According to Finnish legislation, Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland train professionals for labour market needs and conduct such research and development, which supports education and promotes regional development.
At Helsinki Metropolia UAS this means development of new or improvement of existing products, services, and methods. At the Faculty of Welfare and Human Functioning the emphasis is on research oriented development, and the students Bachelor’s theses are in nature research oriented development tasks. In practice the theses are conducted in close co-operation with partners from working life, utilizing literature, and applying research and development methods.
At the degree programme in Osteopathy the topics for the theses are mainly chosen based on the student’s interests, and not of a partner’s interests. Therefore, we found it interesting to describe and analyse the focus, and RD strategies applied in the theses produced so far.
This was done with the help of two fourfold tables: one of them focusing on the focus with two dimensions: 1) supporting education - regional development, 2) osteopaths’ interest primary - patients’ interests primary. The second fourfold table analyses the RD strategies applied in co-operation with working life on the following dimensions: 1) professionals and patients are seen as sources of information and/ or informed about osteopathy – they create knowledge together with the students, 2) improving – developing new services or methods.
On the basis of this analysis the student`s competence in research and development strategies will be discussed with respect to focus.
Pekka Paalasmaa, PhD, Adjunct Professor in Neurobiology, University of Helsinki has worked as a Principal Lecturer since 2004 in five DPs, including Osteopathy