First steps taken in the export of education – a time of growth lies ahead
Programme Director, Dr Lauri Tuomi, Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI)
Finland is a ’superpower’ when it comes to education. Ten years ago our PISA result (relating the skills and competences in 15-year-old students) brought our Finnish education system to the attention of the whole world. However, the quality of our education system paints a broader picture than the PISA results would indicate. It is more a matter of how we teach, rather than what we teach. Our reputation is reflected in all levels of education. With university tuition fees, we are now part of one of the world’s fastest growing service export sectors.
The size of the global education market has been determined by British investment bankers on a cost-orientation basis. The estimated size of the market is between 4,000 and 5,000 trillion dollars. The estimates vary according to the point of view, although, whatever the case, it is a business worth billions. Finland’s share is tiny. Roughly speaking, the export of education this year will be worth about 300 million euros.
Early childhood and upper secondary school education are the current areas of focus. Non-formal adult education, in its various forms, is also part of the education export sector. In recent years, much has been done to break down legislative barriers. This needs to continue. It is also important to identify the factors that hinder progress. These may, for example, relate to taxation practices or a lack of accreditation models.
Alongside the export of education by educational organisations, Finland has witnessed the evolution of a significant ’edtech’ startup sector. What the two have in common is the desire to dominate the globe with the best education technology solutions. Products and services are being developed in cooperation with educational institutions It is also becoming more common for innovative teachers to run their own businesses. Currently, Finnish education export companies are still either college- or innovation-based.
Wide-ranging education export tenders, in particular, need to incorporate the perspective of a comprehensive service. It is interesting to consider when we will be seeing the first business- and college- based export company. Could the universities of applied sciences show the way here as centres of strong business expertise?
There is still plenty of scope for boosting the export of education. The Education Finland education export growth programme is the answer. The task will be to deliver the best services for the exporters of the world’s best education. The programme now has 51 approved members. In all, 23 companies or colleges have been invited to join the group of those moving into the education export phase. A total of 11 universities of applied sciences are represented, either directly or through a joint venture.
The programme’s services have been structured in collaboration with its members to support a scalable business. The rate of growth among members is robust: it averages 212% (growth in education export turnover in 2016 and 2017). There is investment in a market presence in China, Southeast Asia, the Gulf region and Latin America. A start has also been made to identify the remaining legislative barriers and the factors that cause delays.
A new feature of the programme is that it is located within the teaching sector at the National Board of Education. Close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs plays a crucial role. The immense expertise of the National Board of Education in its role as development agency has brought a whole lot more to the enterprise. The most essential consideration, however, is cooperation with the exporters of education. There is an ongoing process for applying to join the programme. Welcome!
The challenges associated with the commercialisation of internationalisation in universities of applied sciences
Pirjo Aura, R&D Coordinator, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
Sami Heikkinen, Lecturer, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Elisa Kannasto, Lecturer, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Helli Kitinoja, Senior Specialist, Export of Expertise, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Jaana Muttonen, Research Manager, Häme University of Applied Sciences
Mikhail Nemilentsev, Lecturer, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Science
In the Strategies for the Internationalization of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in Finland (2009-2015, 2017-2025) education and expertise were seen as nationally significant exports, and the export of expertise and competence are one of the main aims of the strategies. The Roadmap for Education Export, released by the Ministry of Education and Culture offers an action plan for 2016–2019 for the export of expertise. During last few years the Finnish HEIs have reached the phase of commercialization in the development of their international activities. Different concepts are in use in the fields where educational institutions and companies sell education and other expertise. In this article global education services also covers the concepts export of education and export of expertise.
Based on a survey carried out in 2016, half of the Finnish universities of applied sciences (UAS) have been active in the export of education and expertise since 2010, but most UASs are still in the initial phases of these activities. Finnish UASs also recognize the importance of networks, strategic partnerships, consortiums, students and alumni in increasing exporting activities. Strategic decisions and management within the organization are core elements when it comes to attaining positive results in the field of global education services.
FLEN – The Food Learning Export Network
Antti Pasila, Senior Specialist, RDI, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Elina Puska, RDI specialist, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Jukka Lähteenkorva, CEO, Foodknow Oy
The FLEN (Food Learning Export Network) is an educational export pilot for food business. FLEN combines the strengths of five Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences for one network, where different experts can share their knowledge under the food chain theme in cooperation with SMEs and food technology sector. FLEN creates an operational model, which has the necessary skills and prestige in order to achieve international success. The tools and methods produced by FLEN are object-oriented which include innovative viewpoints and actions in order to test the food -thematic actions in practice together with the food chain companies. Food quality management and food safety systems are strengths of the Finnish food chain and export business. FLEN also adds value for the Finnish food export by offering educational solutions for food quality and safety related issues, especially, in developing countries, Asia or Persian Gulf region. The FLEN has gained project financing until 2019 from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) by South Ostrobothnia region. As an expected result a new concept is drafted which lowers the threshold to start food chain export.
Education helps boost the growth in tourism in Vietnam
Jaana Häkli, Lecturer, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences
Saimaa University of Applied Sciences is starting to export Finnish tourism and hospitality education to Vietnam. There is a lot of potential for different forms of co-operation e.g. in the form of double degrees or online studies. Tourism industry has a major role in the development of the entire country as increased tourist flows and revenue modernize the country. Due to good experiences in teaching Vietnamese students, personal contacts and flexibility, Saimaa UAS sees a lot of potential in the future co-operation and has jumped on the bandwagon.
The export of education is an opportunity to reflect critically on one’s own endeavours
Henna Juusola, Project Coordinator, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
Good success in international surveys such as in PISA (relating the skills and competences in 15-years old students) and PIAAC (relating the skills and competences of adults) are often seen as a guarantee of the high quality of Finnish education. This has increased the international awareness and interest towards Finnish education and thus contributed the implementation of education export activities. However, good global reputation as such does not provide a basis for the quality assurance of education export activities. This article explores quality assurance of education export activities from a national and international point of view by highlighting those issues that may be relevant to take into account in the institutional quality assurance practicalities. In addition, this article will give an overview of the groundwork that is currently going on at Haaga-Helia in the frame of quality assurance of education export activities.
Competence-based practices in the export of education – how do we make the curriculum more flexible?
Marjaana Mäkelä, Principal Lecturer, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
Competence-based pedagogy provides a functional tool for UAS institutions in curriculum development, assessment, validation, international cooperation and relations with industries. However, in context of export of education, understanding of competences on an institutional scale does not always meet the objectives of education export projects that require flexible, bespoke solutions.
A case example from Haaga-Helia UAS and a partner institution in Malta, Institute of Tourism Studies, unfolds some aspects of an export project where competence-based curriculum needs to be re-interpreted. The modular training is based on hospitality management courses, with a novel combination of studies fitting the needs of highly skilled participants. Moreover, validation of prior learning is applied as part of the process.
To succeed in export projects, UAS institutions need to critically evaluate their curricula and related discourse. The European Qualifications Framework is of help in this work.
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences is exporting education to two continents
Minna Keinänen-Toivola, Research Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Viveka Höijer- Brear, Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Tiina Savola, Director of Business, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Markku Paukkunen, Project Manager/ Senior Adviser on China, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Ari-Pekka Kainu, Head of International Affairs, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Satakunta University of Applied Sciences has worked with educational export to China almost ten years and to Namibia about five years. In China, parliamentary co-operation and twin city activities are key to concreate co-operation. In Namibia, the actions were started by a ship sale, in addition to an active role of the Embassy of Finland. In the article, examples from health and welfare are presented. In China, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences and Changzhou University signed a co-operation agreement on nursing double degree in fall 2016. In Namibia, SAMK, SAIMIA, SeAMK and XAMK started to building up joint in-service training product for physiotherapy. Co-operation with the city and university of Changzou as well as with many instances in Namibia are starting point for wider markets in China and Southern Africa. In educational export, patience and ethics are the main elements for success.
The export of education to provide a new stimulus for Finnish universities
Jorma Nevaranta, Head of Unit, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Education export is a new challenge and possibility for the Finnish Higher Education Institutions (HEI). Tuition fee is only one example in this sense and it has been possible in Finland only since the beginning of 2016. In principle, Finland has excellent possibilities to increase education export activities because of the good reputation of its education systems.
This article describes the conduct and experiences of one tailor-made training programme carried out by the School of Technology in Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences. The target group consisted 11 persons in Shenzhen Polytechnic Institute in China.
The contents of this training programme were based on the wishes of the participants. The offer of the one week programme in Seinajoki was made in April 2017 and the programme itself was conducted in August. The experiences of the participants as well as the presenters were very positive after the busy training week.
Ten years of the export of teacher training – what we have learnt
Jari Laukia, Director, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, School of Vocational Teacher Education
Pekka Risku, Director, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Vocational Teacher Education
The Finnish educational system is highly respected abroad. This has had a positive influence also to the education export of vocational teacher education. Universitie of Applied sciences are responsible for arranging the training programs for teachers of vocational education and training (VET) in Finland.
In his article the focus is in export of vocational teacher education, the clients as well as experiences of previous and ongoing activities. Both the challenges and the positive results of the projects have been documented. The enthusiasm and competence of the teachers are essential to the success of education. International co-operation can have a positive impact also on the traditional teacher education programs in Finland.
Our education export success factors: research, customer orientation and a concentration on effective action
Essi Ryymin, Principal Lecturer, Research Manager, Häme University of Applied Sciences
Maaret Viskari, Sales Manager, (Global Education), Häme University of Applied Sciences
The goal of this article is to describe the success factors of education export at Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK). We concentrate especially on the continuous professional teacher training programmes to Brazil during the last three years. We summarize our experiences to the following three principles: 1) Research corrects the coordinates, 2) Customer before the expert and 3) Concentration on effective action.
Finland 100 years: TAMK donated a week of education to Brazil
Heini Pääkkönen, Marketing Coordinator, TAMK EDU, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
To celebrate long-term educational cooperation and Finland’s 100-year independence, TAMK wanted to donate the Brazilian public sector schools a sample of what investment in teacher education and staff motivation can achieve. The one-week education in São Paulo offered 25 public sector school representatives the chance to experience Finnish educators’ inspiring and practical teaching and reflect and develop their competence together with their colleagues.