“We can all contribute to the university’s development”


It was wonderful to be invited to join the Board of the University of Vaasa for the next term, in addition to the previous four years. In my opinion, the university achieved many successes in the previous term. However, there were many things to finish, and it is very motivating to continue the development work as a member of the Board. We still face challenges in terms of financing, internationalisation and effectiveness. Improving the appeal of education is important as age groups become smaller in size. In addition, we are working on a development project to create the finest university campus in Finland, and it is important to continue this work.

In board work, it is important to ensure that the goals and strategy are solid, that our finances support the strategy and that the university has a functioning organisation and management. In addition to these, the Board focuses on public relations, especially appeal and effectiveness. We have made progress in all these areas – and we can still do better. I would like the whole university – that is the students and staff – to contribute to increasing the visibility of the University of Vaasa with help of events, scientific publications, great achievements and ambitious goals. Causing an occasional stir with our activities would not hurt either. We can all contribute to the university’s development.

Multidisciplinary strategy as strength

What I bring to the Board’s table stems from my long industrial career at Wärtsilä, where I have learnt, through many different roles, a lot about international business and product development. I work as a chief technology officer. In addition, I am a board member in two of Wärtsilä’s Chinese partner companies. The other owner is a Chinese state-owned shipyard. I am also in the Board of T-Drill, a Laihia-based SME, and I have been on the boards of other industrial companies, organisations and Ostrobothnia Chamber of Commerce in the past. I also got my PhD on sustainable development and innovations from the University of Vaasa in 2017. While I do have extensive experience in board work, I often still have no direct answers to give. Instead, it helps me to ask the questions that will enable the Board to come up with the answers.

The role of the University of Vaasa in society will be heightened in the future, especially through its multidisciplinary strategy. Competitiveness, innovations and sustainable development are of the utmost importance. When we link different disciplines to support these goals, we can make the University of Vaasa gain importance and appeal. Internationalisation is on the agenda of many universities. In Vaasa, however, the environment and business operations create natural starting points for internationalisation. The development of remote connections has also improved cooperation with the world’s leading universities.


Juha Kytölä
Vice-Chair of the Board of the University of Vaasa
Chief Technology Officer, Wärtsilä


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