No 2 (2013) Abstracts

Dear readers,

A campus is a significant regional learning and innovation hub that offers a setting for the cooperation networks of students, teachers and employers. The second AMK-lehti//UAS Journal of 2013 continues to showcase campus development environments.

This time, we approach our theme from the specific perspective of Northern Finland. The great challenges of the future here include securing adequate numbers of skilled labour and young educated people being drawn to the large growth centres of the south. Smaller towns will thus depend on the provision of educational services for their existence: students and research, development and innovation activity. The articles look at how universities of applied sciences in the north of Finland have enhanced their RDI activities in partnership with business and industry in the region.

The issue also describes how the innovation capabilities of staff and students in educational organisations have been improved through projects and coaching. New physical solutions for campus facilities, on the other hand, strive to lay a foundation for open and innovative learning, while communal online work forms have been developed to bridge long distances. The articles of our Journal discuss and also challenge this development.

In the Editorial Leila Helaakoski, Director of the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment  for Northern Ostrobothnia, brings up the mismatch between business and industry on one hand and education on the other: work is available, but not in the sectors for which young people have been trained. In their columns, President Tapani Varmola reflects upon the need for two-year higher education diplomas, and Toni Asikainen from SAMOK hopes that the universities of applied sciences reform will bring about a change in R&D efforts focusing on teaching.

Enjoy your Journal!

Editor-in-Chief Riitta Rissanen (Savonia University of Applied Sciences) and Theme Issue Editor Timo Pieskä (Oulu University of Applied Sciences)


How long can we keep getting paid for doing nothing?

Director Leila Helaakoski, Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for North Ostrobothnia, leila.helaakoski@ely-keskus.fi

The unemployment rates of young people in Europe vary from 15% to over 50%. Jobs are always available, but some of them may be in fields other than those in which you have had your training. In order to find a job, you may have to move away from your familiar surroundings, even to a rural area, a neighbouring country or further north. It may be difficult to find a job in your own narrow area of specialisation, and it is thus a good idea to use your initiative while still a student and make sure that your have the right capabilities and attitude for many types of jobs, starting from entry level. The ability of societies to pay various unemployment benefits has already been overstretched in some countries, and even here in Finland, such payments cannot go on forever.


Kajaani UAS as a Regional Developer

President Turo Kilpeläinen, PhD (Econ.), Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, turo.kilpelainen@kamk.fi

In this article we describe the strategic development actions taken at the Kajaani UAS in order to meet, first, regional development goals and, second, national higher education policy requirements. Changes in the structures of work life and higher education forced initiatives in Kainuu region to reconsider, among others, the future of regional higher education. The need for concrete collaboration has turned into action. In KUAS, we have been active in developing our organizational structures, operational models, and overall culture. The KUAS’20 strategy and its implementation started before the substantial financial cuts hit. So far, all the targets set for regional development have been met.

Regional impact of a campus – case: Raahe campus

Economic Development Director Risto Pietilä, Raahe District Business Services, risto.pietila@raahe.fi
Project Coordinator Leena Harju, Raahe District Business Services, leena.harju@raahe.fi

Over the years, the facilities of the teacher training seminar established in Raahe in 1899 have offered a backdrop for educating student teachers, IT engineers (from 1972), and currently engineers as part of Oulu University of Applied Sciences. The area is an attractive, park-like complex steeped in tradition where modern new facilities have been built whenever necessary to complement the historical buildings.

The Raahe campus derives its special nature from unique cooperation models that have been created to benefit students, companies in the region and the educational institution alike. The education provided in Raahe strives to be genuinely needs-driven, and the close cooperation with companies and employers thus demands operating models and attitudes of a novel type. Examples of the new patterns of cooperation include the Rikastamo network, which brings together students working on their theses and companies in need of such students, and the research and product development services offered by production studio Steelpolis

The KINOS project develops innovation activities in educational institutions

Lecturer, Project Manager Eeva Kuoppala, Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences, eeva.kuoppala@mamk.fi

This article discusses the development of innovation activities in educational institutions through the KINOS project. The aim of the project is to improve the innovation capacity of the staff in participating educational organisations and to create a shared innovation activity model. The KINOS project is administrated by Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences (MAMK), and its co-implementers include South Savo Vocational College (ESEDU), the Small Business Centre (PYK) of Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki University’s Ruralia Institute and Otava Folk High School. The project is funded by the European Social Fund. The benefits of project measures have been clearly felt. Cooperation between the educational institutions has intensified and extended, and people are genuinely willing to do things in a new way.

OIS SPACE – approachable place as a cradle and prerequisite for novel learning

Project Manager Marja Gröhn-Rissanen, MHS, Staff Nurse, Savonia-ammattikorkeakoulu, marja-liisa.grohn-rissanen@savonia.fi
Postdoctoral Researcher Sanna Laulainen, D. Soc. Sc., Itä-Suomen yliopisto, sanna.laulainen@uef.fi
Facilities Designer/Designer Paula Leinonen, paula.i.leinonen@gmail.com

This article presents OIS project (led by Savonia University of Applied Sciences) from the perspective of spaces. The article illustrates how physical spaces construct a basis for innovative learning. It recognizes the importance of mental space as well – without willingness to act in a novel innovative way the relevance of physical spaces decreases. In this article the spaces are considered by utilizing trialogical approach to learning.

LUAS campus of the future – towards a multi-actor, multidisciplinary and diverse community drawing on shared resources

Project Manager Satu Hyökki, Lahti Region Development LADEC Oy, satu.hyokki@ladec.fi
Project Manager Hannu Kaikonen, Lahti innovation hub, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, hannu.kaikonen@lamk.fi
Senior researcher Suvi Nenonen, Built Environment Services Research Group, Aalto University School of Science and Technology, suvi.nenonen@aalto.fi

Lahti University of Applied Sciences aims to develop a new centralized campus by the end of 2017. The campus will meet the needs of the future pedagogical solutions enabling truly multi-disciplinary studies, a strong working life oriented education and RDI integrated learning. LUAS campus development is a part of a project, aiming to create a nationally important innovation hub to Lahti.

Campus development process utilizes the user centered approach. Based on user information and a joint future dialogue, the LUAS interpretation of the future learning environment is: Future learning environment is open, human-centric, multi-scale and multi-functional campus as a part of everyday life. Considering the limits given by todays economical and operational conditions the effective and responsible utilization of space is the guiding factor of campus development. The aim is that the future campus is half the size of the current fragmented campus. Enhanced spatial solutions can be created by developing the procedures and functions together with other regional actors, both spatial resources and human capital are shared, joint resources. This also creates a new innovation environment. It is important to develop the future campus with its multi-purpose and adaptable spaces simultaneously with the operational and pedagogical solutions.

Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI) – heading for the top

Development Manager, PhD Eila Linna, Multidimensional Tourism Institute – MTI, eila.linna@ulapland.fi

The Multidimensional Tourism Institute (MTI) is a knowledge community that combines all levels of tourism education as well as innovative research and development activities. The Institute comprises tourism research at the University of Lapland, the field of tourism and hospitality management at Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences as well as vocational education at the Lapland Tourism College. The MTI engages in the development of and research in tourism, educates tourism sector experts at all levels and relays tourism sector expertise and information to the industry and businesses. The Institute develops tourism sector education and research in close cooperation with the businesses in Lapland, the international scientific community, educational organisations and public sector actors. By improving the operating conditions for the tourism sector, the institute acts as a pioneer of developing the entire industry.

Away from buildings? Developing online education and distance work in the business of Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences

Head of Department Leena Alalääkkölä, Lic. Sc. (Econ.), Business and Culture, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, leena.alalaakkola@tokem.fi
Senior Lecturer Seija Jäminki, Ph.D., Business and Culture, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences,seija.jaminki@tokem.fi

Globalization and rapidly changing organizational policies force training organizations to review their practices and offer more flexible study options. The article describes the development of online education and distance work at Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences in Business and Culture.

Informal discussions on the status of vocational online teaching

Principal Lecturer Tiiu Tenno, Oulu University of Applied Sciences,School of Vocational Teacher Education, tiiu.tenno@oamk.fi

This topical article focuses on online teachers and the status of online teaching in vocational education and training. The approaches of teachers towards online teaching are becoming increasingly polarised. While pioneers take part in leading-edge projects, other teachers do not offer even a single online course. The article discusses research results aiming to resolve this phenomenon and the problems that have been encountered, and it provides a summary of the core message of expert interviews.

Cooperation between universities of applied sciences and companies, regional impact

Principal Lecturer Sirpa Laitinen-Väänänen, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, sirpa.laitinen-vaananen@lamk.fi
Head of Research Liisa Vanhanen-Nuutinen, HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences, liisa.vanhanen-nuutinen@haaga-helia.fi
Project Manager Riikka Ahmaniemi, AMKtutka network, riikka.ahmaniemi@jamk.fi
Head of Education Veli-Matti Lamppu, Federation of Finnish Enterprises, veli-matti.lamppu@yrittajat.fi

Finnish universities of applied sciences (UASs) have been challenged to establish and maintain cooperation with the heterogeneous group of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In order to assess the present amount and type of their cooperation and to understand the degree of satisfaction with the current cooperation and the potential possibilities for new cooperation, a survey was conducted by the UASs and the Federation of Finnish Enterprises. A total of 1,488 entrepreneurs answered the survey. More than half of the respondents represented micro and sole entrepreneurs. The results show that the UASs have a positive impact on regional competitiveness, employment and entrepreneurship. In addition, the UASs strengthened the regional appeal and improved recognition and development of the business sector in the region. Compared to the respondents of small companies, micro-companies and sole entrepreneurs, the respondents from medium-sized companies held the most positive view about universities of applied sciences. Furthermore, the medium-sized companies also had more experience and a larger variety of cooperation with UASs. The results indicate the challenge in developing cooperation with sole entrepreneurs, micro-companies and small companies. Also there is a challenge in developing cooperation to the level of partnership; that was the most appreciated mode of cooperation, but the companies had only limited experience in different forms of partnership with UASs.

A company, an idea and cooperation with a university of applied sciences

Board Chairman Antti Palo, Palot-yhtiöt Oy, antti.palo@palot.fi
Development Manager Seppo Saari, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, seppo.saari@tokem.fi

Autoprod Oy is a technology company established in Kemi in 2005. Backdrop to the company’s establishment was the idea of developing a fully automatic production line for timber roof trusses. Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences and Autoprod Oy have been working closely together from the start. The forms of this cooperation have been diverse, extending from projects and student theses to assignments and research projects completed by the staff, some of which have been implemented at the international level.

Workplace communities as settings for learning and development – key partnerships as an example

Senior Lecturer, RDI Officer, Helena Kangastie, MHS, Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences, helena.kangastie@ramk.fi

Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences (RAMK) has started combining education, research and innovation activities by a curriculum reform and development project (OPS 2013). The objective is to get working life more involved in teaching and learning. Furthermore, the project aims at stronger support to the working life by the University of Applied Sciences. Key partnership means long-term, systematic and contractual co-operation. Working life -oriented activity means mutual transfer of knowledge and information. Crucial factors to its success are constant interaction and dialogue between educational organizations and the working life. Working life -oriented models and learning and development environment processes have been developed in key partnership between RAMK Ounasvaara and businesses. Within the partnership training and pilot projects have been launched. The benefits of the partnership are evident as interaction, dialogue and activities have increased immediately. The partnership also provides a learning and development environment for all the parties involved

Vocational skills for borderless campuses from expert mentoring? Conceptual analysis and experience-based information on phase I of the pilot project

Principal Lecturer Ikali Karvinen, D. H. Sc., University of Applied Sciences, ikali.karvinen@diak.fi

Mentoring can take many forms in education and at the workplace. This article both discusses the concept of mentoring and describes the expert mentoring model created at Diaconia University of Applied Sciences. The article draws on reference literature on the concept of mentoring and experiences from an expert mentoring pilot project. The underlying idea is that mentoring can support students studying on an otherwise borderless and ubiquitous campus in their professional growth as one form of face-to-face encounters.


Theme Issue Editor collects and curates material

Online Communications Manager Lotta Linko, HAMK University of Applied Sciences, lotta.linko@hamk.fi 

Theme Issue Editors are the mainstay of the UAS Journal. They work together with the Editor-in-Chief, editorial board and the Sub-Editor, putting together the material that backs up the themes of each issue. The Theme Issue Editor is an expert of his or her field; he or she knows what is new and important in the relevant field of education and development, and highlights interesting and topical theories and cases that support these. The purpose of using Theme Issue Editors is to contribute to the journal not only expertise in various sectors but also a wider geographical coverage and, above all, employers’ views and experiences of the role that universities of applied sciences have in promoting business life in the region. The challenge of this work lies in ensuring the genuine commitment of third-party writers and being the voice of stakeholders.

Theme days of research in vocational education and education at universities of applied sciences

The paper discusses notes and observations made during the theme days of vocational education and education at universities of applied sciences held in Tampere on 7-8 November 2012. The authors are students of vocational education at the University of Tampere.

The purpose of the theme days was to disseminate results of research in vocational education and education at universities of applied sciences and to facilitate the networking of actors. The main theme was Values in transformation.

A valuable or valueless practice?

Principal Lecturer Annukka Tapani, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, annukka.tapani@tamk.fi

The discussion sought to establish what values are and how they manifest themselves in our practices. Examples were presented from the perspectives of educational rhetoric, research-based writing and making values part of everyday lif

The significance of pedagogical research societies

Principal Lecturer Annukka Tapani, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, annukka.tapani@tamk.fi

What is pedagogical research societies needed for? The participants queried how theses and various studies conducted at educational institutions could be given more visibility and called for more research in vocational education and training and adult education.

Looking for the ethos of entrepreneurship 

Principal Lecturer Annukka Tapani, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, annukka.tapani@tamk.fi

An employee working in an entrepreneurial spirit brings added value to the employer, but what does entrepreneurship mean in education? Why is the combination of entrepreneurship and education still considered a ”deviant” phenomenon that is glorified and mystified, without even knowing what we are talking about when discussing entrepreneurship? This thematic session also reflected on the various guidance practices in different fields: while a uniform model for on-the-job learning exists at the curriculum level, guidance practices and operating methods still vary.

Ethical questions of R&D

Principal Lecturer Heidi Kassara, Lic. Sc. (Health), Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Ethical principles are highlighted not only at the institutional level but also as principles guiding the actions of the student, for example when working on a thesis. Particular attention was paid to citation techniques and dissimilarities in the proofreading of theses.


Higher education diplomas: what can we learn from the US?

President, Municipal Federation Manager Tapio Varmola, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, tapio.varmola@seamk.fi

Are two-year higher education diplomas needed in Finland? When discussing this question, it is useful to know that in the US, community colleges provide two-year qualifications in various fields. These qualifications have an increasing importance in the job market, but they also give eligibility for further studies in four-year Bachelor’s programmes.

R&D reform starts from the grass roots

Board Member Toni Asikainen, the Union of Students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences SAMOK, toni.asikainen@samok.fi

R&D activities at Finnish universities of applied sciences have not yet delivered on their  promise. The reforms currently under way will facilitate a rethinking of all activities. As an across-the-board reform of universities of applied sciences is about to take place, this also provides an opportunity to create new types of operating conditions for the increasing integration of education, research and development, and business cooperation. A prerequisite for this will be new ways of thinking and acting in many areas. The components of an optimal R&D project are an authentic need experienced by an external actor, teaching staff responsible for leading the project, and students in various stages of their studies working on it.

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