Because of a growing reputation for excellence and distinctive approach to education, Finland’s universities and schools have attracted attention around the world. Although international travel remains restricted, the government looks forward to the day it can welcome international students back to its classrooms.
Early this year, GMI Post interviewed Jouni Kangasniemi, the Program Director of Education Finland, to learn how the government is promoting the Finnish brand of education around the world, particularly in China, despite the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
GMI Post: Can you tell us about Education Finland’s successful partnerships around the world?
Kangasniemi: There are some universities in Finland and China that have formed partnerships and have agreed to expand their cooperation, for example, in how they can establish double degree programs. Some Chinese universities also want to modify their structure and make it more similar to our polytechnic or applied sciences universities.
In the Caribbean, Tampere University of Applied Sciences came up with a program tailored for the region.
GMI Post: Are you seeing more Finnish universities and institutions reaching out to China?
Kangasniemi: Yes. We have seen many Chinese students expressing their wishes to study in Finland. China is among the top three sources of international students. There are a lot of ongoing activities between Finland and China.
Because we are quite well known for teacher education programs, we have seen increased cooperation between Beijing University and the University of Helsinki.
GMI Post: Looking to the future, where would you like to see more collaboration between China and Finland?
Kangasniemi: Chinese develops rapidly in terms of technology and science, so there’s a lot of room for scientific cooperation. We would also like to introduce Chinese students to our alternative way of studying and help them gain a global perspective.