No 4 (2013) Abstracts

Do Finnish people have Russian-related competence?

This year’s final issue of UAS Journal online publication focuses on competence related to Russia. Every year, Russian tourists account for some 100,000 bed nights in the Kuopio region, and about 60% of the foreigners staying here overnight come from Russia. Competence in the Russian language and culture will become more and more important for companies in the border zone – at the latest when the exemption from visa requirements between the EU and Russia becomes reality.

Regardless of the short geographical distance, Finnish contacts with Russia remain surprisingly fragile. Only 2% of the adult population are able to have a conversation in Russian. Expert articles describe the contribution of universities of applied sciences to building up competence related to Russia, for example by jointly organised business training, projects, courses and benchmarking visits. This cooperation has been translated not only into increasing numbers of tourists but also improved business skills in companies and a better standard of general knowledge related to Russia. The articles also discuss cultural differences and establishing trustful cooperation.

This issue also takes a look at natural resources in the Arctic area and their exploitation. It is estimated that more than 10 per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil resources are found in the Arctic area. In her contribution, MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen notes that she supports the application of the precautionary principle in policies on exploiting Arctic natural resources.

This year, the all-embracing theme of UAS Journal has been campuses. Next year’s themes for our online publication will include innovations and competence in education exports. We will happily accept suggestions for topics and good experiences.

We would like to thank all our readers for the year that is about to end, and welcome you back to UAS Journal next year!

Editor-in-Chief Riitta Rissanen (Savonia University of Applied Sciences) and theme issue editors Ilkka Toroi (Savonia University of Applied Sciences) and Raimo Moilanen (Karelia University of Applied Sciences)



High inputs and persistent work required in partnerships with Russians

President Anneli Pirttilä, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, anneli.pirttila@saimia.fi

Regardless of the short geographical distance between the countries, the contacts of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences with Russia remain surprisingly fragile. The greatest stumbling block for cooperation is attitudes towards Russian higher education institutions, which seem to be characterised by a conviction of the superiority of Finnish operating methods and competence. The higher education institutions approach their Russian counterparts with cooperation initiatives drawn up from the Finnish perspective and with the Finnish goals in mind. Finnish universities of applied sciences should instead strive for genuine interaction with Russian higher education institutions.


Heading east with enthusiasm – cooperation with Russia in the Kuopio region

Enterprise Coordinator Johanna Liukkonen, BBA, Town of Kuopio Business Services, johanna.liukkonen@kuopio.fi

Every year, some 100,000 Russian tourists stay overnight in the Kuopio region, and about 60 companies trade with Russia. This cooperation with Russia is underpinned by years of active efforts to promote the Russian trade by Kuopio Chamber of Commerce. Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Savo Vocational College and the University of Eastern Finland are producing new competence for the needs of the tourism business and export companies. In recent years, numerous new groups have started learning Russian in the region’s comprehensive schools, thanks to a project aiming to encourage the study of this language. The City of Kuopio plays a role as a facilitator of the Russian cooperation. The extensive cooperation network of Kuopio’s twin town, Pihkova, and cultural organisations have been made available for other organisations as well.

Eastern Finland universities of applied science work together in a social media research project and tourism business development

Senior Lecturer Jorma Korhonen, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Kuopio, jorma.korhonen@savonia.fi
Project Specialist Ekaterina Miettinen, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Joensuu, ekaterina.miettinen@karelia.fi

The RUNAT project, or Product development and development of market insight and e-marketing of rural and nature tourism, is part of the EU’s Karelia European Neighbourhood Partnership Instrument (ENPI). This project administrated by the University of Eastern Finland is being implemented in 2012–2014. It produces research-based knowledge about the demand for agritourism in Russia and Central Europe and the interest in the social media in Russia. The research results will be exploited to develop and improve the competitiveness of both Russian and Finnish tourism businesses operating in the neighbourhood area. In this project, Karelia University of Applied Sciences and Savonia University of Applied Sciences conduct research in the social media and provide business training.

The study examines the visibility of tourism marketing in VKontakte, the most popular social media channel in Russia. The objects of the study include Vkontakte’s chat rooms and tourism themes that are of interest to Russians. The social media plays a vital role in Russia, and it gives a company excellent opportunities for reaching customers. A study of chat rooms is part of the research.

The training package that is part of the project included business training, a benchmarking visit to Finland for Russian tourism entrepreneurs and consultations in Russian companies. The entrepreneurs found that the training package was useful and increased their tourism business competence.

While developing tourism in the border zone is interesting and necessary, it is also challenging. The companies have different operating methods, and there is little business cooperation in Russian Karelia. Finnish companies’ enthusiasm for cooperation with the Russians has been fading in the 2000s. However, the only way of meeting the growing demand is working together to develop the tourism services in the area with the aim of reaching European standards and to plan and implement efficient marketing directed at various customer groups on the appropriate channels. The increased demand will be particularly obvious once the exemption from visa requirements is implemented between the EU and Russia.

Social and health care sector companies and organisations are networking with their Russian counterparts

Project Manager Tiina Punkanen, M. Ed., Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, tiina.punkanen@kyamk.fi

Moving Towards Wellbeing, a project with a period of two and a half years, aims to bring together social and health care sector companies and organisations in Finland and Russia and generate a new type of cooperation between them. In the course of this project, which is funded by the ENPI CBC 2007-2013 programme, several workshops will be organised both in Finland and in Russia.

The Russian partners appreciate social interaction and the involvement of the participating organisations’ top management in the cooperation. Company visits to either side of the border give a clear picture of the current situation and the prospects for development in both countries. Finnish people could learn from the Russian mentality, at least as far as national pride is concerned. The project has created a feeling of solidarity between the parties, which will give impetus to continuing the cooperation after the project ends.

Mutual learning in a Russian social sector network

Planning Officer Eveliina Heino, M. Soc. Sci., University of Helsinki, Palmenia, eveliina.heino@helsinki.fi
Planning Officer, Nadezda Kärmeniemi, M. Psych. Sci., University of Helsinki , Palmenia, nadezda.karmeniemi@helsinki.fi
Senior Lecturer Tuija Suikkanen-Malin, M. Soc. Sci., Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, tuija.suikkanen-malin@kyamk.fi
Principal Lecturer Minna Veistilä, Lic. Soc. Sci., Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, minna.veistila@kyamk.fi

The article discusses the specialist exchanges of employees in Russian social services centres and the project work of students in the Master’s degree programme in Social Services at Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences from the perspective of reciprocal learning. During a project titled Empowerment of Families with Children, participant feedback and reports were systematically collected on specialist exchanges and study visits in 2011–2012. This article compiled from two separate articles is based on that feedback and reports.

In both countries, practical level actors, training implementers, developers and researchers took part in the project. The reciprocal functional relationship between the parties comprised theory, practice, reflection and action. The article describes the process of reciprocal learning, whose meanings are described on the basis of the experiences of both specialists and university of applied sciences students. Learning focused on social services in the target country, the participants’ own work and the Finnish methods of organising the services. Looking at differences and similarities helps students to familiarise themselves with systems and cultures and dissolves images and preconceived attitudes arising from ignorance.

Realisation of the learning opportunities described in the article must be underpinned by well-organised project work carried out by a number of actors, and time must be set aside for it for teachers at the university of applied sciences. Taking a step further in reciprocal learning would also be possible, for example by enabling electronic consultations between Russian and Finnish employees. However, the preconditions for more long-term cooperation and deepening reciprocal learning would include commitment and resources, especially time.

Enriching project activities promote internationalisation competence

Director Johanna Holvikivi, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Welfare and Human Functioning, johanna.holvikivi@metropolia.fi
Senior Lecturer Leena Noronen, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Welfare and Human Functioning, leena.noronen@metropolia.fi
Principal Lecturer Pekka Paalasmaa, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Welfare and Human Functioning, pekka.paalasmaa@metropolia.fi
Principal Lecturer Salla Sipari, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Welfare and Human Functioning, salla.sipari@metropolia.fi

The collaboration has centralised mainly in the St. Petersburg region. The most noteworthy projects have been two EU-funded Tempus projects Developing a Curriculum for Physiotherapy in Russia and Developing Capability in Orthotic and Prosthetic Education for the Russian Federation and the NDPHS-project (the Northern Dimension Partnership in Public Health and Social Well-being) Enhancing Expertise in Health Promotion and Occupational Health within Rehabilitation Professionals (EHORP) funded by the ministry of foreign affairs in Finland. Equal partnership and project activities benefiting all parties and development of permanent co-operation relationship have been emphasized. The joint development work has included design of curricula, creation of new working approaches and education of social, health and rehabilitation professionals who may utilize their new competence also in other contexts.

OVET project brought Russia and Eastern Europe related competence to workplaces

Senior Lecturer, Soili Lehto-Kylmänen, MA, Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, International business and culture, soili.lehto@kyamk.fi

The aim of the national OVET project was to support Finnish actors’ expertise related to Russia and Eastern Europe and to make it available for businesses in a more versatile manner. The objectives of the OVET project were building up the knowledge, competence and interest of the staff in higher education institutions relevant to providing career guidance for students, and producing material to support this work. Other goals included assisting career guidance instructors in higher education institutions to make contacts with businesses and industries and their colleagues in other HEIs at the national level. The project also wished to highlight the special need for regional competence and expertise related to Russia and Eastern Europe and the opportunities offered by multidisciplinary regional competence.

Alumni view to expertise in Russia and Russian

Principal Lecturer Tarmo Ahvenainen, Lic. Phil., Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, tarmo.ahvenainen@kyamk.fi

This article introduces three alumni of Kymenlaakso UAS, who describe their path to expertise in the Russian language and society. Essential elements in their growth include long-term language studies in Finland, an ice-breaking trip that has enabled them to eliminate prejudices, and studying and working in Russia. The article also discusses how the present language education policy of Finnish UAS’s poorly enables students to become experts of different languages and regions.

How to keep young people in the Barents region

Project Manager Irina Gerashchenko, Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences, Irina.gerashchenko@ramk.fi

The article provides the overview on Barents cross-border cooperation activities of Lapland University of Applied Sciences (Lapin AMK). The focus is put on the collaboration within the Barents region Together, universities from northern parts of Finland, Russia, Sweden and Norway work to address a common problem of increasing youth migration. In frames of the Young innovative Entrepreneurs project (funded by Kolarctic ENPI CBC), universities strive to improve the to assist young people to discover wide business opportunities in the Barents region and to inspire the young for the entrepreneurship across the borders.

Educational cooperation between universities of applied sciences in Eastern Finland and Russia

– from Petroskoi Summer School to Intercultural School

Senior Lecturer Jorma Korhonen, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Kuopio, jorma.korhonen@savonia.fi

In 2010–2012, the field of study of tourism and music at Savonia University of Applied Sciences and the field of study of music at Karelia University of Applied Sciences joined their  forces to promote cooperation with Russia. The Russian partners were Petroskoi State University, the Karelia Institute of Tourism and Petroskoi State Conservatory. This cooperation resulted in the creation of a 5-credit course titled ”International School on Cultural Tourism”. The course was planned and fine-tuned during two pilots projects, the first one of which was implemented as the 3-credit ”Petroskoi Summer School”. The key content of the course comprised integrating music and tourism in the concept of cultural tourism. The themes of this year’s course focused on other aspects of cultural tourism than music, and it was thus only attended by students of tourism. The course is implemented during two intensive weeks, one of which takes place in Petroskoi and the other in Joensuu and Kuopio. Between the intensive weeks, the students work in groups through social media. Mastering competence in Russian culture and business skills will be vital in the workplace of the future. The course thus gives the students opportunities to get to know working life and develop capabilities for it.

The CDIO concept – extensive learning for the workplaces of the future

– Yrkeshögskolan Novia at the CDIO conference in the US

YH Novia’s Publications Officer and Editor Martina Österberg, B. Soc. Sci., Yrkeshögskolan Novia, Campus Raseborg, martina.osterberg@novia.fi
Senior Lecturer in Landscape Architecture Elina Regårdh, M. Sc. (Agr. & For.) Yrkeshögskolan Novia, Campus Raseborg, elina.regardh@novia.fi

The CDIO-initiative (from the words Conceive-Design-Implement-Operate commonly used in the engineering process), is a world-wide network of schools and universities that seek to develop their engineering education. The network started as a result of quite harsh feedback from important employers – newly-graduated students lacked many abilities required in real-world engineering situations. Today CDIO has gathered over a hundred schools and universities to work for better education. The Campus Raseborg at Novia UAS, situated on the southern coast of Finland and one of two Swedish-speaking Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland, has joined the CDIO-network to develop its education also in other fields than engineering. The goal is to offer better education for students in forestry, agriculture, landscape design and sustainable management of natural resources. This summer a group of students and teachers took part in the 9th CDIO-conference at MIT and University of Stanford in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Inter-professional working practice supports resources in social and health care sector education at universities of applied sciences

Head of Department, Senior Social Worker Eva Juslin, Lic. Soc. Sci., Yrkeshögskolan Novia, Social services and health care, eva.juslin@novia.fi
Principal Lecturer, midwife Pia Liljeroth, Dr. Soc. Sc., Yrkeshögskolan Novia, Social services and health care, pia.liljeroth@novia.fi
Senior Lecturer responsible for qualifications, nurse Heli Vaartio-Rajalin, Dr. Sci. (Health) Yrkeshögskolan Novia, Degree programme in nursing, heli.vaartio-rajalin@novia.fi

Society as well as social and health care are changing, and in order to achieve a relevant response to these changes, inter-professional collaborative competencies are needed. Inter-professional collaboration, in turn, demands inter-professional education and training.
During the development project “Inter-professional social and health care” the department for social and health care at Novia UAS in Turku developed an inter-professional pedagogical praxis. The result of this project is an education where Nurses, Public Health Nurses and Bachelors of Social Services learn inter-professional collaborative practice from a resource promoting perspective.


Higher education institutions and social impact

– final report of the the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council 2012−2013

Director, Stakeholder Relations, Ph.D., MMus., Adjunct professor Tuire Ranta-Meyer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, tuire.ranta-meyer@metropolia.fi

The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council conducted a thematic evaluation of social and regional impact in 2012−2013. In addition to the actual results, the FHEEC wished to look at how universities and universities of applied sciences define their social role in general and which factors promoting or hindering the achievement of this goal can be identified. The final report Evaluation of higher education institutions’ social and regional impact (KKA 5:2013) is an important contribution. It analyses at a general level the status of impact in higher education institutions’ performance agreements and strategies. It also examines the priorities of actual implementation as well as quality management measures. The report’s perspective stresses evaluations and recommendations that concern universities of applied sciences. Discussing the social impact and the so-called third duty of universities has a less prominent place.


The precautionary principle should be followed in the exploitation of Arctic natural resources

MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen, European Parliament

It is estimated that more than 10 per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil resources are found in the Arctic area. Soaring oil prices have made the oil resources in this area highly desirable. The pressure to exploit the natural resources in the Arctic often raises essential questions in terms of environmental protection, while the Arctic plays an increasingly important role in the international struggle for power. The European Parliament stated its opinion on offshore oil drilling in May 2013. In her article, MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen notes that she supports the application of the precautionary principle in policies on exploiting Arctic natural resources. It is not a question of not exploiting the Arctic area, but of clarifying responsibility issues and setting rules.

Views of Russian-related competence

Senior Lecturer, Soili Lehto-Kylmänen, MA, Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, International business and culture, soili.lehto@kyamk.fi
Director of Education Soili Lehto-Kylmänen, D. Soc. Sc., Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences, International business and culture, marja-liisa.neuvonen-rauhala@kyamk.fi

For many years, there has been a shortage of Russian specialists and Russian speakers.  On the other hand, many of those who have studied the language, regional competence, history and culture of Russia cannot find a job. Why? Does the education not meet the needs? Do the employers themselves not know what type of competence they need?

Cooperation with Universities of Applied Science in Finland is one of the important issues of international cooperation of SPbSPU

Director Elena Nikonchuk, International Educational Projects Office, St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, nikonchuk@imop.spbstu.ru

Cooperation of St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University (SPbSPU) with Finnish Universities of Applied science is an important issue in the agenda of the SPbSPU internationalization. Cooperation between SPbSPU and Finnish UASs is implemented in the field of student exchange programs, joint educational programs, undergraduate and graduate programs, joint innovation projects for cross-border cooperation.

New perspectives to promoting education exports needed

Specialist Pauliina Savola, international affairs, SAMOK, pauliina.savola@samok.fi

Our debate on education exports is one-sided and has a narrow focus. The entire debate culminates on whether or not charging tuition fees to students from non-EU countries should be permitted. It should be obvious, however, that the tuition fees would result in a dramatic drop in the number of students who need to pay fees. Made-to-order education for student groups has also been rare, even if the demand could be global if the offer was appropriately productised. SAMOK and the National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) appointed their own team of visionaries to examine education exports. The team set the target at educating 100,000 new degree students at the higher level, which would be possible by extending made-to-order education and by providing degree education that is free for individual students. However, engaging in education exports should not be the duty of every higher education institution but based on a genuine need and willingness.

Learning of Institutional Quality Assurance System in Higher Education in Finland

– Visit to FINHEEC and to Finnish higher education institutions in October 2013, Erasmus Programme

PhD., prof. Vice dean for quality, Sanja Kalambura, University of Applied Sciences Velika Gorica, sanja.kalambura@vvg.hr
Spec.ing.cris.man., quality department Nives Jovičić, University of Applied Science Velika Gorica

In October 2013 PhD. Sanja Kalambura, prof. Vice dean for quality and Nives Jovičić, spec.ing.cris.man., from quality department from Croatia, University of Applied Sciences Velika Gorica came to visit Finnish higher education institutions. The objectives of the visit were learning of institutional quality assurance system in higher education in Finland and its development at different HEIs and in different countries. Besides learning of good practice at a Finnish HEIs it was also exchanging experiences with HAMK University of Applied Sciences, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Aalto University and its role in the system of Finnish higher education. In this article the FHEEC’s Erasmus visitors describe their experiences of quality management in Finnish higher education institutions.

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