumni at the University of Vaasa, the managing director of the Finnish Lifelong Learning Foundation and a doctor of economics, suggested that in the future the PhD Club could organise doctoral hackathons where the club's doctors would solve presented challenges. The proposal was strongly encouraged by other club members.

Further information

Annukka Jokipii, Vice Rector, University of Vaasa, tel +358 29 449 8482, email: annukka.jokipii (at) univaasa.fi

Coordinator Ulla Laakkonen, Research Services and Graduate School, University of Vaasa, tel +358 29 449 8160 email: ulla.laakkonen (at) univaasa.fi

Specialist Nina Jokiaho, Communications, Brand and Marketing, University of Vaasa, tel +358 29 449 8075 email: nina.jokiaho (at) univaasa.fi

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