THE FINNISH UNIVERSITY NETWORK FOR COMMUNICATION SCIENCES:
In 1997, the idea of increasing and strengthening cooperation and interaction between university departments in the field of communication sciences gained momentum. The successful experiences of existing university networks in Finland were encouraging. The Ministry of Education awarded financial support for creating and developing a network, and The University Network for Communication Sciences officially started in 1998.
A written agreement defining the goals of the network has been signed by the participating universities. The goals are to enhance scientific cooperation and exchange of information, to enhance joint undergraduate instruction, doctoral studies and research, and to lobby for communication research and teaching.
The network´s administration has been trusted to a coordinating university, which in 2006-2009 is the University of Tampere, the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication. The network largely builds on existing organizations and their administrative structures, with a minimum of network administration.
Nevertheless, the network has created its own structures for internal decision-making. Policy decisions are made and major issues resolved by the general assembly. The member units of the network have their representatives in the general assembly. The general assembly meets twice a year. The chair of the network is elected annually by the general assembly. Between the meetings of the general assembly, the chair and the executive committee manage and develop the activities of the network. The executive board of joint instruction sets the guidelines for the network´s web courses. The executive committee and the instruction board consist of representatives of member units and the network’s lecturer.
Currently, the network's main projects are the development and implementation of joint web courses, and the coordination and implementation of doctoral schools (two doctoral schools with their own executive boards).