Nobel laureate recommends universities restructuring

Finnish economist and professor, Bengt Holmström, who was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics with British-American Professor Oliver Hart last week, expressed surprise at Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s decision earlier this year to cut funding of education and research, reports Yle.

Speaking to Yle after receiving the award, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor said that the decision by the Sipilä government to cut hundreds of millions of euros in funding for education and research reflects contempt for higher education. “The decision was a vote of no confidence and also strongly reflected contempt for the university world. Not only did the government cut funding from the universities, it also took the money and began to manage it through other channels. I don’t see that they have any great expertise in this area," Holmström said.

He said a better approach would have been to reform the division of labour among universities to eliminate the problem of overlap among institutions. "Research universities should be centralised, in other words in those [institutions] that have doctoral programmes and significant research [activities]. There aren’t many research universities in the US either. There are a couple hundred out of a total of a few thousand institutions," Holmström pointed out.
Full report on the Yle site