Abstracts 4/2020

Editorial: Career Monitoring Promotes Education Development

Jyrki Laitinen, Vice Rector, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, jyrki.laitinen(at)oamk.fi

A Career Monitoring Survey is sent annually to graduates who have received their Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in a university of applied sciences five years earlier. The purpose of the survey is to find out the graduates’ career, position in the job market and satisfaction in the degree they have finished.

When writing this editorial, the third national Career Monitoring Survey has just been concluded. A total of 8.870 persons of year 2015 graduates answered in the survey, making it 34% of those who graduated that year. The survey and customs connected to it have been developed in the projects ‘From UAS to career’ and ‘From UAS to career – Career Data for All’ in cooperatively with several universities of applied sciences. The discussion in various phases of the development work has been productive and crossed higher education borders. In the steering committee, along with the universities of applied sciences there have been representatives from Aarresaari – Career Services Network of Finnish Universities, SAMOK (a nationwide student organisation), Akava – Confederation of Unions for Professional and Managerial Staff in Finland, STKK (a confederation of trade unions), Statistics Finland, and Research Foundation for Studies and Education Otus.

The funding model of universities of applied sciences, entering into force in the beginning of 2021, lies in the background of the Career Monitoring Survey. Of the annual total of 25 M€ funding, 3% will be given based on career monitoring. The Ministry of Education and Culture has defined in the criteria for funding what kind of questions are presented to the graduates from five years earlier and how they are scored. The funding portion of each university is calculated based on the combined number of scores from the questions. In practice, the most defining actor measuring the success of a single university has been the number of respondents in the survey.

Vital signals to those arranging education

In addition to determining basic funding, career monitoring produces significant and useful information especially for developing education. The survey looks into the correspondence between the education of the graduates and work-related requirements from various perspectives. Results of the survey are gathered in the Vipunen – extranet service of the universities where they can be accessed in both numeric and graphic form. The general level of education and accumulation of various generic competences can be evalued with respect to the work-related requirements experienced by the respondents based on the results of the survey.

For instance in 2013 and 2014, 72% of the graduate respondents (total 16.736 persons) stated ‘slightly’, ‘somewhat’ or ‘completely’ agreeing with the claim “The qualification gave me sufficient work-related preparedness”. Conversely, 28% more or less disagreed with the claim. This can be seen as a significant share and a clear signal for development to the universities arranging education.

We may deepen the scrutiny by studying differences in fields of education. Respondents of health and social sector (total 6.246) were the most contented (77% min. ‘slightly agreeing’) with work-related preparedness. The least contented were respondents from the humanistic fields (62% min. ‘slightly agreeing’) and respondents from the fields of IT and telecommunications (65% min. ‘slightly agreeing’ respectively, totals 1.150 and total 1.027).

A window into work-related competence needs

It’s good to remember the time perspective when evaluating results from the career monitoring. The respondents have graduated five years earlier and in best case, started their studies nearly ten years before the survey. It is obvious that during this time frame both contents and implementation of the studies have developed, and thus direct conclusions between the results and current curricula or implementations cannot be made. The results of the survey can however be utilised in a relatively straight-forward manner when considering the emphases of curriculum planning or especially continuous education offerings. The results do describe such work-related competence needs that the basic education has not been able to provide.

In terms of individual competences, the surveys thus far have brought forward stress tolerance and adaptation to new situations, problem-solving skills, organising and coordinating skills, as well as communication and negotiation skills as most significant subjects requiring to be developed.


Work-related data into use and promoting development

Liisa Marttila, Special Designer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, liisa.marttila(at)tuni.fi
Satu Helmi, Quality Designer, Turku University of Applied Sciences, satu.helmi(at)turkuamk.fi
From UAS to career – Career Data for All ESR project

The articles in the UAS Journal themed issue Using data from work-related studies deal with employment, career, and competence needs of the highly educated, as well as work-based developing of education. These themes are looked into from the views of various fields and students, not forgetting economical, social, cultural and regional preconditions.


The Career Monitoring Survey provides information on the quality of employment

Satu Helmi, M.Ed., Quality Designer, Turku University of Applied Sciences, satu.helmi(at)turkuamk.fi
Ismo Kinnunen, Ph.D., Director of Development, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, ismo.kinnunen(at)oamk.fi
Sirpa Louhemäki, MBA, Knowledge Production Manager, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, sirpa.louhemaki(at)laurea.fi
Susanna Saarinen, M.Soc.Sc., Special Designer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, susanna.saarinen@tuni.fi

In the funding season of Universities of Applied Sciences starting from 2021, the quality of employment is considered in addition to the quantity. This refers to the correspondence between the employment of graduates and the education and, especially, the level of degree. The quality of employment is studied with the career monitoring survey, which is carried out annually. The target group is those who have completed a UAS Bachelor’s degree five years earlier.

For higher education institutions, the career monitoring survey provides information on how well the competence produced by the higher education studies meets the needs in the world in work. For current students, the survey produces information on what kind of work-related skills they are expected to possess and helps to understand the importance of developing other skills besides the professional ones. The difference between the competence produced by the higher education institution and the skills required in the world of work indicates the changes occurring in the world of work, and provides signals for the development of the quality of education as well as the continuous learning services and courses offered.

Key words: alumni, career, career monitoring, feedback from the world of work, funding model, monitoring indicators, qualitative employment


Lifelong learning is an essential part of artistry

Tomi Kuusimäki, Lecturer, Project Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, tomi.kuusimaki(at)samk.fi
Sade Kahra, Regional Project Manager, Novia University of Applied Sciences, sade.kahra(at)novia.fi

The years after graduation are significant for integration into the industry, and this particularly applies to visual artists entering a field with few conventional jobs. Beyond the years of jeopardy is a nationwide project executed by four Universities of applied sciences offering degrees in visual arts. The project aims to improve the employability of visual artists by developing work studies and internships. During spring 2020, the project conducted an online survey with 161 current art students. The second target group was professionally active artists who graduated in 2008–2020. 51 alumni were interviewed. Findings show that students and alumni consider self-management, creativity, artistic vision, resilience to uncertainty and coping as important skills in the profession. Besides the essence of lifelong learning, the interviews revealed loneliness as a profession trait and an interest for cross disciplinary co-operations and art outside of the galleries.

Key words: lifelong learning, visual art


Meaningful work – experiences of the alumni in the world of work

Juuso Puurula, Bachelor of Natural Resources, Soc.Sc. Master’s Student, Project Assistant, Häme University of Applied Sciences, juuso.puurula(at)hamk.fi

This article examines the change occurring in the world of work. In Oiva-project the experiences of sustainable development alumni were examined through a survey in fall 2018. The results confirm the findings of previous research that work has become a source of meaningfulness for many and that it’s more important to be able to self-develop at work than to earn a high salary. Also, the importance of generic work-related skills has grown and skills to search and analyze information as well as learn new things were voted as the two most important skills in the alumni survey. This research was conducted prior to the global corona virus pandemic which makes it possible to conduct a similar survey after the pandemic in order to research whether the meaning of work or the skills needed have changed due to the pandemic.

Key words: alumni research, change, meaningful work, sustainable development, work-related skills


Factors of commitment to work in the interface of studies and work

Henna Heinilä, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, henna.heinila(at)haaga-helia.fi
Annica Isacsson, D.Sc. (Econ.), Research Manager, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, annica.isacsson(at)haaga-helia.fi
Anu Järvensivu, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Humak University of Applied Sciences, anu.jarvensivu(at)humak.fi
Eija Raatikainen, Dr.Ed., Principal Lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, eija.raatikainen(at)metropolia.fi
Nina Simola-Alha, M.Pol.Sc., Lecturer, Humak University of Applied Sciences, nina.simola-alha(at)humak.fi

Among young recent graduates, in social- and healthcare and ICT-sector, retention is a problem. It is hence important to study how to hinder retention and how to engage young employees at work, especially in these two fields. In this article, these aspects are dealt with from an educational perspective. The article is based on the Kannustava Puhe (engaging talk) research, which was conducted through adapted approaches involving Appreciative inquiry and Stimulated recall. The research involved 20 recently graduated employees from five related organizations.

The results indicate three interfaces between the world of work and higher education: project learning, work-integrated pedagogy and work and study model. For young graduates meaning at work is a value. Also, learning at work and personal competence development are seen, not only as a prerequisite for development, but as an appreciated privilege. That is why they also expect their studies to support these skills.

Key words: engagement to work, recent graduates, work-related skills


Master’s degree programmes of Universities of Applied Sciences renew work and competences – or do they?

Anne Rouhelo, Dr.Ed., Lecturer, Education Officer, Turku University of Applied Sciences, anne.rouhelo(at)turkuamk.fi
Leena Nikander, Dr.Ed., Principal Lecturer, Häme University of Applied Sciences, leena.nikander(at)hamk.fi
Taina Kilpinen, D.Sc. (Econ.), Project Manager, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, taina.kilpinen(at)laurea.fi
Sanna Niinikoski, MBA, Coordinator, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, sanna.niinikoski(at)laurea.fi

The target group for the national Career Monitoring Survey are alumni who have completed a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in a University of Applied Sciences five years before the time of the survey. Monitoring produces up-to-date information on alumni employment, competences and career opportunities provided by education, and the equivalence of studies to work. This article focuses on the results of a separate pilot survey conducted in 2019 describing the career paths of Master’s degree graduates in 2012. The pilot survey was conducted because the nature of the master’s degree is different from the undergraduate degree. The results show that alumni are satisfied with their degree and the career development it produces. In particular, the increase in professional self-confidence, the improvement of the position in the labor market and the advancement of professional careers were perceived as positive. On the other hand, according to the alumni, the recognition of the degree and the appreciation of the employers are not yet at a good enough level.

Key words: career monitoring survey, HE development, Master’s degree, monitoring careers, work-related relevance


University of Applied Sciences Master’s degree serves a wide range of career options

Kristiina Ojala, D.Ed., Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Education, University of Turku, krojala(at)utu.fi
Ulpukka Isopahkala-Bouret, D.Ed., Professor, Department of Education, University of Turku, ulpukka.isopahkala-bouret(at)utu.fi

The University of Applied Sciences (UAS) Master’s degree is completed from a variety of starting points. Students are also in different situations with regard to their careers. In this article we highlight our key findings from the career models of UAS Master’s degree graduates to support the development of the degree education. We recognised five types of career trajectories: rising career, renewing career, entrepreneurial career, continuous career and unstable career. These trajectories provide information about the different career progression routes. UAS Master’s degrees can re-orient and enhance different careers trajectories in multiple ways, e.g., by providing formal qualifications and new expertise. Understanding the nature of career trajectories of graduates at a Master level is important when we consider how UAS could better take into account the diversity of students’ work histories and career aspirations as part of the degree education.

Key words: career, career types, university of applied sciences Master’s degree


Masters of Social Services (UAS) are still looking for their place in the changing labor market

Sirppa Kinos, D.Soc.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences, sirppa.kinos(at)turkuamk.fi

In my doctoral study (205/113 respondents), I examined the employment of Masters of Social Services in the labor market and their competences, challenged by the rapidly changing society.

The respondents aimed at the development of professional expertise, new duties as well as career advancement. Three quarters of graduates had achieved these goals at least partly. An equal number could be employed in their current position without the Master’s degree. One third of the graduates was promoted to more demanding work, less frequently in public sector. The most successful was the specialization in development and leadership.

The degree was considered a rewarding individual investment. However, their position in the labor market is unclear. The degree does not entitle to a position of a licensed social welfare professional. The task structure in social and health care needs reform. The degree program needs more publicity. An option is to concentrate on education for managerial positions.

Key words: labor market, Master of Social Services, professional competences


Career monitoring data as a navigator of continuous learning

Jaana Kullaslahti, PhD, Principal Research Scientist, HAMK EDU, Häme University of Applied Sciences, firstname.lastname(at)hamk.fi
Tina Lauronen, M.Soc.Sc., Researcher, Research Foundation for Studies and Education Otus, firstname.lastname(at)otus.fi
Liisa Marttila, Dr.Ed., Special Designer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, firstname.lastname(at)tuni.fi
Sanna Niinikoski, MBA, Coordinator, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, firstname.lastname(at)laurea.fi

Continuous learning refers to education offered mainly for non-degree students by higher education institutions. The results of the UAS Career Monitoring Survey can provide broader statistical-based knowledge on trends in needs of content and forms of further and continuing education, as well as students’ profiles with different educational needs and expectations. In addition to training, the career monitoring survey results highlight the need for various guidance services.

Key words: career monitoring, continuous learning, universities of applied sciences


Work-related data as a basis for developing the strategy of continuous learning in Lapland

Helena Kangastie, MHS, Specialist (RDI and learning), Lapland University of Applied Sciences, helena.kangastie(at)lapinamk.fi

Education has undergone a major change in recent years also in Lapland. At the moment there is a need to jointly create a state of mind for the future direction of continuous learning development in Lapland. Higher education institutions have an important role in creating this state of mind, as they are leaders of lifelong learning strategy work. It is important to collect versatile and as comprehensive information as possible at different stages of the strategy process. It is essential to consider what kind of work-related information is collected as a basis for building the strategy.

In this article I describe the building work of a lifelong learning strategy, and the use of work-related data as its basis. I highlight the information provided by stakeholders as well as the feedback given by representatives from the world of work, and the utilization of both in the strategy work. The practice of collection and systematic analysis of work-related data also promotes higher education institution’s societal impact.

Key words: continuous learning, societal influencing, work-related data


Fostering autonomous learning in universities and workplaces

Tanja Vesala-Varttala, PhD, Principal Lecturer in Marketing and Communication, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, tanja.vesala-varttala(at)haaga-helia.fi
Anna Hankimaa, MSc (Econ), Doctoral Candidate, Senior Lecturer in International Business, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, anna.hankimaa(at)haaga-helia.fi

Autonomous learning is a professional necessity in today’s fast-changing and internationalizing workplace environments, in companies and universities alike. Keeping on top of change requires that students and employees have the ability and opportunity to self-regulate their continuous learning process. In the Erasmus+ co-funded RDI project CORALL – Coaching-oriented Online Resources for the Autonomous Learning of LSP, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences and five European partner universities have collected qualitative data about autonomous learning experiences from company representatives, educational experts, and higher education students across Europe. The project brings together universities and employers to share knowledge and provide support for autonomous learning. This is a way to foster key workplace competences highlighted in the national career monitoring survey by Finnish universities of applied sciences (2019).

Key words: autonomous learning, life-long learning, self-directed learning, project-based learning, workplace learning


Do foreign students become international talents in the Finnish labour market?

Tina Lauronen, M.Soc.Sc., Researcher, Research Foundation for Studies and Education Otus, firstname.lastname(at)otus.fi
Susanna Saarinen, M.Soc.Sc., Specialist, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, susanna.saarinen(at)tuni.fi

The number of foreign degree students in Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences has increased over the past decades. Although studying in Finland is more common, foreign alumni can face more difficulties and breaks in their working life than Finns, especially if they stay in Finland. While 74 % of Finnish-speaking Finns have a permanent full-time job five years after graduation, the corresponding percentage for foreigners is 59. In addition, there is a clear wage gap between Finnish and foreign alumni working in Finland, probably suggesting that foreign alumni’s jobs do not always match their education. Hence, about a third of foreigners work abroad five years after graduation and many of them continue their studies in a university after completing a bachelor’s degree. Despite the higher unemployment rates and other employment-related challenges, foreigners are, on average, slightly more satisfied with their UAS degrees than Finns.

Key words: career monitoring, employment, Finnish labour market, foreign students, international students, university of applied sciences


Future-proofing ALL our students and graduates

Sandra Slotte, M.Sc.Ed., Head of Sustainable Career Support, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, sandra.slotte(at)arcada.fi

The national student and alumni satisfaction surveys provide excellent learning opportunities for evaluating the respondents’ perceptions of the quality of Finnish higher education and services with regards to employability, career development and entrepreneurship. But there is a lack of representation of and thus valuable data regarding international alumni’s perceived satisfaction with their UAS studies and the studies’ relevance for work and career, due to the low amount of international respondents in the Career Monitoring Survey. There might also be value in having access to longitudinal national data from earlier stages of the student journey than graduation, which would require a third survey or a coherent feedback system for all HEIs. In order for us to future proof our higher education as well as all our students and graduates, we need to know what we should do, how we should do it and most importantly – why we should do it.

Key words: career, data collection, employability, feedback, international alumni, satisfaction


Finnish for foreigners coaching as a tool for integration and employment in workplaces

Kirsi Autio, M.Pol.Sc., M.Ed., Project Specialist, Karelia University of Applied Sciences

Karelia UAS, Savonia UAS, and the University of Eastern Finland are jointly committed to promoting education-based immigration in Eastern Finland. The goal includes increasing the number of international students and their employment in the area. Educational immigration is seen as one solution to the problems of the labor market in sparsely populated areas. On the other hand, statistics, research, and experience show that higher education does not guarantee equal employment opportunities for international professionals compared to the general population. This article examines how Finnish for foreigners teaching was utilized in a joint development project between the University of Eastern Finland and Karelia UAS to address this structural problem. The article also describes what kind of information was utilized in preparing and implementing solutions. The project’s outcomes show that the Finnish for foreigners learning process may actually work as a two-way integration tool in workplaces and increase the sense of belonging and well-being at work.

Key words:


Continuous evaluation and the cooperation in the world of work at the core of quality development

Marjo Jussila, M.A. (Arts and Design), Project Manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, marjo.jussila(at)lapinamk.fi
Pirjo Könni, M.Ed., Lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, pirjo.konni(at)lapinamk.fi

Digiassari project and Digiassari training aim to meet the skills needs for the future. Continuous evaluation of the content, implementation and influences of the training program is the key for the development of the training. Participants have been happy with better skills for networking, job search and for designing and implementing digital marketing. The employers have had very concrete expectations for the assignments and students have met their needs well.

Key words: competence, education, evaluation, work-based


Managers’ evaluations of specialization education

Hanna-Leena Melender, Specialized Nurse, Dr.Sc. (Health), Principal Lecturer, Vaasa University of Applied Sciences, hanna-leena.melender(at)outlook.com
Anu Piirainen, Public Health Nurse, M.Sc. (Admin.), Designer, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, anu.piirainen(at)kamk.fi
Paula Vikberg-Aaltonen, Specialized Nurse, MHS, Lic.Ed., Principal Lecturer, Häme University of Applied Sciences, paula.vikberg-aaltonen(at)hamk.fi
Sirkka Saranki-Rantakokko, Specialized Nurse, MHS, D.Sc. (Admin.), Principal Lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, sirkka.saranki-rantakokko(at)lapinamk.fi

The objectives of the specialization education programs are to meet the work-related competence needs and to support continuous learning. The aim of the Specialization Program of Registered Nurse’s Appointment Work (30 ECTS) is to strengthen competence in patients’ clinical nursing care, client education and evidence-based practice. The first educational program was implemented in 2018-2019 in six Finnish universities of applied sciences and to develop the education, evaluation data was collected with a survey in the workplaces of the students. An invitation to the survey was sent to 32 persons and 17 responses were received from persons who were working as managers. They had received information about the education program mostly via email. The arrangements of the education had succeeded well from the point of view of the workplaces. By offering an opportunity to participate in the education, the managers had most often aimed to support the career development of an employee, the learning of new, strengthening of clinical competence and development of evidence-based practice. However, utilization of the new competencies of the employee was not always planned before.

Key words: evaluation, educating the future workforce, health care, professional specialization, registered nurse’s appointment work


Agile developing of competences needed at work

Helena Turunen, D.Sc. (Econ.), Principal Lecturer, Häme University of Applied Sciences, helena.turunen(at)hamk.fi

The objective of this article is to describe how co-operation between higher education and work can be enhanced in master’s degrees. The research was conducted in the master’s degrees in business management at Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK). An agile and flexible pedagogical model is applied in HAMK master’s studies, utilizing teamwork, flipped classroom pedagogy, online tools and students’ workplaces as learning environments. This model enables effectively new forms of co-operation.

As a conclusion, the further development of co-operation should be flexible and should take place at three levels: operational flexibility, tactical flexibility and strategic flexibility. Strategic flexibility refers to increased joint planning of education at a national level, whereas tactical flexibility aims at concrete actions in co-operation. Operational flexibility, again, means joint implementation plans and models.

Key words: agile and flexible higher education, co-operation between education and work, Master’s studies in business management


Orientation to the world of work as an inspiration for engineering education

Katri Hendriksson, M.Eng., Project Manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, katri.hendriksson(at)lapinamk.fi
Timo Kauppi, IWE, IWI-C, Lic.Tech., Principal Lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, timo.kauppi(at)lapinamk.fi

An interview study was conducted at Lapland University of Applied Sciences in 2019, in which mechanical and production as well as electrical engineers graduated between 2009-2016 from Lapland University of Applied Sciences were interviewed to clarify their employment status after graduation. Similar study was implemented at Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences in 2009 to engineers graduated between 2003-2008.

Study was conducted to find out important information for the development of training programs. The results obtained from this study were compared with the previous study. Engineering education at Lapland University of Applied Sciences has a very high-quality status based on the comments which raised in the survey.

Based on the results, it was possible to map the employment status of graduated engineers and whether they were more likely to end up in supervisors or expertise related tasks. A large number of responses were received and the mapping could be performed versatile. The work tasks varied some, but there was a clear emphasis on supervisor and expert tasks.

Key words: education, engineering, industry, research and innovation activities, university of applied sciences


Work-related data of the social and health care sector to be used in the SOTETIE project

Jari Helminen, D.Soc.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, jari.helminen(at)diak.fi
Ulla Markkanen, MHS, Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, ulla.markkanen(at)tuni.fi
Tiina Säilä, MHS, M.Sc. (Admin.), Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, tiina.saila(at)tuni.fi

One way to collect work-related data is be part of the national projects. In the ESF-funded (SOTETIE) project an electronic roadmap for the development of the skills of social and health care professionals will be developed. In the spring 2020, work-related data were collected through five workshops and couple of surveys. The workshops and surveys provided a wide range of data.

Short-term continuing education is better suited to developing the common skills of social and health care professionals than long-term or specialization studies. The needs for the development of professional competence in both the social and health sectors are best met by short-term (1–5 cr) and / or long-term (15–30 cr) studies.

When planning specialization education, common areas of the expertise in the social and health fields must be taken into account. For example, the formation of a common language and professional understanding was seen as an advantage of common education.

Key words: competence development, continuing professional education, orientation to the world of work, social- and health care sector

Abstracts 3/2020

Editorial: Together We Can Do More

Silja Kostia, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, silja.kostia(at)tuni.fi
Kaija Saramäki, M.Sc. (Environmental forestry), Lecturer, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, kaija.saramaki(at)karelia.fi
Tove Holm, PhD, Coordinator, The Baltic Sea Challenge, City of Turku; Associate Researcher, University of Gävle, tove.holm(at)turku.fi

Finland is committed to the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development binding all UN member states, Agenda2030, which was adopted in the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 2015. There are 17 objectives for sustainable development in Agenda2030, many covering social sustainability (Ympäristöministeriö, 2020). Especially the following objectives involve social sustainability: No poverty (1), Zero hunger (2), Good health and well-being (3), Quality education (4), Gender equality (5), Decent work and economic growth (8), Reduced inequalities (10), Sustainable cities and communities (11), Peace, justice and strong institutions (16), and Partnerships for the goals (17).

In Finland, it is Government’s duty to supervise implementation and follow-up of Agenda2030. The goal is to create solutions for challenges in sustainable development, as well as to provide students competence capital required in the job market. In summer 2020, Finland submitted their second Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The review highlights higher education institutions that promote Finnish ”competitiveness, wellbeing, all-round education and culture, and sustainable development”. Several universities have ”worked systematically to integrate sustainable development into different fields of study”. Many of them also provide ”transdisciplinary minor subject modules in sustainable development”. (Finnish Prime Minister’s Office, 2020.)

For this themed issue, we received over twenty article suggestions, with authors from 15 different universities and three stakeholder groups. In our opinion, this emphasises the important role of higher education in promoting social sustainability via the roles of education, research, development and innovation activities and regional developers. The conventions of promoting sustainability are intertwined in the articles in various ways, and the scale of promoting social sustainability varies from global to very local.

The viewpoint of collaboration and cooperation emerges as promoting social sustainability. In practice, it means cooperation between stakeholders, students and/or the staff of the universities. Collaboration is present in developing and implementing teaching, peer support of the students, as well as in developing tourism and travelling. Many articles suggest that if students gain work-related competences (teamwork, interaction, etc.), those will promote social sustainability after their studies. Promoting circular or bioeconomy is also present within the theme of social sustainability.

Naumanen et al. (2019) have explored that nearly 90 percent of all Finnish innovations of this decade support achieving sustainable development goals. They perceived that sustainable development innovations add value to companies. This demands broad cooperation by the public, private and third sector actors. In Finland, we need to be able to create ”networks of expertise that can provide comprehensive solutions to the needs of the target countries, and to be able to conceptualise our offerings to be an effective and understandable solution to the needs of the target countries”

In our call for papers, we wanted to encourage authors to describe unsuccessful experiments and challenges, as well, and in some articles, they have been presented. Amy Edmondson from Harvard University has observed that work communities that report their mistakes most are the most successful. In teams with great mutual trust and respect, people have the courage to openly admit made mistakes. The same team qualities increased innovativeness, commitment and motivation of the employees, and lifted it to success (Saarinen, 2020).

Working as a themed issue / guest editor has been rewarding and we warmly recommend it to all. In addition to learning more about editing and writing, as a guest editor you can widen your networks and quickly gain a comprehensive view on how the subject of the theme is being developed in universities. So why not be a guest editor!

Finnish Prime Minister’s Office, 2020. The Voluntary National Review 2020 Finland. Report on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Publications of the Prime Minister’s Office 2020:8. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-287-947-9

Naumanen, M., Heimonen, R., Koljonen, T., Lamminkoski, H., Maidell, M., Ojala, E., Sajeva, M., Salminen, V., Toivanen, M., Valonen, M., Wessberg, N., 2019. Kestävän kehityksen innovaatiot: Katsaus YK:n Agenda 2030 kehitystavoitteisiin ja vastaaviin suomalaisiin innovaatioihin. Valtioneuvoston selvitys- ja tutkimustoiminnan julkaisusarja 2019:62. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-287-795-6

Saarinen, M., 2020. Yllättävä tutkimustulos: Eniten omia virheitä raportoivat työyhteisöt menestyvät parhaiten. Tekniikka ja Talous 30.8.2020.

Ympäristöministeriö, 2020. https://www.ym.fi/fi-fi/ymparisto/kestava_kehitys/mita_on_kestava_kehitys, haettu 5.2.2020.

Key words: Agenda2030, education, RDI, SDG, sustainable development, university of applied sciences, work-related collaboration


Sustainable Nature Tourism With Co-creation

Laura Puolamäki, PhD, Landscape Specialist, Southern Finland Rural Women’s Advisory Organisation (Etelä-Suomen Maa- ja kotitalousnaiset), laura.puolamaki(at)maajakotitalousnaiset.fi
Niina Ihalainen, M.Pol.Sc., MBA, RDI Specialist, LAB University of Applied Sciences, niina.ihalainen(at)lab.fi 

The starting point of the Maisa project is natural and cultural landscape. Productized landscape seems to be a growing attraction among domestic and international visitors. It has become highly necessary to explore new areas, and focus on rural entrepreneurs, who are operating on their home field, near the villages and private land, where public operators, like natural parks, are not able to extend their services.

We piloted several products for private nature tourism actors during the project. The co-creation, testing, analyzing and finalizing process resulted a conclusion, that such a process illuminates the local socio-cultural sustainability. It negotiates the local limits of sustainability, explores the mundane sustainability practices, maps connections between people, landscape and business, and weaves new networks. The feedback from pilot customers and participating entrepreneurs indicates, that the project enhanced and triggered willingness in capacity building for landscape-based tourism.

Key words: co-creation, nature tourism, piloting, well-being, socio-cultural sustainability, health care and social services, tourism and hospitality


Producing More and Better Environmental Information in Cooperation

Outi Laatikainen, M.Eng., Senior R&D Expert, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, outi.laatikainen(at)kamk.fi
Pia Haapea, Lic.Tech., Principal Lecturer, LAB University of Applied Sciences, pia.haapea(at)lab.fi 
Tatiana Samarina, Phd, Project Researcher, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, tatiana.samarina(at)kamk.fi 

Achieving solid situational awareness in environmental monitoring is a challenging task, since very often the availability of relevant and up-to-date background data on environmental phenomenon is limited.  Combining different technologies and digital methods with the principles of sustainable development, socio-economic and environmental sustainability, offer plenty of opportunities for creating new kinds of participation and background information concepts.

This article presents two case studies from KAMK and LAB University of Applied Sciences in integrating participatory observations as a supportive tool for creating better situational awareness on local environmental circumstances. From the societal viewpoint, participatory observation provides a possibility to integrate also socially vulnerable groups in dialogue-building, which might help to integrate these groups into societal interaction.

Key words: environmental monitoring, participatory observations, environmental assessment, sustainability, collaboration with society  


Producing Material for Teaching in Shared Use – Co-teaching

Minna Palos, M.Sc.(Econ.), HAMK Bio Research Unit, Häme University of Applied Sciences
Nina Kokkonen, M.Sc.(Forestry), HAMK Bio Research Unit, Häme University of Applied Sciences

The Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland financed the development project Circular Economy Competence to Universities of Applied Sciences, where study material was produced for the teachers’ shared use. Circular economy material was tested and further developed. This article examines study material from the perspective of co-teaching and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Key words: KiertotalousAMK, shared teaching, shared teaching materials, sustainable development


Well Done! – Social Sustainability in Elderly Services

Sari Saukkonen, M.Health Care (Physiotherapist), Project Manager, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk), sari.saukkonen(at)xamk.fi
Anja Härkönen, M.Sc. (Econ.), M.Soc.Sc., RDI Specialist, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk), anja.harkonen(at)xamk.fi 

Decent work and economic growth are part of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. It refers, among others, to a sufficient salary, well-being at work and occupational safety. One sector that requires further inspection and developing in Finland is services for the elderly. The employee’s participation in the decision-making concerning work increases well-being at work. When employee experiences being heard and is content with his/her work, it will be positively reflected in the customer’s service. These themes are discussed in two projects carried out by the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences.

Key words: elderly services, participation, RDI, social sustainability, well-being at work

Social and Health Care Studies: Focus on Yound Employees’ Ability to Work

Hilla Sumanen, PhD, Adjunct Professor in Health Politics, Principal Lecturer, Southern-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, hilla.sumanen(at)xamk.fi
Anne Kouvonen, D.Pol.Sc., Adjunct Professor in Community Health Science, Professor in Social Politics, University of Helsinki, anne.kouvonen(at)helsinki.fi 

Young employees’ work ability has become a growing concern over recent years. Overall, as it could be expected young employees are in good health; however, early work disability is becoming more common. But why? The research evidence is still scarce but increasing. Young employees’ work ability is a feasible phenomenon to look at during the social and health care studies. This phenomenon facilitates learning and insights, as the current research evidence leaves a lot of room for students ’own discussion and conclusions. Currently, young adults are less in the focus of social and health care, but existing studies show that there are specific characteristics of this client group that future professionals should be aware of. In addition, previous studies strongly suggest that work ability problems affect particularly those who work in the health and social care sector, meaning that future professionals should consider how to maintain their own work ability.

Key words: health and social care sector, work ability, work disability, young adults, young employees


The DUUNI Model:  Parenting Skills to the Use in the World of Work

Mari Berglund (M.Health Sciences, Doctoral Student, Midwife), Lecturer, koulutusvastaava, Turku University of Applied Sciences,  mari.berglund(at)turkuamk.fi 
Tuula Hyppönen (M.Soc.Sc., Family Psychotherapist, Functional Group Work Instructor) Lecturer, LAB University of Applied Sciences, tuula.hypponen(at)lab.fi 
Janina Luoto (M.Ed., M.A.), Teacher, Turku University of Applied Sciences, janina.luoto(at)turkuamk.fi 
Veera Vähämaa (M.A.) Literary Arts Instructor, Literary Artist, Kirjan talo ry (The House of Book Association), vjvaha(at)gmail.com 

The “DUUNI – Vanhemmuuden taidot työelämävahvuudeksi” (Parenting skills to the use in the world of work” project (2018–2020) is a national project funded by the EU 2014–2020 Programme for Sustainable Growth and Jobs. The coordinator of the project is Turku University of Applied Sciences, and the partners are LAB University of Applied Sciences, University of Lapland, Kirjan talo ry, Lounais-Suomen Liikunta ja Urheilu ry and Caritas Finland ry. The target group was 19–26-year-old parents. The social sustainability directed objective was to find and test art-based and sport-oriented methods in the guidance of parents to recognize their own skills which are transferable to the world of work. Other social sustainable objectives were to improve methodological competence and cooperation of professionals working with young parents. To achieve this, interventions were tested in the activity sessions of parent groups, in individual guidance, and eCoaching of the instructors. The DUUNI model is a repository of best proven methods and practices to meet the project objectives. The model is available at: https://duunitaidot.turkuamk.fi/.

Key words: art-based methods, eCoaching, guidance, parenting skills, social and health care, transfer, work-related skills


Sustainable Business and Well-being from Nature

Satu Välijärvi, M.Soc.Sc., M.A., Project Manager, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, satu.valijarvi(at)oamk.fi

The Nordic NaBS (www.nordicnabs.com) project supports entrepreneurs to develop nature-based service business in co-operation with health care, social work and education actors. Most of the enterprises providing nature-based services are small rural enterprises. Users of the services are often people with special needs who can greatly benefit from nature- and animal-assisted services. Research brings up new proof about the nature’s impact on well-being. It is important and socially sustainable to find ways to benefit that impact also in the welfare services. Due to their nature environment and traditions the Nordic countries have a strong basis for developing nature-based services and enhancing their use also in the public sector. Especially in the northern areas of the countries going to nature is still an essential part of well-being and lifestyle. Nordic NaBS is financed by Interreg Nord and its project area covers Lapland, and North and Central Ostrobothnia in Finland and Norrbotten and parts of Västerbotten in Sweden. The project organisations are Lapland UAS (manager), Oulu UAS, University of Vaasa and Luleå university of technology.

Key words: education, Green care, health care, nature-based services, natural resources, small enterprises, social work, well-being


Empowering Northern Communities by Boosting Female Entrepreneurship (this article is in English)

Helena Puhakka-Tarvainen, M.Sc., Senior Project Manager, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, helena.puhakka-tarvainen(at)karelia.fi
Reeta Sipola, M.Nat.Res., Project Manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, reeta.sipola(at)lapinamk.fi 
Heidi Vartiainen, M.A., Lecturer, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, heidi.vartiainen(at)karelia.fi 

Key words: female entrepreneurship, gender-sensitive business coaching, innovation platform, Karelia UAS, Lapland UAS, Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme, peer-mentoring


Learning Sustainability Competences in Teams and Projects

Eveliina Asikainen, Lecturer, School of Professional Teacher Education, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eveliina.asikainen(at)tuni.fi
Eija Syrjämäki, Specialist Planner, Development of Education, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eija.syrjamaki(at)tuni.fi

Competences of co-operation and change-making are in the core of making sustainable change. Learning Lab of Tampere University of Applied Sciences offers opportunities for student driven discussions and multidisciplinary working life projects in teams. These learning environments promote transformative learning, which is pivotal for sustainable change. According to student feed-back promoting open, team-work-based and project-oriented learning environments strengthens the sense of community, co-operation and democracy among students. All these are important for social sustainability.

Key words: community, participation, sustainable development, team learning


Are There Right and Socially Sustainable Methods to Teach Circular Economy?

Kari Laasasenaho, PhD, RDI Specialist, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, kari.laasasenaho(at)seamk.fi
Eveliina Asikainen, D.Sc.(Admin.), Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eveliina.asikainen(at)tuni.fi
Liisa Routaharju, M.Eng., Lecturer, Southern-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, liisa.routaharju(at)xamk.fi

It is important to teach the circular economy in a socially sustainable wayThe circular economy is a multidimensional phenomenon and it requires the ability to understand things holistically. In this article, we consider are there right methods to teach the circular economy and what should be considered when increasing the social sustainability and societal impact of circular economy education. Teaching should therefore take into account the needs and learning styles of different students. In addition, teaching should take into account the use of methods that promote fast and efficient knowledge transfer from university of applied sciences to business. The most important thing would be to support the individual learning process with good pedagogical practices.

Key words: circular economy, good practices, social sustainability, sustainable development, teaching methods


Circular Economy for BBA with or without Systems Thinking

Annariikka Rosendahl, M.Soc.Sc., Bachelor in Hospitality Management, Project Specialist, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, annariikka.rosendahl(at)haaga-helia.fi

Circular Economy (CE) initiative is relevant to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Both of these world-transforming agendas include Systems Thinking (ST) as key element. However, there are only indirect indications of what ST stands for these two narratives in practice. In addition, ST is seldom defined per se. There are trade-offs between SDG and Circular Economy in relation to certain CE practices, therefore the orientation of Systems Thinking adapted is topical.

This article discusses how Systems Thinking could be promoted in the degree education of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) while implementing the emerging education for Circular Economy. What are the potential adaptable elements of ST for the BBA educational programmes? How can the future business professionals enhance the CE and the SDG benefit from Systems Thinking? The tentative elements of ST that have been associated with ethical and sustainable economy are pointed as an example.

Key words: Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), business and administration, circular economy, sustainable development, systems thinking


Good Deeds within Research Studies

Teppo Leppälahti, M.Sc.(Econ.), Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, teppo.leppalahti(at)laurea.fi
Sari Heikkinen, PhD, Director of Research Program, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, sari.heikkinen(at)laurea.fi

Students’ phone interviews during Covid-19 were not only training on how to collect data for a research purpose. Informants were elderly people, who were socially isolated. Although the originally planned sampling and personal interviews were out of question, the data collection succeeded well. The students contacted senior citizens in their own personal networks. Research interviews were empowering contacts. They were the good deeds of the students and the school.

Key words: business studies, companionship, project learning, social and health care studies, welfare


Digital Thesis Conference – The Bridge to the World of Work

Kaarina Sirviö, Doctor of Health Sc., Principal Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, kaarina.sirvio(at)savonia.fi
Leena Tikka, Lic. Health Sc., Principal Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, leena.tikka(at)savonia.fi
Pirjo Turunen, Lic.Soc.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, pirjo.turunen(at)savonia.fi

It was necessary to develop new ways of working taking advantage of digital opportunities because the coronavirus epidemic.  A digital thesis conference was implemented in Savonia University of Applied Sciences. In the conference, the socially sustainable development and participation had an important role. The students made e-posters and presented them for the world of work. By making their presentations, they were able to demonstrate their expertise. Feedback from this kind of conference model was very positive. So, implementation of the conference will continue with this digital form and also by developing the possibility of interaction.

Key words: digitalisation, participation, social and health sector, socially sustainable development, teleconferencing


Everyone Benefits from Graphic Communication

Tanja Gavrilov, M.A. (Cultural Studies), Sign Language Interpreter, Bachelor of Culture and Arts (Graphic Design), Lecturer, Humak University of Applied Sciences, tanja.gavrilov(at)humak.fi

Graphic communication is an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) method and used by, among others, people who have difficulties understanding and producing speech. The method is also used by their families and by the professionals. Luckily, the advantages and possibilities of this method are seen today more widely, because we all benefit from the method. The graphic communication is part of the repertoire of methods and languages that belong to the expertise of the Humanities University of Applied Sciences (Humak). In both education and project activities, our goal is to remove communication barriers of environments and interaction situations, and thus promote linguistic accessibility, which enables social sustainability to be achieved.

Key words: graphic communication, interaction, linguistic accessibility


Multidisciplinary Teaching Prepares for Multiprofessional Collaboration 

Outi Ahonen, PhD (Health Science), Principal Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, outi.ahonen(at)laurea.fi
Päivi Harmoinen, Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Tuija Partio, Development Manager, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Tarja Paukkeri, Development Manager, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Today’s challenges in a sustainable society and regional cooperation call for wide-ranging cross-sectoral problem-solving in order to secure good life chances for future generations. Learning takes place in a community of practice, the characteristics of which are divided into the dimensions of mutual commitment, shared practices, and a common goal. This survey describes the views of university of applied sciences (UAS) social and health care teachers on the factors that promote and slow down multidisciplinary teaching. The goal is to increase multidisciplinary teaching for different fields of study in UASs. The multidisciplinary work of a teacher requires an enthusiastic attitude and courage for new experiments. Multidisciplinary teaching is promoted by clarifying a common goal and strengthening commitment. However, the implementation of multidisciplinary teaching still poses challenges for the operation of UASs.

Key words: cooperation, healthcare, multidiciplinary, multiprofessional, multidiciplinary society, pedagogy, social care

Robots as Eliminators of Social Isolation

Teppo Leppälahti, M.Sc.(Econ.), Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, teppo.leppalahti(at)laurea.fi
Sari Heikkinen, PhD, Director of Research Program, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, sari.heikkinen(at)laurea.fi

Loneliness and social isolation are serious problems today. The situation of elderly people can be especially difficult if family members live far away and abilities to use telecommunication equipment are weak. Telepresence robots may be one solution for social isolation. Those robots are available in markets already and it is the perfect time to start to use them now. Universities of applied sciences with another educational organizations play a key role as early adoption of new technology among students and in the field of elderly care as well. Additionally, telepresence robotics is a potential means to an end of decreasing social isolation. Perhaps schools could organize telepresence of their social and health care students with socially isolated elderly people as a part of elderly care studies.

Key words: business studies, loneliness, robotics, social and health studies, social isolation, telepresence


Abstracts 2/2020

Editorial: Universities of Applied Sciences promote ecological sustainability in various ways

Eveliina Asikainen, Lecturer, School of Professional Teacher Education, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Tove Tove Holm, PhD, Coodinator, The Baltic Sea Challenge, the City of Turku, Associate researcher, University of Gävle

Sustainable development was first defined in the UN Brundtland Commission in 1987. That initiated a process that has advanced both globally and nationally, as well as governmentally and in various sectors in the society (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987).

In Finland, sustainable development has been advanced since 1993, when the Finnish National Commission on Sustainable Development was established first in the world. In addition to the government, the members of the commission represent a broad spectrum of sectors and stakeholders in our society. The commission started its work by defining sustainable development as follows: ”Sustainable development is a globally, regionally and locally ongoing process of continuous and targeted change in society. It aims at safeguarding opportunities for a good life to the current and future generations.” (Prime Minister’s Office, n.d.)

Sustainable development goals have changed and become more specific. In 2015, United Nations Sustainable Development Summit and the member states including Finland adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda includes 17 different goals that are related to sustainable development (Sustainable Development Goal, SDG), many of which are about ecological sustainability, specifically the goals clean water and sanitation (6), climate action (13), life below water (14) and life on land (15). Further, goals about industry, innovation, and infrastructure (9), sustainable cities and communities (11), as well as responsible consumption and production (12) have a strong implication of ecological sustainability.

In the past decades, a growing number of universities have centralised their teaching and research activities towards sustainable development solutions, especially in their local communities. To promote such centralisation, transitional phases are needed in all actions: curricula, contents of the study modules and pedagogy, administration of the campuses, and research and work in the society (Asikainen et al., 2017; Holm et al., 2016). At present, universities are also supported by the definition of policy in sustainable development by the Ministry of Education and Culture. One goal in this policy is to strengthen research, development, and innovation activities’ support in fulfilling the 2030 Agenda goals. (Ministry of Education and Culture, 2020).

The articles and other texts in this themed issue present versatilely the actions of the universities of applied sciences in promoting sustainable development, through various practical implementations in education, projects and collaboration with enterprises. We will briefly present how the texts relate to the duties of the universities of applied sciences (Ammattikorkeakoululaki, 2014) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The authors present their views on how the education in universities of applied sciences could more strongly promote ecologically sustainable development. Niemi outlines a model for curriculum of ecologically sustainable development for universities of applied sciences. Konst & Scheinin’s view is that education should be based on a sustainable framework and value basis. Laine et al. present various learning environments in circular economy, and Virta et al. various ways to bring the circular economy knowhow from universities of applied sciences to students in the secondary level education. In addition to these articles, education is seen as part of the solution in many of the texts in this issue.

Ecologically sustainable development can also be emphasised in the RDI activities of the universities of applied sciences. Research strategies, cooperation and the level of efficiency are clearly present in the texts by Mishra et al. and Kostia et al. The texts by Hendriksson et al. and Maljamäki provide good examples of local development and innovation projects covering efficient use of resources (SDGs 9, 11 and 12). Kallio & Asikainen and Savela & Keinänen-Toivola present education and development projects promoting ecological sustainability in Russia and Kazakhstan, as well as in southern Africa.

The relationship between sustainable development and digitalisation is complicated. In their article, Salminen & Ruotsalainen combine pedagogical development with reducing the negative environmental effects of digital services by companies. Asad & Andersson outline possibilities to use artificial intelligence in sorting plastic waste.

Climate actions (SDG 13) are very clearly present in the texts of this themed issue. For instance, Kujala & Lindgren cover climate actions from the point of view of making the carbon footprint in sustainable construction and housing smaller. Clean water and sanitation (6) goal is covered by Kääriä et al. in their article describing the collaboration between the city of Turku and the Turku University of Applied Sciences, as well as by Viskari & Kämäri who dismantle the beliefs regarding human-waste-based nutrients in cultivation. Aarrevaara & Viluksela’s article deals with promoting goal 11, sustainable cities and communities by means of education.

Several articles also deal with responsible consumption and production goal (12), which aims at diminishing the ecological footprint by changing ways of consuming and producing goods. Renfors & Ruoho present a training programme where the promoting business is strongly tied to promoting sustainable development. Heikkilä & Lindell cover the same topic in food services.

Responsible consumption and climate actions relate to promoting sustainable development in universities of applied sciences in various ways. Puukko & Tyni describe the starting points on the programme of sustainable development in Lapland University of Applied Sciences. Puurula presents the climate actions at Häme University of Applied Sciences and communicating it. Routaharju and Laasasenaho & Routaharju have calculated practical examples of how universities of applied sciences have diminished their emissions through changes in everyday practices. Haapasalo deals with universities of applied sciences promoting sustainable travelling, and Vuoksi reflects sustainable solutions in common spaces.

In its entirety, this themed issue provides a versatile sample of the work made in the universities of applied sciences in promoting ecologically sustainable development broadmindedly. The texts now published bring us hope and courage that, despite the circumstances, the universities of applied sciences are building a sustainable future.

Asikainen, E., Hellman, S., Parjanen, L., Puputti, M., Raatikainen, S & Schroderus, M. (2017). Unipoli Green—Four Universities. Working Together for Sustainability. In W. Leal Filho, M. Mifsud, C. Shiel & R. Pretorius (Eds.), Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development in Higher Education (pp. 257–273). Springer, Berlin.

Holm, T., Sammalisto, K., Caeiro, S., Rieckmann, M., Dlouhá, J., Wright, T., Ceulemans, K., Benayash, J. & Lozano, R. (2016). Developing sustainability into a golden thread throughout all levels of education. Journal of Cleaner Production 117, (20), 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.01.016

Ministry of Education and Culture. (2020). Education and Culture and its administrative branch. Publications of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Finland 2020:11. http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-263-706-2

Prime Minister’s Office. (n.d.). Sustainable Development. https://kestavakehitys.fi/en/sustainable-development/approaches

Universities of Applied Sciences Act (2014). Translation from Finnish. Universities of Applied Sciences Act 932/2014. Ministry of Education and Culture. https://www.finlex.fi/en/laki/kaannokset/2014/en20140932_20160563.pdf

World Commission on Environment and Development. (1987). Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://archive.org/details/ourcommonfuture00worl

Key words: Agenda2030, education, SDG, sustainable development, RDI, university of applied sciences

Universities of applied sciences building more sustainable world of work?

Sari Niemi, M.Soc.Sc., RDI Specialist, LAB University of Applied Sciences, sari.niemi(at)lab.fi

Environmental concerns, actions against climate change, and a decrease in natural resources need to gain more recognition within the world of work. Universities of applied sciences should be an essential part of the move toward a more ecologically sustainable world of work. However, sustainability development is considered infrequently in curriculums examined in this article. Concentrating on cleantech or environmental studies is a too narrow view. In many fields of work-related soft skills, like an ability to understand and solve social problems caused by environmental problems, could advance ecological sustainability. In addition to this, more multidisciplinary studies and learning environments are needed.

Key words: curriculum, sustainable development, work-related development

Renewing higher education 5.0 – What is it about?

Taru Konst, PhD, Principal Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences, taru.konst(at)turkuamk.fi
Minna Scheinin, Head of Future Learning Design, Turku University of Applied Sciences, minna.scheinin(at)turkuamk.fi

Nowadays the term Education 4.0 is widely discussed. It refers to a concept that makes us rethink learning and education to match the needs of the changing world because the traditional ways of implementing education are not enough. However, education 4.0 quite seldom discusses sustainability crisis, which can represent the biggest challenge and change maker for education in the future. In our approach we explore Education 4.0. from wider viewpoint than it is earlier done; we focus on the vision of future higher education, which aims towards sustainable future and describe the core ideas of this vision.

We argue that not a single educational institution has yet redesigned its pedagogical approach and solutions to the extent that is needed for a sustainable future. It is time to move towards ‘Education 5.0’, which incorporates all the important aims of education 4.0 and interconnects them to a sustainable framework and value basis. Sustainable future requires quick changes in mental models and actions in higher education.

Key words: higher education, education development, sustainable development, climate change, education 5.0


An engineer becomes enthusiastic in an innovation center

Pia Laine, M.Sc. (Food Science), Lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, pia.t.laine(at)metropolia.fi
Riitta Lehtinen, Lic.Tech., Principal Lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, riitta.lehtinen(at)metropolia.fi
Hannu Turunen, M.A., Lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, hannu.turunen(at)metropolia.fi
Antti Tohka, Lic.Tech., innovaatiojohtaja, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, antti.tohka(at)metropolia.fi

Last autumn Metropolia’s students in Myyrmäki got extremely excited about the opening of Urban Farm Lab (UFL) in the Campus. The target of UFL is to develop in-door food production. There were a lot of questions how to get om board. The teachers answered by organizing assignments about this issue into their courses and created different UFL project works. Also, many students made their practical training period in UFL’s companies’ development work. All together more than 200 students carried out their studies in this learning platform in autumn 2019.

Key words: Innovation Center, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Urban Farm Lab


Experts on circular economy are made today

Marketta Virta, M.A., B.Eng., Project Specialist, Turku University of Applied Sciences, marketta.virta(at)turkuamk.fi
Ella Rasimus, Student Assistant, Student of energy and environmental technology, Project Specialist, Turku University of Applied Sciences, ella.rasimus(at)turkuamk.fi
Saara Ahtaanluoma, Student Assistant, Student of energy and environmental technology, Project Specialist, Turku University of Applied Sciences, saara.ahtaanluoma(at)turkuamk.fi

If we want to change the society, education plays an important role. Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) educates future experts in circular economy. The education does not end within the walls of the university, as know-how is also shared with junior high school and high school students through the MyTech collaboration.

The main goal of the MyTech program, maintained by the Technology Industries of Finland, is to get young people interested in mathematics and science education and technology. The program includes a functional study visit to a tech company and a university. TUAS’ learning environment Circular Economy 2.0 is involved in the MyTech program to introduce young people to circular economy and climate change.

Student assistants and trainees of Circular Economy 2.0 guide approximately 5–6 MyTech visits during the semester. In many cases, MyTech teams and their teachers are inspired by the visits so that they want to continue working on the circular economy theme in their own school as well. The visits thus arouse interest in circular economy and the theme of sustainability more broadly.

Key words: circular economy, innovation pedagogy, project learning environment, technology


Sustainability as a driver of impact creation

Amit Kumar Mishra, PhD, Impact Leader – Emerging Technologies and 4IR, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, RDI and Business Operations, amit.india(at)gmail.com
Jaana Seikkula-Leino, PhD, Impact Leader – Future Competencies and Learning, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, RDI and Business Operations, jaana.seikkula-leino(at)tuni.fi
Eeva-Liisa Viskari, PhD, Impact Leader – Sustainability, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, RDI and Business Operations, eeva-liisa.viskari(at)tuni.fi

Key words: sustainability, impact, research, development, university of applied sciences


New research group wants to promote sustainability of future circular bioeconomy society

Silja Kostia, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Principal Lecturer, Ph.D., silja.kostia(at)tuni.fi
Ulla Häggblom, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Principal Lecturer, Dr. Sc. (Tech.), ulla.haggblom(at)tuni.fi
Erkki Kiviniemi, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Senior Lecturer, M.Sc. (Tech.), erkki.kiviniemi(at)tuni.fi
Mikael Lindell, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Senior Lecturer, M.Sc. (Econ.), mikael.lindell(at)tuni.fi
Riitta Vihuri, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Senior Lecturer, M.Sc. (Econ.), riitta.vihuri(at)tuni.fi
Eeva-Liisa Viskari, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Impact Leader, Ph.D., eeva-liisa.viskari(at)tuni.fi

Tampere University of Applied Sciences has established a new circular bioeconomy research group, which has a mandate to promote research, development and innovation activities in sustainable solutions and business. The research group is based on the existing expertise and research activities but wants to step into the next level by improving communication, stakeholder involvement, international partnerships and by involving new industries and challenges.

Key words: bioeconomy, business, circular economy, industry, RDI, sustainability, technology


Industry, tourism, green behavior – a possibility?

Katri Hendriksson, M.Sc. (Eng.), Project Manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, katri.hendriksson(at)lapinamk.fi
Mirva Tapaninen, Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management, Tourism, Project Manager, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, mirva.tapaninen(at)lapinamk.fi
Satu Valli, M.Sc. (Admin.), Lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, satu.valli(at)lapinamk.fi

Ecological and sustainable tourism has been a great subject with tourists. Tourists can nowadays ask sustainability and responsibility where they are travelling and particularly hotels and service providers are now developing their actions. Tourism is a global business and users’ behaviour is changing to become more and more singular travelling than group travelling. Travellers are seeking now more experiences and quality.

The development of industrial tourism in the Sea Lapland region has been sought through the Consepting industrial tourism services -project, which aims to develop the region’s tourism and responsiveness to changing consumer behaviour. The project will unleash the potential of the area for networking of entrepreneurs and operators in the industry.

Key words: circular economy, industry, research and innovation activities, sustainable tourism, tourism, university of applied sciences


Energy efficient snow

Elisa Maljamäki, M.A. (Industrial Design), Project Planner, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, elisa.lahti(at)lapinamk.fi

In early 2020, the weather was the topic of discussion at many coffee breaks. Southern Finland had a historically warm winter, while Lapland had an extremely snowy winter. Snow plays an important role in many sports and industries. In ski resorts, however, most of the snow is man-made artificial snow. To slow down climate change, it is important that we pay attention to energy efficiency and low carbon in all areas. Also in making snow and preserving it. The Arctic Snow project promotes the energy efficiency of snow use in Lapland. The project responds proactively to snow-free autumns and winters.

Key words: , arctic area, energy efficiency, snow


Towards sustainable waste management in Russia and Kazakhstan

Ella Kallio, Project Manager, RDI Services, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Eveliina Asikainen, Lecturer, School of Professional Teacher Education, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Waste management in Russia and Kazakhstan has developed in recent years, but as the standard of living is rising waste management infrastructure needs to be developed and education in the field is needed to ensure sustainable change. The aim of EduEnvi, a three-year Erasmus+ CBHE project (2017–2020), is to build capacity in the partner universities by developing online education in Sustainable Waste Management (SWM). The three-year project has resulted in developing and piloting 20 competence-based master-level on-line courses (60 ects). During the project the Russian and Kazakh teachers have developed broader and more holistic understanding of SMW and built personal and organizational competence in on-line education. TAMK has gained valuable experience in leading challenging multicultural projects and in building sustainable societies globally. This can succeed when we value our partners’ competences, perspectives and cultures during the project.

Key words: Erasmus+, international co-operation capacity building, sustainable development, waste management


Sustainable business in the markets of southern Africa

Nina Savela, M.Pol.Sc., Project Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, nina.savela(at)samk.fi
Minna M. Keinänen-Toivola, PhD, Research Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, minna.keinanen-toivola(at)samk.fi

Due to climate change, Southern African countries are plagued by worsening drought and other extreme weather conditions which threaten the livelihoods and living conditions of the locals. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) has operated in Namibia since 2012 and led various projects in bringing sustainability into local practices. In SAMK’s project implementation, technologies and practices offered through the projects are not considered sufficient as such to improve local situation. They are thus planned to be supported by training and adaptation to the conditions of local societies. Working together with trusted partners has been one of the key success factors in SAMK’s project implementation. For the actors interested in implementing similar projects, mapping of the current networks both in Finland and in the target countries as well as flexibility in the project implementation play a crucial part in successful project realization.

Key words: business, cooperation, energy, Namibia, technology


Students and enterprises getting together in a hackathon

Risto Salminen, M.Sc. (Econ.), Project Specialist, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, risto.salminen(at)karelia.fi
Marja-Liisa Ruotsalainen, M.Sc. (Econ.), Project Specialist, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, marja-liisa.ruotsalainen(at)karelia.fi

Key words: business, energy and environmental engineering, ICT, sustainable digital services


Artificial intelligence for ecological sustainability – New machine learning applications for sorting of plastic waste?

Faizan Asad, M.Sc. (Tech.), Project Researcher, Arcada University of Applied Sciences/Department of Energy and Materials Technology, faizan.asad(at)arcada.fi
Mirja Andersson, D.Sc., Head of Department, Arcada University of Applied Sciences/Department of Energy and Materials Technology, mirja.andersson(at)arcada.fi

The year 2020 has brought great sustainability challenges as the world is facing the pandemics of COVID-19, that has been causing great suffering in term of loss of lives and financial incomes. Artificial intelligence (later AI) is helping to present smart solutions for prevention and diagnosis of this new virus (Alimadadi et al. 2020). However, AI is not going to solve the problem itself, it would need creative and inventive approaches from humans (Hollister 2020). AI is still, after ca. 30 years of existing, an emerging field with great potential to help in globally shared challenges in ecological sustainability such as fighting the climate change, preserving biodiversity and healthy oceans, securing clean water and air, and in being resilient in conditions of extreme weather and disasters (World Economic Forum 2018). Integration of AI / machine learning into systems of plastic recycling, and by that helping the cause of ecological sustainability, could result in innovative and smart solutions too.

Arcada University of Applied Sciences participated during 2014-2016 in a national strategic research program, Material Value Chains (in Finnish Materiaalien Arvovirrat, later ARVI) financed by The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (currently known as Business Finland, previously TEKES) together with nearly 30 organisations including universities, research institutes and companies. The objective of the ARVI research program was to build a mutual understanding of future business opportunities related to recycling of materials, as well as required know-how and abilities for their utilisation. This interdisciplinary research program offered a unique opportunity for Finnish industry and research institutes to carry out long-term strategic research cooperation and launch the circular economy nationally in the field of plastic recycling and waste management (Clic Innovation 2017).

Recycling of plastic waste, even in Finland with well-developed waste management system, would still require more resources (YLE News 2020). To continue our previous applied research work with plastic recycling (Mylläri et al. 2016; Clic Innovation 2017; Andersson et al. 2018; Jönkkäri et al. 2020) as well as our development work with ecological sustainability themes in engineering education (Andersson and Makkonen-Craig 2017), we are launching a new research aim to explore the improvement of sorting processes through suitable applications of AI and machine learning together with collaborating universities and companies. In this article we will briefly introduce this aim by reviewing the current knowledge and status around the topic.

Key words: artificial intelligence, ecological sustainability, machine learning, plastic recycling


The future house is energy-efficient with a small carbon footprint

Mari Kujala, M.Sc. (Tech.), Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, mari.kujala(at)samk.fi
Sanna Lindgren, Project employee, Student of HPAC technology, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, sanna.k.lindgren(at)samk.fi

Four biggest actions impacting to the carbon footprint are housing, eating, moving and using different services and goods (WWF’s webpage). Building the house and energy consumption is included in housing. The planning phase solutions can have an influence on the carbon footprint of the whole life circle and energy consumption of the building.

Satakunta University of Applied Sciences had a two-year initiative for Low Carbon Solutions in Zero Energy Building, Vähä0, which ended in the summer of 2019. The main objective was to generate information about the impact of various building materials and energy options on the energy-efficient construction and the carbon footprint of the building. The study used detached houses in Pori’s 2018 housing fairground as pilot sites.

In the summer of 2020, the new EU-funded KOHISTEN – Towards Carbon Neutral Construction Project in Satakunta will be launched at SAMK. The main objective of the project is to instill the competence of carbon footprint calculations into businesses in the region and to promote energy-efficient construction and housing in Satakunta.

Key words: carbon footprint, carbon handprint, construction technology, energy efficiency


Water protection co-operation between a city and a university

Juha Kääriä, PhD, Manager of Climate Affairs, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Business, juha.kaaria(at)turkuamk.fi
Piia Leskinen, PhD, Research Group Leader, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Business, piia.leskinen(at)turkuamk.fi
Tove Holm, PhD, Coodinator, The Baltic Sea Challenge, the City of Turku, Associate researcher, University of Gävle, tove.holm@turku.fi

The vision of the Baltic Sea Challenge (between the Cities of Turku and Helsinki) is a clean, productive and shared Baltic Sea. In the action plan period 2019–2023, the more precise objectives of the Baltic Sea Challenge continue to be consistent with e.g. the EU’s Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and other relevant strategies in international, national and local level. The goals of the Baltic Sea Challenge have also been considered actively in the strategies of the city-owned companies like Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS). TUAS has actively planned and implemented projects related to water protection together with the City of Turku. Topics of co-operation have included management of nutrients in stormwater and agricultural runoff, actions for reducing hazardous substances in wastewater, biological surveys, monitoring of water quality and making different restoration and protection plans. In this paper we describe some of the fruitful case studies implemented in collaboration between the city and the university. Both argue that the cooperation has been profitable.

Key words: cooperation, Baltic Sea Challenge, Baltic Sea, City of Turku, Turku University of Applied Sciences, water protection


The unbearable sustainability of recycling wastewater sludges

Eeva-Liisa Viskari, PhD, Impact Leader, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eeva-liisa.viskari(at)tuni.fi
Tiiti Kämäri, M.Sc. (Agriculture and Forestry), Part-time teacher, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, tiiti.kamari(at)tuni.fi

Finnish communities produce about 0,7 million tons of sewage sludges containing about 26 % of the phosphorus and 2,4 % of the nitrogen that are used in agriculture annually. Current legislation allows the use of sludge-based fertilizer products in agriculture and research results indicate that the use of them does not pose risk to human or environmental health. There is, however, a strong opposition against the use of sludge-based fertilization for example by the Finnish grain crop buyers, which is based on the potential risk that these products might cause. There is a contradiction between research results and deeply entrenched attitudes. In order to promote sustainable nutrient reuse, objective discussion and awareness raising is needed to avoid overlooking the nutrient potential of different organic fertilizers. Universities and research institutions need to take leading role in this process.

Key words: environmental engineering, fertilization, micropollutants, wastewater, wastewater sludge


Sustainable community – utopia of our time?

Eeva Aarrevaara, DSc(Arch), Principal lecturer, LAB University of Applied Sciences, eeva.aarrevaara(at)lab.fi
Pentti Viluksela, DSc(Tech), Principal lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, pentti.viluksela(at)metropolia.fi

Sustainability of cities and communities has just recently become a major issue considering the impact of the globally spreading COVID-19 pandemia. This was not anticipated when a learning package considering sustainable communities was started to prepare last year. Health issues are not even very clearly articulated in the particular sustainability development goal considering the communities. However, the material aiming to deconstruct main features of sustainable communities opens challenging viewpoints especially when comparing solutions of different international cities. This material was produced to benefit all universities of applied sciences in circular economy education.

Key words: forerunner city, sustainable community, urbanization


Green Entrepreneurs Flourish by Cultivating Business Skills

Sanna-Mari Renfors, PhD, Researching Principal Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, sanna-mari.renfors(at)samk.fi
Jaana Ruoho, M.Sc.(Econ.), Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, jaana.ruoho(at)samk.fi

Green entrepreneurs need skills to respond to consumers’ demand for natural, healthy and ecological products and services and to develop their entrepreneurship in accordance to their own values in a sustainable way. Therefore, an Interreg Central Baltic project was launched aiming at support the growth and competitiveness of green entrepreneurship and green business as emerging sectors. The key skills were identified by interviewing various stakeholders and the identified skills were turned into training programme contents. The new training programme consists of eight modules: green entrepreneurship, green consumerism, value-added product development, consumer communication, supply chain as well as brand and quality management, and exports. It can be concluded that when developing a training programme for green entrepreneurs, it is also crucial to consider skills related to sustainable development and frame the program with sustainability values.

Key words: green entrepreneurship, skills development, sustainable development


Sustainable business in food services

Tuija Heikkilä, M.A., Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, tuija.heikkila(at)tuni.fi
Mikael Lindell, M.Sc. (Econ.), Coach, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, mikael.lindell(at)tuni.fi

The food production is the significant cause of climate effects. Because the logistic pro-cess of the food production is often long and complex, the emissions will be created at se-veral stages of the business. The emissions can be reduced with many different methods. When examining the value chain of the ecological business, one can state that even the small measures can have a big effect on the wholeness.

Tampere University of Applied Sciences has been developing the future food services of Särkänniemi area along in the Sustainable Tourism Hub project with a theme Zero Carbon Food Chains. The general goal of the project is to draw up the sustainability road map to the area of Särkänniemi. Central results from TAMK’s part are examined in the article and also Food Market 2.0 business model is demonstrated.

Key words: business model, food services, sustainability, zero carbon


Footsteps towards sustainable actions in the Lapland University of Appliec Sciences

Saila Puukko, M.Ed., Coordinator of Sustainable Development, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, saila.puukko(at)lapinamk.fi
Sanna Tyni, PhD, Senior Specialist, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, sanna.tyni(at)lapinamk.fi

Sustainable development and circular economy have become major themes globally. Finland has been one of the pioneers, particularly in the field of bio- and circular economy. Educational organisations have played a key role when implementing sustainable development and circular economy know-how to the labour market.

The key strategic goals of Lapland University of Applied Sciences are the intelligent use of natural resources and distance management. The integration of the bio and circular economy into our activities started a conversation of our organisation sustainability level. In 2019 organisation launched the creation of sustainable development action plan.

Elaboration of sustainable development action plan showed that theme is closely linked to education and RDI. Though, from the organisation point of view it was discovered that clear indicators and measures were missing. The first Sustainable Development Program for Lapland UAS was drawn up for the years 2020-2022, and will be updated annually.

Key words: circular economy, education, research and innovation activities, sustainable development, university of applied sciences


Can the universities of applied sciences communicate on their climate action?

Juuso Puurula, Student of Sustainable Development, Häme University of Appliec Sciences, juuso.puurula(at)hamk.fi

Accelerated by the ongoing climate discussion universities of applied sciences have taken measures to reduce their emissions and become more sustainable. But in a research conducted of the climate actions taken by higher education institutes (HEIs), universities seemed to be more open on their work in sustainability. As a result of this informational bias universities seem more willing to take actively part in reducing emissions and becoming sustainable than their counterparts, the universities of applied sciences. Action needs to be taken, so that the role of the universities of applied sciences in climate action is appraised.

Key words: climate action, climate change, communications, higher education institutes, sustainable development


Promoting sustainability by using collaboration tools

Liisa Routaharju, Master of Engineering, Senior Lecturer, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, liisa.routaharju(at)xamk.fi

Online meetings promoted sustainability even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Use of collaboration tools in working life has increased rapidly as it has been realized that online meetings save time and the environment. A simplified calculation reveals that online meetings can help also promote sustainability by reducing travel related emissions.

Key words: collaboration tools, sustainability, online meetings, environmental engineering


COVID-19 reduces the emissions of universities of applied sciences

Kari Laasasenaho, PhD, RDI Specialist, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, kari.laasasenaho(at)seamk.fi
Liisa Routaharju, M.Eng. Lecturer, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, liisa.routaharju(at)xamk.fi

COVID-19 has had a major impact on the everyday life at universities of applied sciences (UAS). The transition to distance learning and work has significantly reduced travel, printouts and physical meetings at UASs. This will inevitably also have an impact on the emissions. For example, there has been a clear reduction in work related travel and printouts at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK) and South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (XAMK). Many UASs have set carbon neutrality targets and the current circumstances provide a setting of considering tools used to solve environmental problems. It is therefore essential to consider how emission reductions can be supported, when the corona crisis is over.

Key words: circular economy, climate change, Covid-19, sustainable development, university of applied sciences


Sustainable ways of travelling – all the way there

Kaija Haapasalo, M.Sc.(Econ.), Lecturer, Project Manager, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, kaija.haapasalo(at)metropolia.fi

The Last Mile project (9/2017–3/2020) brought together citizens, local authorities, universities, and mobility and tourism companies to find smarter and sustainable ways of travelling to workplaces, residential areas and places of interest. New market-driven mobility services were developed and tested to increase the attractiveness of public transport, find smart new ways of travelling within the metropolitan area and to generate business from mobility solutions, cut car use and promote a low-carbon economy. Last Mile identified the mobility needs of different target groups and met them by piloting 19 mobility services which improved the accessibility in and around the Helsinki metropolitan area (Espoo, Helsinki and Vantaa). These included e.g. sea and land transport sharing, bike-rental concepts, audio and digital guided routes, peer-to-peer sea transport rental services, regional mobility and parking solutions. The project involved altogether approx. 200 businesses and organizations. During the project over 40 studies, development projecst and publications were completed.

Key words: business, carsharing, cycling, drivesharing, lastmile, MaaS, mobility, shared economy, smart mobility


Sustainable choices in common spaces require imagination

Anne-Mari Vuoksi, BBA, Project employee, anne-mari.vuoksi(at)xamk.fi

Key words: multifunctional space, recycling, sustainability

Abstracts 1/2020

Editorial: UAS Journal – starting the 10th year of open and responsible publishing activities in higher education

Ilkka Väänänen, Editor-in-chief, UAS Journal, ilkka.vaananen(at)uasjournal.fi

On the very same day of releasing this issue, the 16th of March, the journal of the Finnish universities of applied sciences, UAS Journal, released its first issue in 2011. We are now therefore starting the celebrations of the journal’s 10th anniversary year. The theme for the year will be sustainable development, which is also one of the focus areas for this year chosen by Arene, the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences.

Universities of applied sciences play a key role in Finland’s innovation and learning ecosystems, in which we produce new practical knowledge and expertise for the benefit of the whole of society in cooperation with businesses, government and the third sector. Communications constitutes an important channel for ensuring effectiveness and usability. These communications include multi-channelled and broad-based activities, high-quality publications, and various expert and developer networks. The UAS Journal promotes all these elements, inspiring different university actors to put their open, multidisciplinary RDI activities and expertise on display and building networks both nationally and internationally. The purpose of the journal is to support the dialogue between universities of applied sciences and wider society and to affect a high-impact ‘hat trick’ through cooperation, dialogue, the articles published, and the involvement of expert individuals. The journal also functions as a communal development forum for universities of applied sciences and helps develop our project culture and strengthen our research orientation.

The UAS Journal wants to maintain and develop the professional expertise of the learning ecosystem. Each year the journal publishes around 60 articles, with contributions from nearly a hundred authors. Some articles are viewed thousands of times.

This first issue for the anniversary year is the 38th produced. The UAS Journal was preceded in the 2000s by the Kever and Osaaja journals. In 2011, it became an OA publication which used the Open Journal System platform. The first editors-in-chief were Mervi Friman and Riitta Rissanen. The journal serves as an accessible online publication that operates in line with the principles of transparent and open scientific research. The editorial policy of our journal, which is published four times a year, has remained unchanged. It has expanded to involve international cooperation on special themed issues together with the European association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning, EAPRIL. In addition, we have developed the visual components of the journal and changed the layout to make it clearer and more readable. The goal is to publish articles that are concise and to the point, and to publish more of them. We want to respond to topical issues, and we are always pleased to receive feedback on the journal as well as suggestions for themes and for further development. The success of the UAS Journal depends on us all. We are producing high-quality communications for universities of applied sciences in cooperation with all interested stakeholders. We will soon be taking into use persistent identifiers, URN, for the articles published, and we will be adding practical perspectives into the texts. There are also plans to carry out a reader survey and then use the results to further develop the journal’s user-orientation and production process.

The popularity of the ‘current topics’ themed edition now before you was truly huge. We received a record number of article proposals – 60 in all. The themes for last year’s issues were competence-based learning in universities of applied sciences, digitalisation and the new role of data management, artificial intelligence, and creative sectors and innovation activities. For this issue, we openly invited people to send whatever kinds of articles on topical issues, on the diverse activities and roles of universities of applied sciences in business cooperation, and on RDI activities. We were not able, unfortunately, to publish in this issue all of the articles received. Among other topics, these 22 published articles examine the ways in which universities of applied sciences develop cooperative activities and services that promote both cooperation with businesses and industry and also permanent service structures and cooperation structures created to support communities and teaching.

This 10th anniversary issue presents in a diverse way topical issues relating to the different activities of universities of applied sciences, such as the development of pedagogy and guidance, cooperation with employers, development of services, and the opportunities for RDI activities and work-based learning. Many thanks to all the contributing authors and to the theme issue editor Johanna Wartio from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences for producing the content for this issue! You have not only written the articles but have also provided a large and diverse display of the strong expertise of Finnish universities of applied sciences and their important role in applied research and practical RDI activities. Together we build responsibly for the future!

I hope you all enjoy and get inspired by the articles in this issue and throughout the UAS Journal’s 10th anniversary year!

Ilkka Väänänen

Research and development is an opportunity to the continuous learner

Anu Sipilä, MBA, Vocational Teacher, Coordinator in learning collaboration & Master Study Guidance, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences,  anu.sipila(at)haaga-helia.fi
Marianne Wegmüller, M.Sc. (Econ.), RDI communications, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, marianne.wegmuller(at)haaga-helia.fi

Lifelong learning is a concept largely present in discussions in our society. New practices for continuous learning are developed to benefit both the employee and the employer.

Research and development activities at universities of applied sciences aim at impactful solutions in cooperation with partners, both locally and globally. R&D projects offer the involved employees a chance to step into a new framework for a set time and bring back the actual outcome, but also new perspectives, contacts, thoughts and opportunities of various kinds.

Project work offers the lifelong learner, the employee, a diverse and challenging platform for learning and development. Knowledge is updated, expertise is taken further, enthusiasm and engagement are created and the employee is taken outside the comfort zone. Project work is lean and agile, which is the core of lifelong learning.

R&D projects make a structured platform for plunging into the unknown and learning continuously – thus taking change a bit further. Universities of applied sciences have a long history applying R&D to the benefit in the world of work, each with their own core competencies in focus. We are also experts of pedagogy and learning. We still need to develop ways to match the fast rhythm of business life.

Key words: change, continuos learning, flexibility, RDI activities


Hopes to disseminate results from RDI projects in a more effective way 

Kaisa Jaalama, M.Sc. (Admin.), Doctoral Student, Aalto University, kaisa.jaalama(at)aalto.fi
Juhani Talvela, Lic. Tech., IPR Expert, Aalto University, juhani.talvela(at)aalto.fi
Hannu Hyyppä, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Professor, Adjunct Professor, Aalto University, hannu.hyyppa(at)aalto.fi
Marika Ahlavuo, Master of Culture and Arts (Cultural Producer), Science Producer, Project Manager, Aalto University, marika.ahlavuo(at)aalto.fi
Hanna Lahtinen, PhD, Director, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, hanna.lahtinen(at)laurea.fi
Anne Kärki, PhD (Physiotherapy), Principal Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, anne.karki(at)samk.fi
Seliina Päällysaho, PhD, M.Sc. (Econ.), Research Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, seliina.paallysaho(at)seamk.fi

Open RDI activities, such as practices of and attitudes towards openness in RDI, were explored in the Open RDI, learning, and the innovation ecosystem of Finnish UAS project in 2018. The web survey was addressed to the RDI staff, teachers and other experts working at a Finnish university of applied sciences (UAS). Based on the results, UAS experts have a positive attitude towards openness in RDI activities. Additional support is needed in some areas of open RDI, such as data management and research infrastructures. The motivation to publish and share RDI results is high, however, improving the availability of RDI results and conditions for publishing should be further enhanced.

Key words: competences, expertise, open RDI, universities of applied sciences, web questionnaire


Open RDI in the universities of applied sciences – views from staff members 

 Juhani Talvela, Lic. Tech., IPR Expert, Aalto University, juhani.talvela(at)aalto.fi
Kaisa Jaalama, M.Sc. (Admin.), Doctoral Student, Aalto University, kaisa.jaalama(at)aalto.fi
Hannu Hyyppä, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Professor, Adjunct Professor, Aalto University, hannu.hyyppa(at)aalto.fi
Marika Ahlavuo, Master of Culture and Arts (Cultural Producer), Science Producer, Project Manager, Aalto University, marika.ahlavuo(at)aalto.fi
Seliina Päällysaho, PhD, M.Sc. (Econ.), Research Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, seliina.paallysaho(at)seamk.fi
Hanna Lahtinen, PhD, Director, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, hanna.lahtinen(at)laurea.fi
Anne Kärki, PhD (Physiotherapy), Principal Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, anne.karki(at)samk.fi

Views and considerations towards Open RDI are collected and analyzed among the staff members in the Finnish universities of applied sciences by four open-ended questions. Roles of teaching and RDI work and the integration of students into RDI projects gain the most responses. Best practices as well as greatest challenges were reported by the respondents. A number of organizational and management related problems are yet to be solved. A need for trust was emphasized indicating possible misconception in the requirements of open RDI.  

Key words: ammattikorkeakoulu, avoin tutkimus, TKI, näkemykset, asiantuntijat, verkkokysely 


Acquiring skills through the RDI Expert Coaching Programme

Mari Salminen-Tuomaala, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Health and Social Sector
Juha Hautanen, M.Sc. (Tech.), Head Of Department, Teacher Education College, Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences
Sirkka Saranki-Rantakokko, HTT, Principal Lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, RDI Services, Pohjoinen hyvinvointi ja palvelut

Effective project management and project work skills are important requirements in higher education and various work place settings. This article is based on one example of the recent efforts to strengthen the research and development profile of the Universities of Applied Sciences: the national Research and Development (R&D) Expert Coaching Programme, launched in 2014 by a pilot funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The programme aimed at improved effectiveness by increasing networking with actors in innovative environments and by developing more practical and user-oriented operational models. Further aims were to improve participants’ competence in the following areas: project planning and implementation; research, development and innovation; management and leadership; commercialisation of research results; targeting customers, and integration of the results into teaching. By means of simulation-based learning it’s possible to learn a lot about project management and it’s challenges.

Key words: coaching, development, innovation, multidisciplinarity, research, simulation


RDI creates a Master

Anu Sipilä, MBA, Vocational Teacher, Coordinator in learning collaboration & Master Study Guidance, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences,  anu.sipila(at)haaga-helia.fi
Jarmo Ritalahti, Lic.Phil., Principal Lecturer, Head of Master Degree Programme in Aviation and Tourism Business, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, jarmo.ritalahti(at)haaga-helia.fi

To integrate Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) activities to education activities in Finnish universities of applied sciences is a topical theme. The integration was one of the focuses when Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences started to develop its Master Degree Programmes. The process that is now in its piloting phase includes a continuous collaboration with university’s core competence groups’ project managers and other actors. Project actors bring in themes and topics that are presented to master curriculum’s specialization teachers to include them to various courses serving similar aims than the projects.

Key words: development, master curriculum, RDI


Is the future already here – the robotics of many possibilities challenges the R&D activities in the universities of applied sciences

Tapio Mäkelä, Lic. Admin., Specialist, Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, School of Health and Social Studies, tapio.makela(at)jamk.fi

Automation and robotisation have already impacted and will continue to impact business organizations and citizens personal life. The implementation of robotics affects personnel motivation, skills needs and working methods. These impacts can be either positive or negative, depending on how business development efforts and the implementation process are handled. Challenges are unavoidable if a company’s change projects are carried out in a technology-driven manner, without acknowledging people’s human needs, such as the need for a feeling of security, stability and opportunities to exert influence. These problems, a lack of information and knowledge capital, and a lack of experience in the implementation, utilisation and impacts of robotics have slowed down process automation in business organizations.

Key words: challenges for development, development in the world of work, robotics


Xamk in support of the authorities in preparing against oil damage

Justiina Halonen, Research Manager, Master Mariner (B.Sc.), justiina.halonen(at)xamk.fi

Ministry of the Interior’s national risk assessment recognizes the risk of a marine oil spill incident as one threat scenario and disruption, the likelihood of which is rising. The risk results from the increasing vessel traffic and is affected by the increasingly frequent extreme weather events and unforeseen vulnerabilities the rapid development of ship technology poses. In parallel with preventive safety measures, capability to deal with the consequences of marine incidents is needed. According to environmental authorities, an oil spill in the Gulf of Finland could rise up to 30 000 tonnes. An oil spill of that volume could generate 200 000–500 000 tonnes of oiled wastes as the oil contaminates water, soil and vegetation. Responding to such an incident might take several years. The need for practical response guidelines initiated a joint development process with the response authorities and UAS. As a result, an oil spill response model was created. Today, the model is an integral part of national oil spill preparedness, and collaboration continues to further improve the response capability.

Key words: oil spill response, environmental damage, emergency preparedness, seafaring, maritime safety


 Xamk Ambulance simulator connects studies and RDI

Antti Jakonen, ensihoitaja YAMK, väitöskirjatutkija, projektipäällikkö, Kaakkois-Suomen ammattikorkeakoulu, Helsingin yliopisto, antti.jakonen(at)xamk.fi
Jarno Hämäläinen, sosiaali- ja terveysalan YAMK, ensihoidon lehtori, Kaakkois-Suomen ammattikorkeakoulu, jarno.hamalainen(at)xamk.fi
Hilla Sumanen, dosentti, FT, ensihoidon yliopettaja, Kaakkois-Suomen ammattikorkeakoulu, Helsingin yliopisto, hilla.sumanen(at)xamk.fi

The ambulance simulator, located at the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) Kotka campus, is a unique learning environment for emergency care. On top of that, it offers a great platform for researching, developing and training safety-critical emergency response driving (ERD). Xamk’s ambulance simulator combines research, development, innovation (RDI) and teaching of emergency care. Research and development done in Towards Safer Emergency Response Driving I & II –RDI-projects have shown that there are crew-related risks in ERD and a need for development to make ERD safer. Through pilot projects done in Towards Safer Emergency Response Driving I –RDI-project, educational course for safer ERD was developed. Xamk’s ambulance simulator is utilized efficiently during the course. The overall aim of the Xamk ambulance simulator is to help develop ERD safer.

Keywords: ambulance, emergency vehicle, health education, prehospital care, risk factor, safety, social education, training


Higher education institutions and the Act on data management in public administration

Kari Kataja, M.Sc. (Eng.), M.A., M.Sc. (Econ.), M.Ed., Information Systems Manager, Data Protection Officer, Chair of the network of DPOs in universities, Häme University of Applied Sciences, kari.kataja(at)hamk.fi
Jaakko Riihimaa, PhD, IT General Secretary, AAPA (Human network of CIOs in Universities of Applied Sciences), jaakko.riihimaa(at)haaga-helia.fi
Walter Rydman, M.A., Coordinator, CSC – IT Center for Science, walter.rydman(at)csc.fi

Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences have had to react vigorously as several laws that have significant impact on data management have recently come into force. The latest law was the act on data management in public administration at the beginning of 2020.

The law has strong incentives for the cooperation between authorities. Required changes can be difficult, so it is helpful to think possible benefits higher education institutions can gain from the new law. At the end of 2019 AAPA (The Network of CIO’s in Finnish UAS’s), FUCIO (CIO-network in universities) and CSC – IT Center for Science explored collaboration ideas together. Based on these results, we will continue to work together in late spring 2020.

Key words: Act on data management, data management, data protection


Experiences on the internationalisation of Finnish online marketing businesses 

Marko Mäki, Lic. Econ., Principal Lecturer, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, marko.maki(at)haaga-helia.fi
Tuija Toivola, D.Sc. (Econ.), R&D Manager, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, tuija.toivola(at)haaga-helia.fi 

The aim of this paper is to contribute to the expansion of the eCommerce (eCom) operations of small and medium sized companies (SMEs) in Finland to global markets. In addition, one important goal was to acquire knowledge and support participants’ learning of fast growing online and digital business models. The conclusions of this study underlined the importance of effective digital marketing activities including knowledge on online customer journey and capability building for global eCom operations. Additionally, small eCom companies strongly highlighted the importance of learning from each other’s experiences and peer to peer support.  

Key words: eCommerce, digital business models, international business, SMEs


Creative Entrepreneurship in the Arctic

(the original article in English)

Anzelika Krastina, MEd., Senior Lecturer, International coordinator, School of Northern Well-being and Services, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Key words: Arctic region, creative entrepreneurship, entrepreneurship education


Blueprint for a training program on business opportunity recognition in SDGs

(the original article in English)

Minna-Maari Harmaala, D.Sc.(Econ.), Principal Lecturer, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland; minna-maari.harmaala(at)haaga-helia.fi
Hanna Harilainen, D.Sc.(Econ.), Head of Degree Programme, Principal Lecturer, International Business, Master’s Degree Programme in Supply Chain Management (Sourcing), Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland; hanna.harilainen(at)metropolia.fi

Key words: competence-based learning objectives, opportunity recognition, SDGs, sustainable business models


More sustainability and responsibility into universities of applied sciences

Kari Laasasenaho, PhD, RDI Specialist, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, kari.laasasenaho(at)seamk.fi
Nina Kokkonen, MM, Lecturer, Häme University of Applied Sciences, nina.kokkonen(at)hamk.fi
Sanna Tyni, PhD, Specialist, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, sanna.tyni(at)lapinamk.fi
Petri Lempinen, PhD, Executive Director, The Rectors’ Conference of the Universities of Applied Sciences (Arene ry), petri.lempinen(at)arene.fi

Sustainable development has long been a part of Finnish university of applied sciences, but environmental issues such as climate change have increased the need to support sustainable practices in teaching, supervising and on campus more than before. Higher education institutions are responsible for promoting sustainable development in their own activities and support sustainable thinking of students.

Circular Economy Competence to Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) project (funded by Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture) and The Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences Arene have start to discuss about the need to promote sustainable development and circular economy at UAS’s. One of the aim is to update the sustainable development programs of UAS’s. Arene is going to establish a Sustainability and Responsibility group and sustainable development is raised as one of the important theme in the Arene’s 2020 Action Plan. The project and Arene are actively encouraging each UAS to implement concrete actions for sustainable development.

Key words: circular economy, education, research and innovation activities, sustainable development, university of applied sciences


Students from SAMK solving challenges in energy efficiency

Teija Järvenpää, B.Sc. (Eng.), Project Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, teija.jarvenpaa(at)samk.fi
Minna M. Keinänen-Toivola, PhD, Research Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, minna.keinanen-toivola(at)samk.fi

The environmental regulations related to climate change are increasing as well as the requirements for energy efficiency in ports and shipyards. The three-year (2018–2020) SataMari project, funded by ERDF, is searching for practical solutions to improve the energy efficiency of the maritime cluster in Satakunta region. Several students from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences have been involved in the SataMari project. The project team acts as a link between students, teachers and companies. Experiences have been good: students like the work-based learning, companies value impartial assessments and the work done for their development areas. The project gains additional value while students can provide deeper reviews on single subjects which the project team would not have resources to do. The important result of the SataMari project is a decision-making tool that serves as a data bank to improve energy efficiency and increase renewable energy use in the maritime cluster.

Key words: energy efficiency, energy and environmental engineering, maritime cluster, project, thesis


Up with cooperation and collaboration

Mikko Matveinen, Project Manager, M.A. (Arts), Karelia University of Applied Sciences, mikko.matveinen(at)karelia.fi

Karelia University of Applied Sciences (Karelia UAS) has been focusing to development of the wood construction sector as strategic choice since 2014. The development work has been done systematically part of the different research and development projects (RDI) under the degree programme of construction engineering.

Already six years later there are concrete results visible including Finland’s tallest wooden apartment building Joensuu Lighthouse. Among other development activities Karelia UAS has been doing research part of the construction process which aims to produce information about building process, building physic and behaviour of structures to be used in other similar buildings. Therefore, Lighthouse also works as a platform for development of the wood construction sector.

Universities has also a key role when tackling the local and global challenges. Taking these drivers in to account when planning the future activities requires strategic choices. Climate change will be one of the key drivers which is affecting to the construction sector in the near future. Therefore, the need for environmentally friendly materials in construction is evident. Article tells about the strategic foresight, commitment and stakeholder cooperation part of the RDI-operations.


Core competences in the education of an Advanced Practitioner (Master)

Virpi Sulosaari, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences, virpi.sulosaari(at)turkuamk.fi
Minna Elomaa-Krapu, D.H.S., Director, Innovations, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, minna.elomaa-krapu(at)metropolia.fi
Hanna Hopia, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, hanna.hopia(at)jamk.fi
Kirsi Koivunen, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, kirsi.koivunen(at)oamk.fi
Rauni Leinonen, PhD (Ed.), M.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, rauni.leinonen(at)kamk.fi
Eeva Liikanen, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, eeva.liikanen(at)tuni.fi
Ulla Penttinen, Lic.Phil., Principal Lecturer, Novia University of Applied Sciences, Vaasa, ulla.penttinen(at)novia.fi
Outi Törmänen, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, outi.tormanen(at)lapinamk.fi
Leena Walta, Principal Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences, leena.walta(at)turkuamk.fi
Johanna Heikkilä, D.H.S., Specialist, Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, johanna.heikkila(at)jamk.fi 

The changes in Finnish health care have led to the development of advanced roles for healthcare professionals. An Advanced Practitioner is a professional who has acquired an expert knowledge base, complex decision-making skills and clinical competencies for extended practice which is shaped by the context and/or country in which s/he is practicing (ICN APN/NP network, n.d.). Core competencies and master’s level education must underpin the preparation to the advanced roles. This competence framework is intended to guide the development of advanced practice education in Finland. Thirteen universities of applied sciences have participated in the process of identifying the core competences we all can share. The framework provides a tool in planning AP education and supports collaboration between the universities of applied sciences. The core competencies are: 1) research and service development, 2) patient education and staff development 2) professional leadership, and 4) clinical expertise and direct clinical care.

Key words: advanced practice, advanced practitioner, clinical expertise, master in health care education


Sparking innovation in an international bioeconomy community

Anna Aalto, Project Manager, M.Sc. (Econ.), Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, anna.aalto(at)jamk.fi
Diana Pitkänen, Specialist, B.A. (Industrial and Product Design), Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, diana.pitkanen(at)jamk.fi

Biobord is an open virtual innovation hub for connecting bioeconomy developers that offers tools for managing the project lifecycle, network building and management, interactive online capacity building, matchmaking and connecting with innovation support services. Biobord is developed by JAMK University of Applied Sciences in a partnership of four regions across Baltic Sea, Central Finland, Inland (Norway), Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship (Poland) and Vidzeme (Latvia).

Biobord is developed in an iterative service design process that has reached the piloting phase. During the piloting phase, we are testing Biobord with different user groups and service cases. With regional and international pilot cases, the partnership is developing and scaling up the platform and its operational model with the feedback and experiences of users. The development and piloting is supported by the ‘Rural RDI Milieus in transition towards smart bioeconomy clusters and innovation ecosystems’ – project (RDI2CluB).

Key words: bioeconomy, digital platform, innovation ecosystem, networks, piloting, service design, user-centered design


Regional cooperation model for encouraging entrepreneurial competences 

Anneli Manninen, M.Sc. (Tech.), M.Ed., Project Manager, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, anneli.manninen(at)laurea.fi
Petri Graeffe, B.Sc. (Pol.), Managing Director, Uudenmaan Yrittäjät ry (a regional organization of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises), petri.graeffe(at)yrittajat.fi

Laurea University of Applied Science’s pedagogical approach is called Learning by Development (LbD). It means that learning takes place as much as possible in working life context and development projects. However, although living labs deliver all learning through work-related projects, majority of the students might obtain only limited experience of developing with companies. In Radar project, we created a new action model that brings small and medium sized companies in contact with the University of Applied Sciences and its students. The development activities are realized in cooperation with the regional Development Companies and entrepreneurial organizations that operate on company interface and are thus able to identify suitable development needs for thesis and student projects. Thus, students are offered a chance to learn entrepreneurship in practise (Raij 2014). The professionals coaching the enterprises learn in the interaction as well.


Stakeholder cooperation and anticipation in Oulu UAS

Sari Ahvenlampi, Quality Manager, M.A., Oulu University of Applied Sciences, sari.ahvenlampi(at)oamk.fi
Ismo Kinnunen, Development Manager, PhD, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, ismo.kinnunen(at)oamk.fi

In the year 2019 we surveyed the anticipation of education at Oulu University of Applied Sciences (Oulu UAS). The starting point was exploring how educational departments anticipate future educational needs. We surveyed how department practices anticipation by interviewing our staff and then deepened our perspective with a questionnaire. There are three main ways to anticipate at Oulu UAS:

– participating and monitoring the development of the field of education
– through stakeholder cooperation
– through surveys and analyzes.

In stakeholder cooperation the main anticipation parts are interaction, discussions and meetings with partners which were strongly highlighted in every educational department. The second important area are feedbacks, surveys and researches. The third part of stakeholder cooperation are projects. Stakeholder cooperation is been developed according to partnership agreements which provides companies direct links to Oulu UAS and engage companies into long-term cooperation.

Key words: anticipation of education, development work, field of education, stakeholder cooperation


Strengthening clients’ skills towards the world of work

Helena Kangastie, M.H.S., Specialist (RDI and Learning), Lapland University of Applied Sciences, helena.kangastie(at)lapinamk.fi
Jonna Löf, M.Ed., Guidance Counsellor, Senior Advisor, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, jonna.lof(at)lapinamk.fi

Lapland has a common strategy for information, counselling and guidance (ICG) that defines common activities in the Lapland region. The strategy is committed to providing customers with low-threshold ICG services expertly and with partnership in a professional and collaborative manner. In addition, we support our clients the make choices for their individual career paths and to strengthen their skills.

The universities of Lapland have been actively developing guidance for years.  This article describes in a general way the development of the ICG work and, in particular, the improvement of the strength-based future guidance in the Lapland UAS. At the moment, we are implementing the project VAHTO – Developing Strength Based Future Guidance. The aim of the project is to enhance the career planning of university students in order to support their transition to the world of work and to develop practices and methods that promote the identification of their individual strengths.

Key words: future and strength baced counselling, university of applied sciences, world of work

Is Finland a land of thousands of forgotten projects? 

Katri Halonen,  Dr.Soc.Sc., Lic.Phil., Principal Lecturer in Culture Production, Project Manager in Osuma – osallistamalla osaamista coordination project, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, katri.halonen(at)metropolia.fi

During the past six years, almost 500 European Social Fund funded projects have been managed by universities of applied sciences. Thousands of expert working hours have been allocated to implement innovative development processes in the society. This article asks what happens when the project ends. It suggests a four-step method for effective valorization running from project planning to implementation and the life of the project after the funding has ended. The four-step results valorization method emphasizes communication, variating actions with different actors, mainstreaming the results to practitioners and knowledge ecosystem and consolidating the findings to strategies of existing infrastructures.

Key words: European funding, project, valorization

Abstracts 4/2019

Editorial: Creative Integrations Lead to Innovations

Petteri Ikonen, Doctor of Arts, Dean and Director in the School of Business and Culture, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences – Xamk

The cultural and creative sectors are among the powerhouses of European economic growth. In the EU, there are five times more people employed in these sectors than in the data communications sector. These sectors also interest young people: one fifth of employees are under 30. Furthermore, higher education plays an important role in the employment of cultural sector students.

The paradigm for value creation in creative sectors is the logic of the generation of immaterial value. It is no longer a question of labour-intensive processing industries and economic growth based on corporation tax revenue, but rather creative expertise which, as human capital, enables the development of new products and services and the management of the economic rights associated with them. Understanding of creative expertise and processes and the leadership of these serve to strengthen the capacity for renewal and innovation in other sectors as well.

The future of creative sectors is more and more dependent on broad cooperation both between different creative fields and with other sectors as well. An important skill is networking expertise, which includes the development and leadership of networks as well as an understanding of the common ethos of creativity and technology. Network operations make use of time- and place-independent multiculturalism and multi-competencies while simultaneously enriching local culture and entrepreneurship.

Value networks are platforms which people and groups join based not on sector-specific expertise but rather on value-based similarities and goals. A requirement for the development of creative sector business activities is an understanding of both the new kind of innovative thinking and activity generated in the new value networks and also the significance of the intersection of new competence combinations for innovation and the renewing economy.

By taking hold of new kinds of value network models, businesses and communities take a leap forward into the following phase, in which the value network operating models are identified and networks of networks can be developed and led. This is a question of entire ecosystems which are composed of businesses, funders, customers, decision-makers and research organisations that interact and dynamically affect each other. The shared operating platform of creative integration enables the value-based construction of networks which are led with professional expertise and a strong global and future-orientated perspective. The importance of creative, communal and motivating leadership increases, and the significance of values and moral leadership is emphasised.

Agility and the productive use of differences strengthen businesses’ competitiveness, and at the same time their growth is based on combining forces through networks. An individual creative sector business develops innovations within the ecosystem, but also develops a number of drafts and prototypes of which only some turn out to be relevant for the business itself. This overproduction is one of the value network’s resources, which serves to energise all those involved towards the development of new services, artworks and products.

These kinds of interactive hubs can lead to the birth of multinational giants, but also to hundreds of smaller businesses and organisations outside of the growth centres. It is about crowd-sourcing expertise – value networks enable businesses to grow and access international markets.

The third duty of universities of applied sciences, regional development, has been viewed as relating only to having an impact on a geographically restricted area. In the new value creation paradigm, the local and the global are strongly connected. The local offers expertise in personalisation, uniqueness and advanced regional user understanding. The global offers operators a scalable and multi-value competency spectrum through which the world is open to the multi-value development of art, technology and innovation. It is no longer only about the responsible development of one particular geographical region, but also about the creation of a new operating culture and a new stage of economic and social well-being in a glocal operating environment.


Science and Art Intersecting

Katri Halonen, PhD, Phil.Lic., Principal Lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, katri.halonen(at)metropolia.fi
Silja Suntola, B.M., M.Mus., South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences – Xamk, silja.suntola(at)xamk.fi

This article is based on an interview with Tuomo Suntola (PhD in electron physics, 1971). The aim was to take some distance from the traditional view points from the arts and cultural sector, as science can and should behold the same elements of creativity and innovation as the arts and cultural sectors. Dr. Suntola achieved the Millenium Technology Prize 2018 that highlights the extensive impact of science and innovation on the well-being of society. Now Suntola talks about the connections between arts and sciences. His main messages include holistic thinking, dealing with practical issues as well as the importance of understanding the real needs for new solutions and innovations. And how he sees the role of art-based competencies in this equation.

Key words: art, science, creativity, multidisciplinary


Creativity as a Civic Skill

Elisa Lahti, M.A. (Art), coordinator, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, elisa.lahti(at)lapinamk.fi

Creativity is often seen as an attribute of a particularly talented, creative person. Instead of merging this feature to selected individuals, we should emphasize creativity’s collective nature and the potential everyone has to develop creativity in itself. We will need creative solutions from people on all fields of life if we want to have a sustainable future for all. We cannot just leave the burden of future to the few particularly talented, creative individuals.

Key words: creativity, creative thinking, future making


Innovations are Born of Cooperation Between Various Fields

Kari-Pekka Heikkinen, Dr.Sc., Oulu University of Applied Sciences, kari-pekka.heikkinen(at)oamk.fi

New learning environments develop the T-shaped skills for knowledge workers. An innovative and interdisciplinary learning environment is full of opportunities and challenges for learning, as it requires creative and executive activity from the group. In such an environment, interdisciplinary interaction and T-shaped skills are a prerequisite for learning. Utilising the traits of creative personalities should be ensured as part of an interdisciplinary group’s innovation activity and crossing its boundaries. In addition, validating and coaching the group interaction should be a conscious activity as well as part of the learning assessment.

Key words: boundary crossing, innovation activity, interdisciplinary, knowledge worker, T-shaped skills


3D and Virtual Environments for Theatre Audience – Experiences on Multidisciplinary Pilots

Juho-Pekka Virtanen, M.F.A., Doctoral Student, Aalto University, The Research Institute of Modeling and Measuring for the Built Environment (MeMo) & NLS Finnish Geospatial Research Institute FGI, juho-pekka.virtanen(at)aalto.fi
Marika Ahlavuo, Science Producer, Cultural Producer, MeMo, marika.ahlavuo(at)aalto.fi
Matti Kurkela,  Lic.Tech., M.A., Studio Manager, Aalto University, MeMo, matti.kurkela(at)aalto.fi
Hannu Handolin, Bachelor of Design, 3D artist, Aalto University, MeMo, hannu.handolin(at)aalto.fi
Kaisa Jaalama, Doctoral Student, M.Sc. (Admin.), Aalto University, MeMo, kaisa.jaalama(at)aalto.fi
Hilkka Hyttinen, Director, Jyväskylä City Theatre, hilkka.hyttinen(at)jyvaskyla.fi
Hannu Hyyppä, Professor, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Adjunct Professor, Aalto University, MeMo & NLS Finnish Geospatial Research Institute FGI, hannu.hyyppa(at)aalto.fi

Smartphones and tablet computers have become everyday items. These devices are also a common channel for a growing share of media content. Digitalisation enables the distribution of culture services for new target groups. In addition, the technology shift has brought new tools, like 360° cameras, for capturing the environment and events. These have already been widely tested for documenting concerts and other live events. The utilisation of developing tools in a multidisciplinary cooperation in creative industries requires having suitable equipment, proper working methods and know-how. “The Virtual Adventure to the World of Theatre” project piloted several innovative digital productions in theatre, leveraging multidisciplinary cooperation. These pilot productions were novel in Finland.

Key words: 3D, culture, experiment, technology, theatre


Creating Art with the Help of Technology

Hanna Nygren, M.Ed., Project Researcher, Koulutuksen tutkimuslaitos, University of Jyväskylä, hanna.nygren(at)jyu.fi
Heidi Piili, Dr.Sc., Docent, Laboratory of Laser Materials Processing, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, LUT School of Energy Systems, LUT University, heidi.piili(at)lut.fi
Marika Hirvimäki, M.Sc., Project Researcher, LUT School of Energy Systems, LUT University, marika.hirvimaki@lut.fi
Eija Mustonen, M.A. (Art and Design), Degree Programme Manager, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences, eija.mustonen(at)saimia.fi
Maarit Virolainen, PhD, Post-doctoral Researcher, Koulutuksen tutkimuslaitos, University of Jyväskylä, maarit.ha.virolainen(at)jyu.fi

The article reviews experiences gained in the LARES project. In the project, the research group of laser materials processing of LUT University, the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences’ departments for business administration and fine arts, and six enterprises collaborated to learn from artists’ cultural understanding for the enhancement of a company’s value creation and meaning-making of their products and services. From the technological point of view, the target was to familiarize artists with laser processing so that they could utilize it in their creation of new objects.

During the project seven artists had the opportunity to utilize 2D and 3D modelling and additive manufacturing (known also as 3D printing) and laser processing for cutting, welding, marking, coating and bending for materials such as metal, wood, plastics, stones, textiles, leather, acrylic or ceramics. For the research group, the project enabled experimenting with new materials and processes. In the article, the teachers Eija Mustonen (UAS) and Marika Hirvimäki (LUT) are interviewed considering their experiences from the project, from today’s perspective.

Key words: 3D modelling, laser technology, technology, visual arts


Utilization of Gaming Competence in Smoking Prevention

Marja-Leena Kauronen, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Head of the Health Promotion Programme, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences – Xamk, marja-leena.kauronen(at)xamk.fi
Kirsi Purhonen, Community Educator (Master’s degree), Project Manager, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences – Xamk, kirsi.purhonen(at)xamk.fi

The Versus project at the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences brought together Game Design and Health Promotion. The story of the game addressed risk factors associated with smoking, supported adolescents’ critical thinking and influenced their attitudes. The development of the game was based on the research of picture-based recognition of smokers.

The game includes questions about smoking and the players were allowed change their answers at the end of the game. Non-smokers’ awareness about the critical thinking of smoking increased along the game. Adolescents involved in developing the game. Combining gamification with smoking prevention was a meaningful method.

Key words: adolescents, game designer, health promotion, prevention, smoking


Creative Steps – From Idea to Art Production

Anitra Arkko-Saukkonen, M.A. (Arts), Senior Lecturer in Arts, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, anitra.arkko-saukkonen(at)lapinamk.fi

Work-related skills, brainstorming and the ability to innovate are essential for creative professionals as well as for visual artists. The aim of the students of fine arts at Lapland UAS is to deepen their skills in artistic work through their own experimental digital art production at the end of their studies. The art education programme solved the challenge of creating a new art production and started to use the Creative Steps ART model as a design tool and learning method. The approach includes several tools for promoting ideas. Steps are used to guide creative thinking, brainstorming and project promotion. After trying out the Creative Steps model, we wanted to hear the students’ experiences and develop the model through co-design. Creative Steps redesign model has evolved and is being streamlined from ten steps to seven. During the studies, it is important to be able to test innovation models and development methods from which you can choose the most appropriate tools for your future use.

Key words: art project, Creative Steps, Creative Steps ART, ideation, innovation, service design, visual arts


To Other Spaces – Both Literally and Figuratively

Minna Hautio, M.A., Senior Lecturer, Humak University of Applied Sciences, minna.hautio(at)humak.fi

Today the audience development programmes of museums encompass a broad range of activities and target groups. A recent experiment in developing this field is currently being carried out by Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova Museum, The Museum of Technology, Humak University of Applied Sciences and Junior Achievement Finland. The idea was based around using museums as sources for innovation. To test and develop the idea, think tanks and innovation courses were arranged for university students. Learning to innovate in museums combines formal and informal ways of learning. The key factor is to facilitate innovative thinking as much as possible by informal learning and help it develop into an innovation by providing a formal structure to support it. During the process, students were exposed to several artistic and thematic interventions in the museums. This, and the aesthetic and relaxing atmosphere of the museum, helped them distance themselves from the boundaries of the more ordinary thinking created by classroom setting and become more creative. Feedback was overall positive and the results show that museums can, indeed, be useful places for boosting innovative thinking.

Key word: culture production, innovation education, learning environments, museums


A Leap to Something New Requires Openmindedness

Pia Jääskeläinen, M.Sc. (Econ.), Senior Lecturer in Digital Marketing, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, pia.m.jaaskelainen(at)xamk.fi

Holistic wellbeing, balanced life management and measuring physical exercises and recovery are major wellbeing trends. In order to address the challenges of the future world of work, educational institutions and lecturers must offer the students education in an innovative and unprejudiced manner already during the studies. This often requires lecturers to step out of their comfort zone. South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences offers a new degree program in Wellbeing Management, which incorporates a tailored curriculum based on three different sectors; business, information technology and wellbeing and healthcare. In addition, the research and development center Active Life Lab and various projects play key roles in the program. The degree program is executed in an innovative, experimental and entrepreneurial manner. Lecturing is done in expert teams, and one team includes lecturers from all three sectors as well as RDI and communications.

Key words: business, innovation, IT, wellbeing


Competencies and Policies for Gig and Independent Work

Ellen Harpel, PhD, President, Business Development Advisors, LLC, eharpel(at)businessdevelopmentadvisors.com

Gig and independent work is substantial and growing, with wide-ranging social and economic implications. Individuals are increasingly likely to engage in this type of work during their careers and will need a new set of competencies to thrive. In addition, policy conversations around career and technical education, worker benefits/protections, and the future of work should consider the effects on this growing population.

Key words: gig economy, gig and independent work, future of work, workforce development, career and technical education, competencies


More Customer Insight into Creative Industries

Hanna Rajalahti, D.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, hanna.rajalahti(at)haaga-helia.fi

Creative sectors are recognized by government as a potential driver of Finnish economy. Still, the utilization of creative competence in other industries is difficult. One solution is to train intermediaries to strengthen the collaboration. This article discusses a pilot training for artists and designers in order to develop their skills and competences to act as intermediaries between artists and (public) builders. A central skill recognized in the pilot training was customer insight.

Key words: business administration, creative fields, entrepreneurship education


Extended Reality in Virtual Counseling Services – Useful or Hype?

Benny Majabacka, Medianomi, Kulttuurituottaja MA, Projektipäällikkö ja kulttuurituotannon lehtori, Humak, benny.majabacka(at)humak.fi
Henry Paananen, FM (tietotekniikka), lehtori, HAMK Ammatillinen opettajakorkeakoulu, HAMK Edu -tutkimusyksikkö, henry.paananen(at)hamk.fi

Creve is an incubator for creative industries under Humak University of Applied Sciences. In the Creve 2.0 project, one of the aims is to develop nationwide creative business consulting services structure, based on a multidisciplinary network and expertise that are not tied to physical location. One of the concepts to be developed is the virtual group advisory service for creative entrepreneurs.

The starting point for the virtual online consulting is to enhance the user experience by something that cannot be achieved in face-to-face interaction. With the help of new technologies, the participant can delve deeper into the topic and thus strenghten his/her learning experience. The operating environment can be modified in to the desired direction and it may strenghten the emotional state of the participant. Various functions can be demonstrated through XR technology and influence the adoption of things to be learned. Mental and motoric skills can also be honed through virtual opportunities. The virtual environment creates new opportunities for human interaction and operating costs can be lowered.

Key words: XR, extended reality, creative business services, virtual environments, cultural production


IPR of creative industries – copyrights and industrial rights!

Juhani Talvela, Lic. Tech., Aalto University, The Research Institute of Modeling and Measuring for the Built Environment (MeMo) & NLS Finnish Geospatial Research Institute FGI, juhani.talvela(at)aalto.fi
Marika Ahlavuo, Master of Culture and Arts (Cultural Producer), Science Producer, MeMo, marika.ahlavuo(at)aalto.fi
Matti Kurkela, Lic. Tech., M.A (Arts and Culture), Studio Manager, MeMo, matti.kurkela(at)aalto.fi
Hannu Hyyppä, D.Sc. (Tech), Professor, Director, MeMo, hannu.hyyppa(at)aalto.fi

Intangible assets are found increasingly important in contemporary economies. Especially in the fast developing countries they are a key means of production and competitiveness. Protecting the intellectual outcomes of creative industries is both important and challenging. The traditional copyright protection remains poorly understood and utilized, while its protection is ever more challenged in the judicial prosecutions. Low awareness and lack of support render the use of copyright and other IPR protection inefficient and scarce. This challenge is further emphasized in a networked economy. Improving education of IPR and supporting efficient utilization of the rights is elemental for the creative industries of Finland. While copyright remains important there is an increase in the need to account for other IP rights, too.

Key words: copyright, IPR, industrial rights, creative industries, education


Places Enlightened by Art

Nina Luostarinen, M.A. (Arts and Culture), Senior Lecturer in RDI, Humak University of Applied Sciences, nina.luostarinen(at)humak.fi

This article is based on an article collection published in December 2018. It presents the best practices of a Central Baltic funded project called Lights On! active in 2015-2018. The project aimed to illuminate 8 cultural heritage sites (4 in Finland, 4 in Estonia) both concretely by infrastructure works and metaphorically by using different means of art-based participatory activities. This article summarises the best of those art experiments on sites and reflects the importance of art in enhancing the personal experience of these locations and thus increasing place attachment.

Key words: art-based actions, cultural heritage, cultural management, participation


Culture, Tourism – or Culture Tourism?

Johanna Heinonen, M.Sc. (Econ.), M.A., Research Manager, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, johanna.heinonen(at)xamk.fi

Culture tourism is an essential and contemporary part of tourism development all around Finland. However, combining traditions of the culture sector and tourism has proved to be challenging. When studied further, one can notice that the definitions and the concepts both in tourism and culture rely on the same basis without any remarkable differences. Even though the basic function of the culture sector is often more local and educating, tourism can provide new ideas for development and new income sources for the culture sector. Also, sustainable tourism trends support the idea of preserving cultural heritage. So, as a matter of fact, challenges are mostly due to false pre-assumptions and old-fashioned opinions. With more open discussion and tighter co-operation between the culture sector and the tourism industry, we can overcome these challenges and get new ideas or constructive critique, which together are the core of successful business and collaboration.

Key words: co-operation, culture, culture tourism, development, tourism

Abstracts 3/2019

Editorial: Getting more from artificial intelligence through cooperation

Katri Kulmuni, Minister of Economic Affairs

When did you last look up information from a book, buy a travel ticket from the ticket desk, or send someone a letter? It’s probably been a while. These were everyday things when we were children, but now they seem remote. Digitalisation, artificial intelligence and the data-based information economy have shaped our society massively and continue to shape it at a staggering rate.

Changes become possibilities when one knows how to take hold of them and use the new tools available in an effective way. Finland has committed to promoting a sustainable and competitive digital economy in a humane and ethical way. For example, we want to harness artificial intelligence for the task of mitigating climate change, as part of our journey towards a carbon neutral economy.

Technological expertise has a key role in these developments. In addition, cooperation between different sectors is needed for the implementation of both services which utilise artificial intelligence and broad, society-wide operational reforms. Artificial intelligence must not simply remain as a concept which is added to different projects to make them look good or because it is assumed that it is needed in everything new. The objectives must be clear: technical improvements that make it into production, business models that bring added value to trade and industry and greater well-being for society, and different kinds of self-learning algorithms which can be used to support work tasks in different professional fields.

We need developer communities which are committed to shared objectives and which see the opportunities of artificial intelligence through the lens of a society which is healthy and environmentally sustainable. At their best, such communities give birth to whole ecosystems which bring together developers from many different fields. Developers get energy from creatively solving problems. The development work brings together expertise from the different stages of the service value chain under construction, from the technical implementation right through to the user experience.

In all this, one key group of actors are universities of applied sciences which serve as catalysts within their region. Indeed, I want to challenge all universities of applied sciences to bring together multidisciplinary developer communities from within their region of operations and to promote the rapid implementation of digital technology in the public and private sectors and the different spheres of civil society. I believe that far more can be obtained that at present through cooperation between companies and institutes of higher education.

Data-based, digital ecosystems must be bold in their approach. They must create an operating culture which supports data-sharing, joint use and integration. They must also be able to recognise whether data is reliable and be able to assess the data’s generalisability and explanatory power. For this reason, it is all the more essential for institutes of higher education to be providing workplaces with experts that have strong media literacy skills and are able to engage in critical reflection on the use of data and artificial intelligence programs as part of decision-making and in guiding their own work.

The authentic energy of a developer culture is created by bringing together people from many fields. By drawing on their expertise within their own field, they can recognise the key challenges and then find solutions for them which also make use of artificial intelligence or big data. Likewise, as cleaner solutions are being developed, for example, in the heating and transport sectors, it is essential that user-orientated thinking is integrated right from the beginning in order to support the implementation of these solutions. The utilisation of artificial intelligence requires, therefore, both technological expertise and people skills. By succeeding in the art of combining solutions from different sectors to create something new, Finland can offer also to other countries the keys to a globally sustainable future.


Are we overestimating the effect that AI will have on the labour market?

Alexander Törnroth, M.Sc. (Econ.), AI Accelerator Chief at Finland’s AI Accelerator, HQ at Teknologiateollisuus, alexander.tornroth(at)teknologiateollisuus.fi

During the past years we have seen several pessimistic predictions about artificial intelligence (AI) and the destruction of jobs that an increased adoption of these technologies will bring.

This article suggests, when the four basic rules of digital illusion, heavy capital investments, the difference between performance and competence as well as overestimating current and future AI capabilities are considered, that the predicted effects on the labour market may not be as grand and swift as technological achievements may suggest.

Key words: AI, artificial intelligence, investments, employment, digitalisation


Humans in the loupe

Katri Halonen, Dr.Soc.Sc., Lic.Ph., Principal Lecturer, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, katri.halonen(at)metropolia.fi
Tuire Ranta-Meyer, PhD, Adjunct Professor, Director, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, tuire.ranta-meyer(at)metropolia.fi

This is an interview of Ville Tuulos who is a software architect in the Machine Learning Infrastructure team at Netflix. He sees AI as a consultant helping us make decisions. In the process, AI can be a tool for creativity but creativity itself can not be automatized.

Key words: data analytics, machine learning, machine learning infrastructure


How to distinguish AI from pseudo-AI?

Cimmo Nurmi, Vice President at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences; Adjunct Professor of computational intelligence at the University of Turku; Entrepreneur at CI Computational Intelligence Oy, cimmo.nurmi(at)samk.fi

As the years go by, new buzzwords and industry jargon evolve and their meaning will change. Artificial Intelligence is a good epitome of this. The term AI truly emerged in the early ‘80s when the first academic AI conferences were held. The expectations were high but the results were not that convincing. The public interest soon faded. Artificial intelligence, data analytics and big data rose to public awareness again some three years ago. As an immediate consequence, a huge number of software, IoT and robotics companies changed their marketing vocabulary. Now they are all AI experts in their business area. Their web page once advertised their ERP software to support business growth. Now their artificial intelligence solutions optimally secure and guide the business growth. We should be aware of marketing jargon and carefully study the difference between (real) artificial intelligence and artificial artificial intelligence.

Key words: algorithms, artificial intelligence, computational intelligence, data analytics, education


About AI and its ethics in study and career counselling

Mikko Lampi, B. Eng., Chief Development Officer at Metatavu Oy, mikko.lampi(at)metatavu.fi
Piia-Elina Ikonen, M.H.S., Project Manager at South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences, Piia-Elina.Ikonen(at)xamk.fi

This article takes a realistic but optimistic approach in discussing artificial intelligence (AI) in higher education. Finland has declared itself as a future leader in applications of AI as part of a government initiative (2017-2019) by former minister of economic affairs. A multidisciplinary dialogue is critical in understanding AI and in guiding its use and development. The impacts of AI are connected to complex and multidimensional phenomena. Moreover, there are important ethical questions regarding use and development of AI; influenced by coexisting techno-bliss and skepticism. In this article, we discuss the recent developments of AI, related ethical questions and possible future trajectories in context of higher education. There are no easy solutions and answers to provide. However, we encourage and call for discussion, research, and experiments that contribute to better understanding and perspectives in AI and its applications. Finally, we conclude by introducing two projects, in which South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences is involved in exploring the possibilities of AI and its realistic applications in study and career counselling.

Key words: AI, career, guidance, education development, ethics, RDI, study guidance


AI and change in the authorship of art – impacts on the education in cultural management

Laura-Maija Hero, PhD (Ed.), Senior Lecturer in Cultural Management and Project Manager at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, laura-maija.hero(at)metropolia.fi
Satu Lautamäki, PhD (Marketing), Principal Lecturer in Business for Creative Industries at Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, satu.lautamaki(at)seamk.fi
Sanna Pekkinen, Lic. Phil., Senior Lecturer in Cultural Management, Humak University of Applied Sciences, sanna.pekkinen(at)humak.fi
Oona Tikkaoja, MA (Sculpture), MA (Media&Comm.), Senior Lecturer in Cultural Management, Humak University of Applied Sciences, oona.tikkaoja(at)humak.fi
Tomas Träskman, Lic. Phil., Degree Programme Director in Cultural Management, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, tomas.traskman(at)arcada.fi

Technologies enabling and developing artificial intelligence (AI) are difficult to conceive. For creative industries, AI will offer new ways of organizing work, ways of doing and communicating creative work, tools, business models, content, as well as changing consumer behaviour. Therefore, AI is a significant trend for creative intermediaries and creates pressure to redesign the pedagogical curriculum for cultural producers.

In this article, we seek to understand the conditions of cultural management and their relation to the technology by examining art-related cases based on artificial intelligence. This analysis is part of the ESF-funded Creathon-project, which aims to strengthen technological know-how in the creative industries and to develop interfaces between the cultural and ICT sectors at universities of applied sciences. We ask: How can artificial intelligence as an ever-increasing phenomenon affect the pedagogical programme of cultural production? We can conclude that AI brings several competence development needs that should be taken into consideration while designing curricula. Cultural manager students should gain the ability to evaluate the opportunities and constraints of AI, understand the characteristics of software development processes, be trained in multidisciplinary R&D collaboration, understand IPR and copyright law and be prepared for ethics and moral communication.

Key words: AI, art, culture production, University of Applied Sciences


Artificial intelligence and screenwriting

 Timo Lehti, MA (Art History), PhD Student, Senior Lecturer in Screenwriting at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, timo.h.lehti(at)metropolia.fi

Timo Lehti, senior lecturer in screenwriting, discusses the possibilities of artificial Intelligence (AI) writing an original screenplay. There are several examples of AI making art: composing music, doing visual arts and writing short films. But what is the point of using AI in the arts? What is the added value, or problem that AI could solve for humans in screenwriting?

Key words: AI, artificial art, movies, screenplay


How to link the added value generated by AI with the society?

Matti Sarén, PhD., President/CEO, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, matti.saren(at)kamk.fi

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are considered to be next major game-changers in the global scale. Finnish national higher-education system supports scientific research and innovation at universities, but the role of universities of applied sciences needs to be recognized more clearly for implementing scientific findings in every-day applications. In this paper the success-story of game education is reflected as a benchmark to build up a degree program education in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The role and the impact of value-adding networks, systematically fostered by universities of applied sciences, are argued to be the means for integrating new technologies for the benefit of our society.

Key words: AI, diversity, network of companies, University of Applied Sciences, value chain


Will robots and bot-whisperers displace study counsellors?

Jouni Soitinaho, Principal Lecturer, Head of Master’s Degree Programme at Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

Chat and chatbots are becoming increasingly applicable and successful in customer service jobs across industries. Study guidance and counselling has traditionally relied on personal contacts. The article reflects the application of a chatbot in supporting study counsellors in their routine tasks.

Key words: AI, chatbot, robot, study counsellor, study guidance


What parts of your job should be outsourced to a chatbot?

Sakari Koivunen, M.Sc., Senior Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences, sakari.koivunen(at)turkuamk.fi

Dialogue and discussion can be seen as a powerful method for learning. Still, it is rarely possible for the teacher to have one-to-one discussions with students, as study groups tend to be large and schedule is tight. Chatbots are one possible solution to this problem: teachers can outsource simple discussions to bots. When asked, via a chatbot, during an online course, none of the students had previus experience of chatbots in education. The sample was small, but diverse: 16 students from 9 UASs and 3 high schools. Students felt that chatbots are a welcome addition to education and suggested several uses for bots: giving course feedback, getting feedback about assignments, general Q&A and course enrolment. Surprisingly, there is quite little academic research available on the use of chatbots in education.

Key words: chatbot, higher education, technology


How Does Artificial Intelligence (AI) Change Future Competence Demands?

Maarit Virolainen, PhD, Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Finnish Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä, maarit.ha.virolainen(at)jyu.fi

Artificial intelligence will change the world of work and occupational profiles in the future. It will be combined with various forms of service production and industry. It may become vital even in unexpected jobs, like for a violin player of an orchestra through the co-operation with robots or utilization of software when looking for sheets related to specific tunes. In particular, the combinations of various new technologies may produce unexpected outcomes. The broad societal change is often referred to by the term Industry 4.0. It challenges educational institutions to anticipate competence demands and provide adult education to help adaptation. In the field of technology, many studies have already been completed to explore future competencies. In the article, the identified competence demands are presented and discussed to inspire the curriculum development of the Finnish UAS.

Key words: AI, Industry 4.0, skills anticipation, skills needs, technology


Abstracts 2/2019

It’s time to work together

Tapio Varmola, President, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, Chairman, The Rectors Conference of Universities of Applied Sciences (ARENE)

Digitalisation is bringing many changes to the way that higher education institutions operate. It impacts both research and innovation activities, and raises the need for many changes in both teaching and support services.

In the UK, a dream was born in the 1970s to build an Open University. Thanks to technological developments, the principal idea behind this – higher education teaching that is independent of time and place – can now be made a reality. Many higher education institutions in Finland are now pondering this idea as they work on reshaping their strategies.

Finland has 23 universities of applied sciences and 13 universities. By bringing together the strengths and expertise of all of these, Finland could become a model country for flexible study, a forerunner in modern higher education studies.

This requires new kinds of cooperation between higher education institutions, to which their boards, teachers, and key data management personnel and partners must be committed. Here are a few examples:

Student mobility and cooperation in higher education require compatible processes and perhaps also shared platforms. New digital operating models are needed in study administration in order to promote student mobility. Higher education collaboration in online teaching and pedagogical development should be encouraged in every way possible, and teachers should be rewarded for it. There is also a need to study the effectiveness of digital teaching.

In Finland there are many national data resources for teaching which should be put to use and further developed for the benefit of students. This could also generate a unique competitive advantage at the international level.

The current state of affairs is a fragmented one: we currently have in use around 150 different teaching and study administration data systems and applications. Through long-term collaboration, we can at least get from fragments to building blocks, and then gradually put these blocks together.

New expectations are being placed on higher education institutions in the area of continuing education. This creates both challenges and opportunities for teaching. The competencies of adults in the workplace are at varying levels, but at least some of them are already acting in a digital, global operating environment. How do we respond to this demand?

Higher education institutions have had a wide variety of experiences with national collaboration projects relating to teaching or study administration. They do not always leave people hungry for more. But let’s not indulge those that gripe about the past. We must shape for the coming decade a new digital vision for joint learning, implement it ambitiously, and value the experiences of working together which we already have.


AAPA and FUCIO: Collaboration of universities in digitalization for decades

Jaakko Riihimaa, IT General Secretary, AAPA (Human network of CIOs in Universities of Applied Sciences), jaakko.riihimaa(at)haaga-helia.fi
Teemu Seesto, IT General Secretary, FUCIO (Human network of CIOs in Universities), teemu.seesto(at)utu.fi

In Finland both universities and UASes (Universities of Applied Sciences) have a human network of CIOs (chief information officers). Although all universities compete with each other, these networks cooperate closely with each other and share knowledge. In both networks there is a ”stooge”, an IT General Secretary working full time. Common expert groups in the fields such as cyber security, privacy issues, enterprise architecture, contract management as well as identity management, work efficiently within that framework. A wide variety of data is also collected and the results are shared annually.

Key words: CIO (chief information officer), knowledge sharing, co-operative networks, digitalization


The new role of IT in digitalization

Anssi Hietaharju, M.Sc. (Admin.), Advisor, Sofigate Oy, anssi.hietaharju(at)sofigate.com
Mari Nyrhinen, D.Ed., ICT Manager, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, mari.nyrhinen(at)diak.fi

Digitalization has created a wave of change in many industries. Organizations now invest increasingly on digitalization in pursuit of innovations, increased effectiveness and modern customer experiences.

As new information technologies infiltrate to a variety of activities the organization is engaged with, it generates a risk that digital development becomes fragmented and every digital service composes an independent entity. Therefore, it is crucial that the IT functions and core functions in the organization work in close cooperation to ensure that the services in the organization produce the highest possible added value for both its internal and external customers.

This article presents the mindset of the Business Technology standard (BT standard) that was published by the Business Technology Forum in January 2019. BT standard offers a strategy, including a set of best practices, tools and structures, for organizing and coordinating technology management as whole across the entire organization. Moreover, this article shows how technologies in BT standard have been categorized in different technology areas.

In addition to the point of views of the BT standard, the article provides some tips on how to get started in building a BT mindset in your own organization.

Key words: Business Technology standard, digitalization, information technologies


Framework for Digitally-Competent Educational Organisations: DigCompOrg

Kari Helenius, M.Sc. (Tech.), CIO, Häme University of Applied Sciences, kari.helenius(at)hamk.fi
Lotta Linko, M.A., Quality Manager, Häme University of Applied Sciences, lotta.linko(at)hamk.fi
Henna Pirttilä, M.A., Development Manager, Häme University of Applied Sciences, henna.pirttila(at)hamk.fi

New technologies are changing education at organisational and pedagogical level. New digital competencies are required from students, staff and support functions. This article discusses how DigCompOrg (Kampylis, Punie & Devine 2015) has been utilised at three different levels at HAMK: to promote strategic development, structure enterprise architecture and organise team work.
DigCompOrg is a European framework for the digital competence of an educational organisation. It covers leadership and governance, teaching and learning, professional development, assessment, content and curricula, collaboration and networking, and infrastructure.

At strategic level DigCompOrg provides a frame for developing the core competences of HAMK’s (Häme University of Applied Sciences) ICT: facilitating digitalisation, information management and automation, data-driven decision-making and agile service development. Embedded in enterprise architecture, DigCompOrg reveals the interdependencies between development projects that affect skills, processes, data, information systems, technologies and digital infrastructure. HAMK’s learning development team have structured their operational roadmap, action plan, targets and tasks in accordance with DigCompOrg.

A shared framework ensures parallel activity at strategic, tactic and operational level.

Key words: digital competencies, enterprise architecture, action plan, digitalization, development


A common path towards the future – The Lapland University Consortium’s shared CIO Office and ICT Services

Manu Pajuluoma, M.A., CIO, University of Lapland & Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Manu.Pajuluoma(at)ulapland.fi
Markku Taipale, M.A., CIO, University of Lapland & Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Markku.Taipale(at)lapinamk.fi

Lapland has over ten years of successful contract-based cooperation in providing ICT services for higher education institutions.

The introduction of the Lapland University Consortium’s shared CIO Office and ICT Services at the beginning of 2019 marks the next major step forward in the consortium’s strategic development efforts. In connection with the reorganization, sixteen employees of the Lapland UAS made a transition to the new Group CIO Office and ICT Services organization operating at the University of Lapland.

The organizational change process was co-designed with the employees involved in the change. During the initial stages of the development work, descriptions of the current state of the operations were produced and the vision of the Group CIO Office and ICT Services was outlined. The results of audits and evaluations carried out in our work community were utilized in the process. Based on the initial investigations, working groups of experts were set to develop the organizational structure and to define the core tasks, roles and responsibilities.

The activities of the Group CIO Office and ICT Services of the Universities are based on shared policies and services. Development is guided by a common enterprise architecture, common information security policies and a shared customer care model.

Key words: Information management, ICT Services, change management, collaboration, joint planning, University Consortium

Karelia is led by information

Mikko Penttinen, Quality Coordinator, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, mikko.penttinen(at)karelia.fi
Lauri Hänninen, ICT-planning Officer, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, lauri.hanninen(at)karelia.fi

Changes in the higher education funding model and the reductions of funding have resulted in the need for systematic monitoring and anticipation of higher education operations and economy. A large amount of real-time data is available in many different systems and the challenge has been the management of this amount of data and the use of the information as a support for the management in decision-making. Based on this need, Karelia University of Applied Sciences started to develop a knowledge management tool, Karelia-Vipunen. The success of the development work was based on cooperation between IT and other units at the higher education institution. This article describes the development history of Karelia-Vipunen as well as the use of its data in the monitoring of operations and economy.

Key words: Karelia University of Applied Sciences, knowledge management, data administration, Karelia-Vipunen, cooperation

IT benchmarking for better knowledge management

Tuomo Rintamäki, M.Pol.Sc., M.Sc. (Econ.), CIO, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, tuomo.rintamaki(at)metropolia.fi
Juha Venho, M. Eng., CIO, Turku University of Applied Sciences, juha.venho(at)turkuamk.fi
Teemu Seesto, IT General Secretary, FUCIO (Human network of CIOs in Universities), teemu.seesto(at)utu.fi

How digitalization in universities of applied sciences (UAS) correlates with their spending on IT resources?
How much are we spending on IT? How does our spending on IT compare with other UASs?
If we know the structure of our IT costs can we improve the impact of IT on core functions?

Most Finnish UAS are participating in BenchHEIT survey (BM) with the aim to find answers to these questions and to be able to provide recommendations to UAS management to improve the impact of IT resources.

BM is a survey on IT costs and volumes of higher education institutes. Its participation is voluntary and free of charge. The survey has been invented and is being developed and managed as a EUNIS Task Force.

From the BM analysis we can find out that IT costs in relation to student FTE have decreased about 7% during the last five years. During 2013–2017 the share of IT expenditure out of total expenditures of the Finnish UASes has remained fairly stable, about 6.5% . According to these figures there has not been heavy inputs on digitalization. On the other hand, the space allocated to IT classrooms have decreased 38%.

In the BM analysis it is possible to pick up other universities and put them in comparison by all indicators. E.g. the top management of Turku UAS prefers to be compared with other big Finnish UASes. Regular, annual participation in BM survey makes it possible to draw time series and to find out core development trends. IT chiefs of Finnish UAS have introduced permanent process to improve the reliability of BM data and thus improve its value in comparison.

Key words: Benchmarking, IT-costs, digitalization


Project portfolio management enables data management

Outi Pelkonen, BBA, Planner, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Johanna Krappe, M.A., Head of Research, Development and Innovation Services, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Juha Venho, Master of Engineering, CIO, Turku University of Applied Sciences

In the year 2014, TUAS faced severe problems in project portfolio management. The portfolio and project management system did not support the processes nor the information management. TUAS decided to start a digitalization project where the project processes would be developed and a new project portfolio management system would be purchased. The aim was to enhance portfolio management, streamline the processes and decrease the number of systems and Excel files in use. After extensive internal planning and requirement phase and a short deployment phase, the TEPPO system was implemented on the 1st of June 2017. Roll-out was made progressively in line with the changes in processes and different functionalities were taken into use monthly during the first half a year. There have been over 400 monthly users, which means more emphasis needs to be given to the training and instruction. Trainings will be organized continuously for new and advanced users in order to ensure the adoption of the new system and procedures. A crucial prerequisite for success in these kind of changes is the clear support and commitment of the management board. Evaluation of the implementation shows that other critical factors are communication and engaging a wide range of the users in the planning phase. TEPPO is now a permanent part of TUAS’ continuous development cycle.

Key words: Project portfolio management, RDI-projects, Digitalization, Information systems


Using data – perspectives on data management in University of Applied Sciences

Seliina Päällysaho, PhD, M.Sc. (Econ.), Research Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, seliina.paallysaho(at)seamk.fi
Jaana Latvanen, M.Soc.Sc., Information Specialist, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, jaana.latvanen(at)seamk.fi

The questions relating to the data management have arisen to a significant role in R&D work, public administration as well as in business. The collected data can be used to create new ideas but also provide the companies a good opportunity to develop their business and new products. The most common datasets in research, development and innovation projects of the universities of applied sciences are often collected by inquiries and interviews. The data management is very complex. The processes of storing and opening the data sets are still undeveloped and need to be improved.

This article represents the handling of the data which is created in the Finnish UAS (Universities of Applied Sciences) and brings out the special characteristics of the data management especially of the projects which are carried out in the company cooperation.

Key words: open R&D, open science, universities of applied sciences


Let’s learn in digicampus – meaning Where?

Matti Sarén, PhD, eMBA, President/CEO, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, matti.saren(at)kamk.fi
Jaakko Riihimaa, PhD, IT General Secretary, AAPA (Human network of CIOs in Universities of Applied Science), jaakko.riihimaa(at)haaga-helia.fi
Jukka Ivonen, B.A., CIO, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, jukka.ivonen(at)haaga-helia.fi
Petri Silmälä, M.A., Coordinator, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, petri.silmala(at)metropolia.fi
Sonja Merisalo, MScEng, UX Designer/Trimico Oy, sonja.merisalo(at)trimico.fi

Wake up to the future world, where a helpful kyborg is a housemaid and instead of mom there is an eMommy reminding you to go to the next lecture. To be precise, the lecture has changed to a global module which is held in a hologram space online. Actually, the whole concept of education has evolved: professional qualification has compartmented to a portfolio of know-how. AI takes care of the routine and technical issues. In learning, person´s self-direction is still important. Digitalization has changed the traditional educational structure: a resource-driven individual´s knowledge path is the way to learn. VR enables different kind of simulations and AR makes it easy to learn e.g. human anatomy. The best learning environment depends on the student, demands of the educational institute and features of the subject and the course. New technologies bring machine learning and AI algorithms to student guidance. Teacher is more of a “with learner” or “with supervisor” supported by technology.

Key words: learning, digital campus, virtual reality, learning environment, know-how, pedagogy, information management


IT management, digitalization and pedagogy

Tore Ståhl, M.Ed., Educational Researcher, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, tore.stahl(at)arcada.fi

End-users often think of IT management as distributing gadgets and maintaining network connections. The most crucial management, however, happens in the background in terms of data and user management.

Digitalization is the buzzword of this century, although it is often unclear what it includes, and what we want to achieve through digitalization. Within higher education, digitalization should be student and learning oriented.

Higher education pedagogy and learning is characterized by an increasing portion of activities on-line, which decreases or at least alters several aspects of communication, such as the lack of visual cues. Partly due to this, learning analytics has become interesting since it can provide us with cues regarding student behaviour.

Digitalization, on-line learning and learning analytics are connected by their dependence on the user identification provided by the IT management. Although IT infrastructure is a prerequisite for digitalization, it should be subordinate in relation to learning and pedagogy.

Vilken är IT-förvaltningens roll då högskolorna digitaliseras? Denna artikel är avsedd att ge den vanliga användaren en förståelse för IT-förvaltningens roll i högskolan generellt, och att presentera några reflektioner runt digitalisering, pedagogik och lärande (oppiminen). Reflektionerna härrör ur flera perspektiv, dvs. mina 10 år som ”adb-ansvarig”, 14 år som nätpedagogisk utvecklare och en 4 års sejour som IT-chef.

Key words: information management, user management, learning, digitalization, learning analytics


The co-operation between an academic library and IT services in producing digital services

Minna Kivinen, M.A., Information Systems Specialist, Häme University of Applied Sciences, minna.kivinen(at)hamk.fi
Sinikka Luokkanen, M.A., Information Services Manager, Häme University of Applied Sciences, sinikka.luokkanen(at)hamk.fi

Diversification of studying styles and an increase in commercial higher education form an additional challenge for university libraries when providing services and materials. In the case of printed materials, it is easy for the library to serve all customer groups, but there are challenges in the field of digital services and the supply of electronic material. Libraries acquire licensed e-materials both via FinELib consortium and by themselves. Contracts are made for each individual organization and costs depend on the volume of users. Access to e-materials stem from network settings; users who have rights for using e-materials should be able to connect to materials on campus as well as off-campus. Mobile and digital services are designed to serve university’s own students and staff. Finnish university libraries are open to the public and library staff must be aware of which services can be offered to different customer groups. Library staff have ongoing dialogue with university’s IT services to maintain library services and to find solutions to overcome technical barriers.

Key words: academic libraries, licensing, user groups, digital services


Information managers in co-operation

Marjo Valjakka, MBA (eServices and Digital Archiving), Planner, Data Management, Data Protection Officer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, marjo.valjakka(at)laurea.fi

Information management is a legislated obligation for the universities of applied sciences but also an essential part of digital processes, securing the operations and management of reputation. Still problems in information management can be found in all the universities of applied sciences.

IT department has traditionally taken care of technical requirements of data management whereas the content and quality of information has been the responsibility area of records management professionals. The digital world needs, however, more cooperation between these two units as well as between the whole personnel. Every employee has to understand their role in handling the data.

Due to the requirements of legislation and digitalization, it seems that the time is now right for the concrete development of information management internally but also between the universities of applied sciences. One example of cooperation are CSC’s five idea paths concerning digital record management methods and digital archiving.

Every development project requires resources. That is why it is essential that the administration is committed for the development procedures and that the employees can see their benefits for themselves. Collaborative working methods, strategy based operational models as well as consistent training are the means to achieve high-quality managed information management and genuinely digital service processes in all the universities of applied sciences.

Key words: information management, record management, co-operation between UASes


Possibilities of utilizing artificial intelligence in customer service operations of service organizations

Sebastian Fagerström, MBA, Head of Sales, SME, Finland, If Insurance, sebastian.fagerstrom(at)gmail.com
Keijo Varis, D.Sc. (Business Administration and Economics: Management and Leadership), Principal Lecturer, School of Leadership, Master School of Engineering and Business, Turku University of Applied Sciences, keijo.varis(at)turkuamk.fi

This article discusses the possibilities of utilizing artificial intelligence in customer service activities in the service sector, especially in the insurance sector. To sum up, by utilizing correctly, artificial intelligence enables the development of customer service functions, both in terms of cost efficiency and quality of services. From the point of view of both the customer and the service organization, the combination of artificial intelligence applications and services provided by people is best suited to a customer-oriented and cost-effective service organizations. Artificial intelligence applications can automate simple and routine customer service situations and tasks, leaving more time for customer service personnel to handle situations and tasks that require emotional intelligence and extensive understanding and profound knowledge. As a whole, the service speeds up and the quality improves. However, the exploitation of artificial intelligence in the service sector of customer service organizations requires the creation of a comprehensive artificial intelligence strategy and its coordination with the service organization’s competition strategy, customer service strategy and IT strategy.

Keywords: Artificial intelligence, customer service, artificial intelligence strategy, learning systems


PEPPI – Digital Service Environment for Higher Education Institution management

Virve Peltoniemi, MBA, ICT Manager, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, virve.peltoniemi(at)tuni.fi

Peppi-ecosystem has expanded into the most significant ERP Service for Higher Education Institution (HEI) management. Peppi provides role-specific desktops and e-services for students, teachers, planners, higher education services and administrators.

Peppi offers interfaces for integration and there are also many plugins made by universities or commercial operator. Universities can acquire these plugins from the owner (HEI) or commercial operator.

Vision for Higher Education and research in Finland 2030 also set the sights on the Digital Service Environment consisting of digital services by HEI’s themselves and also shared digital services. How Peppi supports all this digital transformation?

Firstly, Peppi development model was improved in 2018. Six thematic groups of HEI-specialists drive forward system and service development. Secondly, service for Cross-Institutional Studies development project has started. Thirdly also accessibility testing of Student Desktop in on the way in 2019. In addition to all that new digital Peppi-service for the Management of Further Education, Extension Studies and studies in the Open University of Applied Sciences (UAS) has been released. As well there are some interesting Learning Analytics and Recognition of Prior Learning services in progress.

Key words: ERP Service, Peppi-ecosystem, digital service environment


The digitalisation of higher education institutions increasingly relies on a fast and reliable network

Harri Kuusisto, Funet Development Manager, CSC – IT Center for Science, harri.kuusisto(at)csc.fi
Maria Virkkula, Communications Specialist, CSC – IT Center for Science, maria.virkkula(at)csc.fi
Matti Laipio, Development Manager, CSC – IT Center for Science, matti.laipio(at)csc.fi

Can you imagine life without the internet? The university and research network serves as a backbone of everyday lives of students.

Functioning network connections facilitate smooth web surfing for students in a fast and reliable campus network. In today’s world, the day-to-day work of higher education institutions would practically come to a grinding halt without functioning network. Throughout its history Funet, higher education institutions’ common network, has aimed at breaking boundaries and records. It opened the door to the global internet for Finland 30 years ago. Since then, the network has been updated regularly. In the planning of the current update of the network, the aim has been to find a solution for the all future needs of students and personnel of higher education institutions.

Key words: internet, Funet, data communications, success story

Data protection was enhanced by training

Matti Kuosmanen, Lic.Phil., Data Protection Officer, Savonia University of Applied Sciences, matti.kuosmanen(at)savonia.fi
Olavi Pesonen, M.A., B. Eng. (Information Technology), IT Manager, Karelia University of Applied Sciences, olavi.pesonen(at)karelia.fi
Kari Kataja, M.Sc. (Eng.), M.A., M.Sc. (Econ.), M.Ed., Information Systems Manager, Data Protection Officer, Häme University of Applied Sciences, kari.kataja(at)hamk.fi

In 2017-2018, the Public Administration Information Management Advisory Board (JUHTA) and the Public Administration Digital Security Steering Group (VAHTI) organized two joint data protection projects.

In connection with these projects, the Population Register Center organized a security and data protection management training (TAISTO18) in November 2018. The aim of the exercise was to develop organizations’ capabilities to manage security breaches. About 235 public administration organizations participated in the exercise, of which seven were universities of applied sciences and eight were universities.

The exercise was successful and participation was felt to be useful. It is necessary to continue training in crisis situations. This is what TAISTO19 will do next autumn.

Key words: privacy, data security, TAISTO18, GDPR


Facilitating challenges for the interpretation of the EU Data Protection Regulation: cooperation and codes of conduct

Maria Rehbinder, LL.M., Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/E), Senior Legal Counsel, Academic Legal Services, Aalto-yliopisto, Vice Chairman of LIBER Working Group on Legal Matters
Ulla Virranniemi, LL.M., M.A., Data Protection Officer, Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, ulla.virranniemi(at)oamk.fi
Kari Kataja, M.Sc. (Eng.), M.A., M.Sc. (Econ.), M.Ed., Information Systems Manager, Data Protection Officer, Häme University of Applied Sciences, kari.kataja(at)hamk.fi

Codes of conduct makes easier to contribute to the proper application of GDPR, taking account of the specific features of Finnish universities. Data protection officers of Finnish universities co-operate to create codes of conduct for research and student administration. Common codes of conduct reduces the need for local interpretation.

Key words: data protection, GDPR, codes of conduct, Higher education


Bank of Ideas – Collaboration, Visibility and Agile Experiments

Antti Mäki, Director, CSC, antti.maki(at)csc.fi
Outi Tasala, Customer Solution Manager, CSC, outi.tasala(at)csc.fi
Jussi Auvinen, Data Administration Contact, CSC, jussi.auvinen(at)csc.fi
Karoliina Ahtiainen, Customer Solution Trainee, CSC, karoliina.ahtiainen(at)csc.fi

Ideapankki, ”Bank of Ideas”, is a service with the intention of collecting, sharing and progressing development ideas to further the digitalisation of higher education and research in Finland. The service was developed in cooperation between AAPA and FUCIO, networks for Finnish Universities’ and Universities of Applied Sciences’ Chief IT Officers, and CSC – IT Center for Science. Ideapankki brings forth and discloses development needs and ideas to everyone in order to enable discussion on these while aiming to find the right body to progress and do pre-studies on these development ideas. Ideapankki has been in a trial use for about a year at the time of the publication, and experiences gained from this have been encouraging. Over 50 ideas have been submitted to the Ideapankki, and the idea committee, selected CIO’s from the CIO networks together with CSC have proposed ideas to different tracks for furthering them. Any representative of higher education or research institutions can propose a new development idea for Ideapankki.

Key words: Ideapankki, digitalisation, development ideas, cooperation, agile experiments, idea modelling, CSC



Abstracts No 1/2019

Editorial: Strong competence-based learning in higher education

Asko Karjalainen, D.Ed., Director, School of Professional Teacher Education, Oulu University of Applied Science

Competence-based learning is a multi-levelled phenomena. In the higher education sector, the term has until now generally referred to the wording of competence objectives for degree programmes that was developed during the Bologna process. In vocational upper secondary education, however, the term has a whole extra level of meaning. According to the vocational education reform, competence-based learning means carrying out the education process in such a way that the student progresses along an individualised study path which takes into account their initial competence level. The competence which the student already has is identified and all eligible previous experience and training is credited. Teaching and instruction is provided in order to supplement this prior competence and attain the learning objectives of the degree programme. Competence is shown through demonstrations in genuine work tasks or equivalent simulated situations. This method is referred to as strong competence-based learning.

Strong competence-based learning has a long history in Finland. The story begins in 1994, when the competence-based qualification system was initiated in vocational adult education. Currently, all vocational education is demonstration-based and individualised, in accordance with the principles of strong competence-based learning. There is therefore an abundance of experience and research knowledge on offer which all higher education institutions would do well to take a look at. Strong competence-based learning presents challenges to both educational institutions and teaching staff. The biggest challenge is in changing the way that both the teacher and the student operate. On the other hand, this method opens up almost revolutionary perspectives in education planning, implementation and development. The concept of competence acquires extra depth, as does the understanding of the core of the teacher’s work and the student’s responsibility. The pedagogical significance of education’s connection with the workplace becomes clear and guides the path of development.

Strong competence-based learning involves learning psychology that is really spot on. The method implements in an excellent way the foundational learning principle that all new learning should be based on previous learning. Although this principle has been known for a long time, its implementation in the traditional model depended on the teacher’s pedagogical imagination. In competence-based education, the student’s prior competence is always examined and any observed deficiencies are corrected before new things are taught. The studies then progress towards new competence in line with the student’s requirements and capabilities. If we would now start to act in this way, I believe that our higher education teaching would obtain even better qualitative results and would easily meet the quantitative objectives set by the Ministry.

Does strong competence-based learning fit with higher education teaching? It would seem to fit at least with professional teacher education and master’s degrees from universities of applied sciences. Positive experiences with both of these have already been obtained, and there are already examples available of good practices. There are no structural or operational barriers to the process of making the operating model for higher education institutions entirely competence-based. The old way of teaching and studying is deep in our culture, however, and this can lead to impassioned debate that has little to do with the facts. If renewal is the goal, the best course of action is to experiment and develop. Strong competence-based learning has to be studied in practice so that we can learn the opportunities it presents for higher education degree programmes. Debating different ideas without having any personal experience of the matter is hardly likely to move anything forward in practice. If all Finnish universities of applied sciences would try out strong competence-based learning without delay, even in just one degree programme, we would soon obtain a lot of data and material for constructive discussions as well as signposts for genuine development. Isn’t it time to shift from thought to action? Let’s challenge the universities to join the experiment as well!


Foundations of competence-based education: Universities of applied sciences and the theory of knowledge

Hannu L. T. Heikkinen, Professor, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä

The article examines the epistemological foundations of universities of applied sciences in Finland. A special focus is on the concept of competence-based education (“osaamisperustainen koulutus”) which has become popular in the Finnish discussion about education, but especially concerning the education given by universities of applied sciences. The author claims that the national discussion about competence based education is based on a ‘limited view’ on universities of applied sciences, focusing mainly on technical and practical issues. The author advocates an ‘encompassing view on universities of applied sciences’ instead. In Aristotelian terms, the encompassing view covers not only the technical (‘techne’) the practical (‘phronesis’) dispositions, but also the theoretical (‘episteme’) dispositions to knowledge as well as critical-emancipatory interests. This idea is based on Stephen Kemmis’ interpretation which integrates Aristotelian views on knowledge with Jürgen Habermas’ theory of knowledge and human interests. The central message of this theoretical article is that the encompassing view on competence-based education is essential in our times of eco-crisis, and education must provide the future generations thinking tools to overcome the global challenges which we have to solve in the near future.

Key words: forms of knowledge, knowledge interests, research, universities of applied sciences


By using evaluation criteria are we assessing how the learning objectives have been reached?

Anna Nykänen, M.Ed., Specialist in Education, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Common evaluation criteria for bachelor studies have been renewed at Laurea University of Applied Sciences and taken into use in January 2019. In the article, it is argued that from the point of view of competence-based education common criteria are not as helpful for assessment as study unit specific criteria would be in the study units. However, in case of project studies or work-based learning we should be able to assess and recognize unexpected competences.

Key words: evaluationevaluation criteriacompetence-based educationcompetencies


Competency based evaluation unifies Finnish nursing education and the quality of the education

Marja Silén-Lipponen, Ph.D., Principal Lecturer, Project Manager, Savonia University of Applied Sciences
Paula Mäkeläinen, Dr.Sc., Principal Lecturer, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
Tiina Nurmela, Ph.D. (Nursing Science), Principal Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences

The YleSHarviointi project is expected to develop competence-based evaluation for generalist registered nursing students education (180 ECTS). The aim of the project is to verify the competency level required for pre-licensure generalist registered nurse students and help to ensure that a sufficient and consistent level of professional nursing qualifications are offered by all registered nursing programs. The assessment also makes it easier for nursing students to progress in their studies, supports the return to work for those nurses, who have been absent from nursing for a some time, and helps to compare the learning outcomes of nursing qualifications both nationally and internationally.

Key words: competence-based evaluation, national evaluation model, nursing qualifications, healthcare


Case: competence-based practice carried out in an employment relationship

Anniina Friman, Biomedical Laboratory Scientist (Master’s degree), Part-time Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Kaisa Friman, Nurse, M.Sc. (Health), Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Tiina Tarr, Physiotherapist, M.Sc. (Health), Student Coordinator, Turku University Hospital
Tuija Lehtikunnas, Nurse, Dr.Sc. (Health), Hospital Director of Nursing, Hospital District of Southwest Finland
Sini Eloranta, Nurse, Dr.Sc. (Health), Docent, Principal Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences

The aim of this project of Turku University Hospital and Turku University of Applied Sciences was to create an innovative and competence-based way to run a practical training and to create a model in which working, studying, recognition of prior learning and work experience could be intergrated. In this project three practical nurses, who studied their bachelor’s degree were hired to share shifts of one practical nurse’s vacancy for a four months’ period. Students completed an internship of 6–8 ECTS alongside their other studies.

Results showed that practical training supported students professional growth and strengthened their competence in various ways. In terms of employment, students experienced pressure on expertise, which in this case turned out to be a major motivating factor. For those students who already had families, the recognition of prior learning and the financial compensation was the main driving force to take part in this type of practical training.

This type of competence-based practical training builds a completely new form of co-operation between a school and a workplace by supporting students for smooth adaptation to working life.

Key words: competence-based learning, mentoring, practical training, employee, multiform studies, healthcare


Health and social services are reformed – how about educations?

Soile Juujärvi, Dr.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Timo Sinervo, Dr.Pol.Sc., Research Manager, National Institute for Health and Welfare 
Olli Nummela, Ph.D., Researcher, National Institute for Health and Welfare 

The health and social services system in Finland is undergoing a huge reform that strives for more efficient and effective services, improved health, wellbeing and equality among citizens. The guiding principle is to increase freedom of choice in services, while the citizen can choose a service provider from among a variety of authorised providers from the public, private or third sectors. Services are supposed to be integrated packages adjusted to individual needs, and pathways within services will be smoother. The successful reform requires a paradigmatic change in ways of conceptualising and implementing competences in profession education and vocational training. While competence-based curricula allow to specify knowledge, skills and attitudes, they offer valuable tools for creating new competences and updating old ones among health and social care students and professionals. Implications of new competence needs for education and pedagogy are discussed.

Key words: Health and Social Services Reform, health care and social services, competence-based curriculum,  competency, service integration, stncope


Student always at the center – students’ experiences in competence-based special needs teacher education

Pirkko Kepanen, D.Ed., Special Needs Teacher (retired)

The article is based on a doctoral dissertation, the material of which was gathered in a vocational special needs teacher education programme implementing a competence-based curriculum in 2014–2016.The research results show that the competence-based educational model represents a new learning method of which the adult students involved in the study did not have previous experience.

Key words: University of Applied Sciences, vocational special needs teacher education, competence-based approach, self-assessment, reflection, reconstruction


Competence-based circular economy teaching

Marketta Virta, M.A., B.Eng., Turku University of Applied Sciences
Pia Haapea, Lic.Tech., Principal Lecturer, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Taru Owston, M.A., Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Asseri Laitinen, M.A., Lecturer, VAMK University of Applied Sciences

The scarcity of resources on our planet forces us to re-think our ways of consuming, producing and educating. The move from a linear economic model to a circular one requires educated people who are able to assess the life cycle of a product and work together with others to create new services and long-lasting products.

The Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra, financed a project “#kiertotalous” to create a manual and a toolbox for educators who want to help their students learn about the circular economy model. The methods have been in use in three universities of applied sciences who now had to put in writing what they have been doing in such a way that three other universities were able to use the model.

The method all use the format of a project where students work in teams. There is no circular economy without close collaboration of people from different fields, so multidisciplinary teams are encouraged. The students receive a brief and work a for a client that can be a business, an authority or an individual. They are asked to evaluate themselves and their peers and they receive feedback from the client.

The projects vary from short 24-hour events to processes lasting the whole term. Learning important innovation and work-related skills, both students and their coaches bring forth hope for our planet.

Key words: circular economy, learning methods, multisectoral, technology, design, business economy


Competence-based studies in higher education – the roles of teacher and student during change

Merja Sinkkonen, Dr.Soc.Sc., Head of Master’s Degree Programme, Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Annukka Tapani, Dr.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences
Jussi Ylänen, Lic.Phil., Principal Lecturer, Tampere University of Applied Sciences

The aim of this article was to study how a teacher and master-level students effect on the learning outcomes during the “Project Competence” course.

Our data consists of questionnaires (N= 53) gathered form master-level students in the university of applied sciences in the end of the course “Project competence” in May 2017 and 2018. We asked the students to divide their learning outcomes (100%) among different actors (student, teacher, student group and working life). And estimate the realization and ideal state of their learning outcomes and justify their answer. In this article we focus our attention to the answers dealing with students themselves and the role of teacher.

As a result of this study we found that it is important for a student to take responsibility for his/hers own development like employees need to take responsibility for their own development.

Key words: competence-based, learning, teaching, master’s degree, development expertise in pedagogy


Development of competence-based curricula in the Lapland University of Applied Sciences

Helena Kangastie, M.Sc. (Health), Head of Development, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

The merging of two Lappish universities of applied scienses in 2014 was accelerated by the development of competence-based curricula. The development Project (OPS2017) was conducted in 2014–2017 and its main objective was to build competence-based curricula for all education programmes. In addition, the key objective was to harmonise the ways of organising learning. The student’s learning process was at the centre of the development. In this article, I describe that development work and its results.

Key words: competence-based curriculum, university of applied sciences, organising learning


Professional Teacher Education and the Competence Frames of References

Seija Mahlamäki-Kultanen, Ph.D., Docent, Dean, School of Professional Teacher Education, Häme University of Applied Sciences
Iiris Happo, D.Ed., Principal Lecturer, School of Professional Teacher Education, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Sirpa Perunka, D.Ed., Senior Lecturer, School of Professional Teacher Education, Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Professional teacher education targets at teachers in vocational institutions and universities of applied sciences. The education provides a general pedagogical qualification. According to legislation, professional teacher education includes the basics of educational science, professional pedagogical studies, teaching practice and optional studies. Haaga-Helia, Häme, Jyväskylä, Oulu and Tampere Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) have the permission to offer teacher education. These UASs are participating in the Teacher Training Forum and Teacher Training Development Project (OPEKE) organized and funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Teacher Training Forum has outlined a common frame of reference for competences expected from all kinds of teachers. They are comprehensive subject specific knowledge, creative expertise and agency as well as constant development of oneself and the community’s competence. An earlier analysis by Mahlamäki-Kultanen and Nokelainen (2014) demonstrated that teacher education is competence based and the competence targets in all UASs are on a high professional level and are quite uniform. In 2019, the OPEKE-team analyzed the latest curricula. It proved out that the competence targets are in line and correspond with the Finnish National Qualifications Framework level 7. The competence requirements include, among others, a comprehensive understanding of their own field, readiness to apply scientific research and methods in practice as well as competence to act as an expert and innovator in their professional field teaching

Key words: professional teacher education, competence based education, curriculum


Strive for strong and competent region

Tiina Kirvesniemi, D.Ed., Project Manager, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences
Leena Muotio, Ph.D., Principal Lecturer, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

Universities of Applied Sciences have an important role in regional developing. The fields of developing vary in question of target groups, objectives and developers. Both RDI and teaching act in regional developing in different areas and ways. To improve regional developing, it is necessary to focus the functioning of internal operations of the university. According to workshops held to four teams of Culture and Arts and RDI-team of Creative Industries, the RDI-staff and teaching seem to work quite separated, like trains in different trails. This leads to situation where the students are unused potential in RDI projects and they miss opportunities to widen their competence-based learning contexts. It is crucial to get to know each other in RDI and teaching so that teachers and students can participate in project planning, realization and implementation. Then it is possible to answer the challenges of regional development as united.

Key words: Culture and Arts, Creative Industry, teaching, competence-based approach, RDI

No 4/2018 Abstracts

Editorial: Regional development requires participation and utilisation of the diversity of regions and regional developers

Jouni Koski, Ph.D., President, Managing Director, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

If the decision to construct a network of universities across the whole country was a significant one for regional development, then so also was the decision made over a quarter of a century ago to strengthen the higher education sector through universities of applied sciences which serve different areas of economic life. Regional development was further boosted with legislation that added the task of regional development to the duties of universities of applied sciences, in addition to the tasks of education and RDI (research, development and innovation). At the same time, or perhaps precisely because of this regional development task, the pedagogy of universities of applied sciences has seen impressive development. In contrast to how things were before, pedagogy is no longer a school’s internal matter, but it has become a shared issue for the region and the partnering organisations operating in it. A form of pedagogy has developed which integrates universities of applied science with society and with their region and which strengthens participation and partnership and regional development. In this way, new foundations have been laid down for further advancing regional development in Finland, which reached the grand age of 101 on 6 December 2018.

Although Finland is not large in population, it does cover a large area. In order to develop well, our country’s varied, unique regions require diversity, which is one of the strengths of our dual university system – also when considered from the regional perspective. Different kinds of regional development methods and models have been developed in different parts of the country, and a number of these will be presented in this theme issue. In the future, the role of universities of applied science in regional renewal and vitalisation may become more and more significant, and this requires the continual development of regional development methods and models. In this process, the open sharing and international benchmarking of different regional development methods and models are, without doubt, key factors for moving forward. Similarly, increasing the participation of local citizens in the development of their residential areas and living environments will certainly bring more effective solutions to regional and social problems because they are based on residents’ knowledge of their conditions and needs.

Universities of applied sciences have a significant role as developers of methods and processes for supporting civil participation. Through their pedagogic development, universities of applied sciences have become strong joint developers that know how to use diverse methods to engage citizens, businesses, communities and university students in joint development work. In this way, the objectives can include a good life for Finnish people, integration, and also, for example, the strengthening of regional vitality. When seeking to develop things, participation is of immeasurable value, whether it involves individuals or whole communities and organisations. I would like to return to consider again that significant decision to add the task of regional development alongside the universities of applied sciences’ tasks of education and RDI. If this decision had not been made, the involvement and participation of universities of applied sciences in regional development would not be at the level that it is today.

The strength of the pedagogy of universities of applied sciences for regional development is founded on participation, in which the involvement of students plays a central role. When university students, who are accumulating professional expertise, participate in regional development work together with employees, and when the learning takes place in cooperation with regional partners, the result is a huge and powerful contribution to development. The 145,000 students and around 10,000 experts at universities of applied sciences are a significant resource for the regional development of our country. It is excellent that we are learning all the time to make better use of this resource in our society.


Students as circular economy accelerators

Marketta Virta, M.A., Engineer, Project Assistant, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Sonja Lankiniemi, MBA, M.Sc.(Econ.), Project Specialist, Project Manager, Turku University of Applied Sciences

Students influence the development of their area already during their studies. In Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS), the students are strongly involved in RDI activities from the beginning of the studies. Students have been an important asset e.g. in the development of Topinpuisto, circular economy hub located in Southwest Finland. Topinpuisto develops the value chains of circular economy and accelerates the transition to circular economy in Turku and in Southwest Finland.
Among other things, students have researched the opportunities of a circular economy to create a new business.

At TUAS, students are not seen as clients but as partners. Student-business cooperation is beneficial for students, companies and their regions. Students can deepen and develop their expertise and companies can take steps towards a more sustainable future. When participating in RDI, students have an impact on their region even before their graduation and promote, for example, the realization of carbon neutrality and circular economy.

Keywords: circular economy, project study environment, RDI activities, technology


Technological innovations in the developing of villages

Marika Ahlavuo, Science Producer, Cultural Producer, The Research Institute of Modeling and Measuring for the Built Environment (MeMo), Aalto University 
Sami Alho, Project Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, SeAMK
Matti Kurkela, 3D-studio Manager, Lic.Tech., M.A., Aalto University
Jussi-Matti Kallio, Project Manager, Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, SeAMK
Hannu Hyyppä, Professor, Dr. Tech., Docent, Aalto University

At Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (known as SeAMK), the School of Business and Culture, together with the School of Food and Agriculture, have carried out jointly with Aalto University various demos, projects and exhibitions centering on the theme of virtuality. This article focuses on the work applied in collaboration with SeAMK that has made headways and created joint ventures related to a Virtual Village Project and to two Master level theses in the field of digitalisation and virtual reality. New technology was used in a particular 3D virtual reality project (the so-called ’Virtuaalikylät 3D Liiverissä’ project) that was a joint effort with the villages of Southern Ostrobothnia and their active inhabitants. In the article, we examine from a 3D and technical innovations perspective how the cultural and knowledge resources present in the villages could be enhanced through virtual technology. As an important result from the co-operation between SeAMK and Aalto University, we have been able to predict future trends in the possibilities offered through the use of 3D virtual reality in assisting the development of villages.

Keywords: regional development, 3D, virtuality, cooperation, inclusion, culture, food and agriculture


Unique cooperation to boost regional development

Tuula Rajander, M.Ed., M.A., Planning Officer, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

This article considers universities of applied sciences as a regional developer in sparsely populated areas such as Kainuu region. The joint problem of these areas is a lack of workforce, which obstructs economic development. Education is one of the most efficient ways to affect the supply of workforce.

Universities of applied sciences are part of the brand and attraction of their regions. Student recruiting brings more young people and people of working age to the area. Graduated students also like to stay in the area where they have studied. Digitalization of education has facilitated student-recruiting challenges of the UASes in sparsely populated areas.

From the student-recruiting point of view, it is important that UASes specialize in their own strong lines and subjects. The chosen lines should also match the general focus areas of the region. Focus areas in Kainuu region are innovations of technology and mining industry, bioeconomy, wellbeing and health. Corresponding strengths of Kajaani UAS are production systems, game and measurement applications, adventure activities, intelligent home care and business potential.

Keywords: continuous learning, developing of regions, lack of workforce, sparsely populated areas, student recruiting


Participative development in Lahti, Finland

Mirja Kälviäinen, Principal Lecturer, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Sara Ikävalko, Lecturer, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Kati Kumpulainen, RDI Specialist, Institute of Design, Lahti University of Applied Sciences

New digital native generations set new requirements for the city services and environments. In the City as a Service for Young Citizen project, young adults from 16 to 30 years of age have been participating in a mosaic of explorative user research methods to produce a rich picture of the possible use and needs of services by young citizens. The exploration-based methods have included user workshops, self-reporting design probes and theme-based material produced by users. The results have provided user empathy for envisioning service experiments to be tested in real user contexts and environments in the city of Lahti and with an ecosystem of local service providers. The participative user information and real life participatory experiments have produced evidence for the need of special service solutions for young citizen. These should be crossing the physical, face-to-face and digital realms and aligning with young users’ special requirements for authenticity and anonymity.

Keywords: design, participation, service design, young citizen, user driven research, experimentation


Co-creating urban art in Leppävaara with local volunteers

Martta Pirttioja, MSc, Environmental Designer, City of Espoo

In August this year, a colourful piece of art appeared on the wooden wall of the Galleria shopping centre’s parking area in northern Leppävaara. The artwork, was inspired by alder leaves, was co-created by multiple actors: active residents in the neighbourhood, the City of Espoo, the owner of the property and the Laurea University of Applied Sciences.

The project is an example of the work of the Environmental Design team which was established in April 2018 under a cross-administrative development program ‘Participatory Espoo’. The team’s principal task is to function as an easily approachable representative of the city and to boost the projects the inhabitants or other actors want to further. The ultimate goal is a network of active inhabitants, local businesses as well as third- and fourth-sector actors working together to create an Espoo they like. In an ideal case, the city’s role would be to enable these projects and to work as an equal partner.

Keywords: servicedesign, urbandesign, laureauas, Espoo, involvement


Youth, active part in development within different living areas

Jukka Piippo, PhD, Nurse specialized in psychiatry, Psychotherapist in specialist level, Principal Lecturer within Mental health, Arcada University of Applied Sciences

PAD – Positive Attitude Development project was a joint project between Arcada University of Applied Sciences and Tallinn University. The main aim with the project was to increase possibilities for young and young adults with mental health problems to get access to labor market within defined areas in the countries. This was done by decreasing stigma and influence attitudes towards mental health to become better. The main activities during the project were face-to-face meetings with citizens and employers. At the meetings, panel discussions were organized, in which issues concerning mental health problems were discussed between employers, professionals, members of target group and educational instances. One of important points during the project was when experts-by-experience become involved at the project. Their participation lead to many significant and positive developments of the projects activities.

Keywords: mental health, youth, cooperation, Helsinki, Tallinn, health and welfare


Assets based community participation and place making

Kate Miller, The University of the West of Scotland, Lecturer in Education, PHD
Ronald McIntyre, The Open University, Designer, Executive Masters in Business Studies
Gary McKenna, The University of the West of Scotland, Research Fellow, PhD

This paper discusses how processes of community development and community education tend to be dominated by a deficit discourse that is influenced by neoliberal political and economic forces. It provides an example of how a community outreach programme can turn the tide on these processes by implementing assets based approaches to place making and working with young people. Assets based approaches value the resources that exist in the community and build on the strengths and affordances of communities. We identify that there are a parallels between deficit models of community development and deficit or ‘banking models’ of education. We argue that a strong assets based approach that emphasises and values the experience of community members is an effective way to empower communities to make positive change.

Keywords: assets based approaches, community empowerment, critical pedagogy, education, place making


Creative Campus Arabia – Design Changes Cities

Tiina Laurila M.Sc., M.A., Project Producer, Metropolia UAS
Petra Lassenius, M.A., Project Manager, Metropolia UAS
Päivi Keränen, M.A., Project Manager, Metropolia UAS

This article presents how design discipline can contribute to the city and campus development. Two projects are introduced: Live Baltic Campus project (2015–2018) brought together city planners, government representatives, campus developers and stakeholders in utilizing the campuses of the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki and 5 partner universities in Turku, Uppsala, Stockholm, Riga and Tartu as labs and developing them as innovation hubs. Creative Campus Arabia Project (2016–2018) focused on identifying stakeholders, vitalizing the neighborhood and providing services like a planned coworking space and XR Centre, new networks that support creative fields and the Arabia-Toukola area in Helsinki. At the same time the new XR Design degree program was founded by Design and Media Degree Program. Collaboration between educational institutes is also part of the development towards digitalization where technology-based solutions are utilized in designing future cities.

Keywords: campus development, city development, design


3D City models and virtuality as tools in regional development

Juho-Pekka Virtanen,  M.F.A., Doctoral Student, Aalto University
Kaisa Jaalama, Doctoral Student, M.Sc. (Admin.), Aalto University
Arttu Julin, M.Sc. (Tech.), Doctoral Student, Aalto University
Matti Kurkela, Lic.Tech., M.A., Studio Manager, Aalto University
Mikko Maksimainen, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Research Professor, Aalto University 
Matti T. Vaaja, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Professor, Aalto University
Hannu Hyyppä, Professor, Dr.Sc. (Tech.), Associate Professor, Aalto University

The development of 3D city models is progressing towards an interactive, smart digital twin of the urban environment. This allows the stakeholders of the urban environment to obtain information concerning the functions, planned changes and infrastructure. In addition to receiving data, citizens, officials and commercial actors can also communicate their own needs and actions, either via direct participatory actions, or indirectly, by accumulation of data to various services. Future 3D city models offer a multitude of benefits for cities, citizens and business.

Keywords: 3D, city model, urban environment, digital twin, engineering, geospatial data


Can a university of applied sciences contribute to regional development in the archipelago?

Rasmus Karlsson, M.Pol.Sc., Project Manager, Novia University of Applied Sciences

Can a university of applied sciences contribute to regional development in the archipelago? Novia UAS is involved in several regional development projects in the archipelago between Finland and Sweden. All these projects connect to local entrepreneurship. Regional development projects have a long history in the archipelago. Projects that are considered failures, or not leading to change for the better on a local level, might lead to distrust in project efficiency and lower interest in future project participation from the local community. Mapping local level needs and wishes in the application phase is important to make sure sufficient funds are allocated.

A university of applied sciences has a role as project partner not bound by municipal borders, providing a professional project organization, a wide network of contacts on different levels of the society including financing frameworks, and professional knowledge in a variety of subjects.

Keywords: regional development, archipelago, interreg, project leadership


Stakeholder informed curriculum development in the Central Baltic Area

Sanna-Mari Renfors, PhD, Researching Principal Lecturer, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

This article presents a case of international curriculum development in higher tourism education in the Central Baltic Area. The aim of the curriculum is to provide an aligned and relevant skillset for the area to grow as a coherent and competitive tourism destination. In practice, the curriculum aligns higher tourism education with the needs of the tourism industry and the labour market in Finland, Estonia, and Latvia into a new, joint curriculum and a study programme. As Europeanisation enables cooperation between the higher education institutions in a broader geographical context, the curriculum is designed and delivered by four universities situated in three countries in cooperation with the tourism industry.

Keywords: tourism industry, regional development, curriculum development, Central Baltic Area


Does international cooperation enhance local social innovation?

Susanne Jungerstam, D.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Novia University of Social Sciences
Annika Wentjärvi, M.Soc.Sc., Research Manager, Novia University of Social Sciences

International cooperation and interprofessional work are both expected to enhance social innovation. Social innovation, in turn, is often expected to be locally developed in close cooperation with end users, organisations and stakeholders. In the BSR Interreg-project Social Empowerment in Rural Areas (SEMPRE), the aim has been to combine the elements of international and interprofessional cooperation and social innovation in a regional and local context. The aim of the article was to discuss both opportunities and challenges that the project encountered, primarily focussing on international and interprofessional competences. The main findings include both positive experiences of good practices and learning across borders, and challenges related to project activities primarily related to the development of both interprofessional and international communication competences, as well as to the project format of developing local social innovation in an international setting.

Keywords: social innovation, interprofessional, international cooperation, project, social services


Efficiency in maritime business both in Satakunta, Finland, and in Southern Africa

Teija Järvenpää, B.Eng.,  Project Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Nina Savela, M.Pol.Sc., Project Researcher, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
Minna Keinänen-Toivola, D.Phil., Research Manager, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences

The changing environment, rapid development of technology and climate change will increase pressure to produce multiskilled personnel in Satakunta, Finland. The efficient maritime cluster in Satakunta constitutes of knowledge, energy efficiency and export actions. Maritime training in Satakunta dates back to 1880 and today, digitalization is emphasized in maritime training. Energy efficient solutions, developed in shipbuilding and port operations in Rauma, generate new business opportunities. The maritime cluster in Satakunta is strongly export-orientated. For example, in Southern Africa, potentials for SMEs include the maritime industry, cleantech, and opportunities in the circular economy. The sector’s eagerness to grow opens up possibilities for job creation and SME growth. This increases international recognition, enables the exchange of ideas, and the development of technologies. Know-how, digitalization and environmental friendliness are uprising accelerating trends in the maritime cluster in Satakunta as well as in export markets.

Keywords: maritime cluster, energy efficiency, export, Satakunta, Southern Africa, technology


The challenge of producing information that promotes regional welfare

Erkki Saari, MAdSc, DSocSc, RDI Senior Lecturer (social services), Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Leena Viinamäki, DSocSc, Principal Lecturer (social services), Lapland University of Applied Sciences

When we think about the role of higher education institutions as producers of information that promotes the welfare of those living in the various regions of the country, we take as our starting point the drawing up of welfare reports that are intended to be part of the welfare management of municipalities. Political decisions based on information provided by welfare reports can influence the polarisation of the country, e.g. whether its regions differentiate in terms of migration gain or loss or well-off and disadvantaged populations. In order to make justifiable political decisions concerning welfare, there is a need for statistical data that describes the welfare of the areas and the view and experience information of the authorities and of the population about the welfare of the population and the functionality of welfare services it can use. However, the welfare reports intended to be drawn up by municipalities should be replaced by regional welfare reports containing the above-mentioned information and drawn up by researcher groups formed by the higher education institutions responsible for the education in health care and social services, the Centres of Excellence in Social Welfare and the research institutions operating in different regions.

Keywords: regional development, welfare barometer, welfare account, welfare report, service system, social services, health care


Regional development and future knowledge in municipalities

Jaana Laitio, Degree Programme in Customer-Oriented Development in Social Service Work, Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Saara Jäämies,Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design , Laurea University of Applied Sciences
Sanna Juvonen, Master of Education, Senior Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

In the future, the population of the world centralizes more and more in cities. The development of urban areas has a major impact on sustainable development of the European Union and its citizens from the economical, ecological, and social point of view. At the same time, urban areas are places where different challenges, inequalities, unemployment and poverty are concentrated. The development of municipal and urban areas and the skills of employees working there need to be ensured in a changing environment. The key challenges and at the same time competences of experts in the future municipalities are to work with digital services and to strengthen the inclusion of residents, as well as to promote human-centered work in changing environment.

Key words: public sector, municipality, employee, future, competence, Social Service Degree Programme, Degree Programme in Service Innovation and Design

No 3/2018 Abstracts

Editorial: A step towards the future

Turo Kilpeläinen, President, Lahti University of Applied Sciences

Digitisation has not only changed consumer behaviour but also the tried and tested methods of many sectors. And it goes without saying that, if it has not already done so, this shift will make an impact on the traditional structure of many higher education institutes (HEIs) Finland, in particular, has experienced the reality of demographic development alongside urbanisation processes and an ever-increasing sustainability gap in public sector funding.

As such, Finnish HEIs must carefully consider how to best go forward with the task of using public funding to generate the expertise and experts required by society. We must also think long and hard about the future role and purpose of HEIs from the perspective of both the individual and society as a whole.

It is generally accepted that HE students are mainly focussed on developing the knowledge and expertise necessary to secure their dream job. And when thinking about young students, the pressing questions are how and at what stage of their institution-based learning journey are they able to take what they have learned and apply it in the wider context of building a life of their own. In an era when it takes a just a second for a super computer to calculate the answers to a millennium’s worth of maths homework for every child in the world, we are going to need new ways of sparking their motivation to learn.

Currently, HEIs are primarily organised around the goal of completing degree-level qualifications. The paradigm shift we are experiencing, however, challenges us to make education more flexible, open, and accessible. In practice, this means we may need to tear down the foundations of the entire HE system. Not only should individual study modules be viable solutions for students pursuing a degree, but for professionals working towards CPD and job-seekers developing their expertise profile, too.

The impact of an increasingly flexible approach to higher education will inevitably bear fruit in terms of HE admissions. Indeed, courses and programmes will be opened up to everyone seeking to update their expertise. Students in Higher Education are increasingly diverse in terms of their background. Consequently, greater flexibility may mean that students are able to tailor the content of the study modules they take or their whole study plans in order to benefit from the expertise of leaders in their fields, both here in Finland and the rest of the world. In this model, the competencies that students develop are not limited by the education available at the institute they are attending. Instead, they can take advantage of a global pool of knowledge and expertise.

Predicting the future is difficult, though. When considering the impact of societal change, we may take the view that the expectations held by the state, regions, stakeholders in working life, and students in relation to HEIs will all change. That being said, we must also assume that the expectations of these actors will not necessarily be the same. The role of digitisation in facilitating accessibility and a completely new form of instruction would appear to be vitally important.

Consequently, this publication seeks to consider concrete examples of the ways in which digital developments are making an impact on teaching and learning at universities of applied sciences. The themes covered include digital competence among students, teachers’ digital pedagogical expertise, pedagogical approaches, raising the profile of universities of applied sciences, and a wide range of practical examples of learning environments and digital tools. The premise behind all this is a desire to meet the needs for expertise in professional life.

As a group of universities of applied sciences and one university, we have taken a courageous step towards the future with the development of the “eAMK” network (an e-resource for universities of applied sciences). The bringing together of HEIs in this way will hopefully foster a permanent community of expertise that transcends institutional borders. Indeed, glinting on the horizon is a new kind of network-based operational model for the entire HE sector.


It is all about the future digital competence

Marja Kopeli, M.A., Faculty Coordinator, Savonia University of Applied Sciences

As a part of eAMK project four universities of applied sciences (HAMK, Humak, KAMK and Savonia) made in November 2017 a Webropol inquiry for students concerning their digital skills. In the questionnaire there were 48 claims and with them the students estimated their digital skills and also estimated the importance of mentioned skills.

According to the survey the students have good skills to study in digital learning environments chosen by their home university. The UAS orientation services seem to work quite well from this point of view. Instead the students seem to need more training to lead their identity in digital world and also to gain, use and create information in digital environments. Overall the students estimated their skills lower than the importance in 80 percent of the claims.

When planning degree programme curricula the future orientation should be in an important role, also in digital skills point of view.

Co-configurative approach to digital literacies in higher education

Olli Vesterinen, Ph.D. (Ed.), Principal Lecturer, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
Sara Sintonen, Adjunct Professor, Senior Lecturer, University of Helsinki
Heikki Kynäslahti, Adjunct Professor, Senior Lecturer, University of Helsinki
Yutaro Ohashi, Associate Professor, Nippon Institute of Technology

Digital literacy is crucial in higher education sector as well as in future work. Higher education institutions can prepare students for the world of work better if the developing of digital competences is acknowledged. Interventions in formal education are urgently needed, and more attention should be given to teacher training and in-service training in order to narrow the digital divide gap (Kaarakainen, Kivinen & Vainio 2017). The article discusses five points of digital literacy: 1. to self-evaluate or to test? (evidence) 2. perspectives (such as identity) 3. participation (agency) 4. dynamic in terms of time (development) 5. individual vs. team (peer-learning). All this connects with the digital pedagogical practices. A co-configurative approach has been developed to look beyond traditional tool-based self-evaluations, which have been the current narrative in the research on digital literacy.

The compliance of teaching and guiding with digipedagogy

Eija Heikkinen, Ph.D. (Sc.), Development Director (Education), Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

Working life requires collaboration between universities, businesses and stakeholders. Students, teachers and staff need opportunities to learn how to connect with each other to create and develop new operating models, products and services. An open business culture requires a proactive attitude towards goal-oriented collaborative development activities and allows the staff members of companies and universities to make mistakes.
The pedagogical approach of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) is called cKAMK, where C describes the concepts of connect, create and coach. Teachers and students work in teams and use project learning methods to solve problems or to develop new products and services collaboratively. In coaching, the teacher is the expert who guides students to find the information they need. The students are responsible for learning and active participants in their work. In addition, KAMK develops a digipedagogical approach and has created a staff competence development model, which includes digital tools for the model’s connect, create and coach functions. This article describes the cKAMK approach.

A Teacher’s Role in the Midst of Digital Change

Tarmo Alastalo, M.Eng., Certified Business Coach, Senior Lecturer, Karelia UAS
Maarit Ignatius, M.A., Coordinator, Blended pedagogy, Karelia UAS

Karelia University of Applied Sciences promotes the creation of flexible study and learning opportunities and the diversification of year-round education by supporting the development of the personnel’s digital skills, change of working methods and the transforming role of a teacher. According to the strategy of Karelia UAS (2017–2020), the implementation of each study unit should form a pedagogically coherent whole that suits the learning environments used.

The objective of this systematic development of learning and study processes is both a functional and pedagogical change aiming at emphasising the student’s role in the learning process and the development of more individualised learning and study processes. The goal of the development cycles is not only to enhance the digital pedagogical skills of the teacher, but also to create new tools for the long-term guidance, counselling, teaching and evaluation of the student. One of the tools used in the development of the digital pedagogical change and in the change of the teacher’s role is the SAMR model by R.R. Puentedura (http://hippasus.com/blog/).

Online implementations by the support and assistance of eAMK project 

Kati Mäenpää, M.Ed., Senior Lecturer, Guidance Counsellor, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Ph.D. Student, University of Oulu
Päivi Tervasoff, M.Soc.Sc., Senior Lecturer (Social services), Special Education Vocational Teacher, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Päivi Rautio, M.H.S., Lecturer, Work Guidance Instructor (STOry), Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Minna Manninen, M.H.S., Senior Lecturer, Head of Midwifery Education, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Satu Rainto, M.Sc. (Health Care), Senior Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Jukka Kurttila, M.Ed., Senior Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Juha Alakulppi, M.Ed., Senior Lecturer, Psychotherapist, Authorised Sexologist, Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Minna Perälä, M.H.S., Senior Lecturer (Midwifery and Health Care), Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Marja Kinisjärvi, M.H.S., Senior Lecturer (Midwifery), Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Henna Alakulju, M.Ed., Study Affairs Planning Officer (Student Services), Oulu University of Applied Sciences
Jukka Savilampi, M.A., Senior Lecturer, Oulu University of Applied Sciences

A team of health and social care teachers planned a new online course (Violence against woman and domestic violence, 5 CU) to a Finnish university of applied sciences shared digital course offering, Campus Online portal. The course was planned and constructed by the support and assistance of eAMK project and its training programme. This article describes a pedagogical example of the course planning process, online implementations and co-operation. It highlights the possibilities of improving or building up new high quality online education in network, with support of a higher education professionals and working life co-operation partners.

Digital competences in the social and health care education

Anna-Leena Eklund, M.H.S., Specially Trained Nurse, Lecturer (Nursing), Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
Taneli Rantaharju, M.Sc. (Tech.), Senior Lecturer, Study Programme Coordinator in intelligent systems, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
Heli Ylitalo, M.H.S., Lecturer (Health and Wellbeing), Kainuu Vocational College

Reforms in social and healthcare structures and functions due to digitalisation are instituting a demand for change in healthcare provision and training. The aim of the DIGIOS project (1.3.2017–31.5.2019) implemented jointly by Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, Kainuu Vocational College and Kainuu Joint Municipal Social and Healthcare Authority is to develop competence in electronic health services and health technology in the region.

The project has created a multi-purpose scalable learning environment in which modern technology- assisted nursing interventions and principles can be practised. The learning environment enables cooperation between the project partners as well as the opportunity to practise multi-professional nursing. As well as nursing and healthcare, the beneficiary of the project is the engineering degree. The results of this joint development initiative are highly applicable in advanced engineering studies, in which the students gain in depth knowledge of health, wellbeing and sports technologies, among others. In addition to teaching, the learning environment will be used in supplementary training and induction for social and healthcare sector and information technology staff.

How to do things right? Blended learning in teaching ethical decision-making in health and social sciences

Soile Juujärvi, D.Pol.Sc., Principal Lecturer, Laurea University of Applied Sciences

In health and social care, ethical competence is one of the core competences that is increasingly studied through E-learning. Dilemma discussions have previously been found to be the most effective method for advancing ethical decision-making. This paper introduces a pedagogical model for professional ethics course based on blended learning. Classroom teaching was combined with dilemma discussions on the digital platform. Students solved real-life ethical problems by applying professional codes, values and ethical theories. Integrated face-to-face and virtual learning engaged students in shared learning process. Threated asynchronous dilemma discussions were important for exploring theoretical knowledge. The role of the teacher was to facilitate learning and provide an example for critical discussion. The model is recommended as a highly motivating method for ethics education.

Creating a change – how does online degree education look like in the eyes of a student?

Ilona Laakkonen, M.A., eLearning Specialist, JAMK University of Applied Sciences

In 2015, we launched an online BBA programme at JAMK School of Business. Our students are motivated and have experiences from the world of work, but face the challenge of allocating their time between work, family life and studies. The past years have been an era of continuous pedagogical development and transformation for our staff. Have we succeeded? How to improve in the following years? This paper reflects these questions in the light of the student feedback and proposes present and future solutions for some of the problems common in adult online education: workload and rhythm; learning assignments and course structure; presence and social interaction. We still have room for improvement, but student responses indicate that hard work also pays off.

Distance education works well in immigrants learning of Finnish language

Kukka-Maaria Raatikainen, M.A., Senior Lecturer (Finnish and Communication), Savonia University of Applied Sciences
Anne Karuaho, M.A., Lecturer (Communication), Savonia University of Applied Sciences

Web pedagogy in learning Finnish language seems to be an effective way of learning at least when the immigrant cannot participate in traditional teaching. In Savonia University of Applied Sciences, we have developed seven courses in Finnish language and during 2018–2019 those courses will be held online. During the summer 2018, an experiment of web course in Finnish language not tied to time nor place took place in Savonia. Feedback has been mainly good: the participants felt that they have learnt many new things especially about idioms and some certain structures in Finnish. Some participants nevertheless felt that, there were not enough materials about oral language or theory about difficult subjects. It is obvious that we have to offer flexible solutions in Finnish language courses in the future also.

Immigrants getting ready for higher education studies online

Tiina Hirard, M.A., Senior Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Heidi Stenberg, M.Ed., Project Director SIMHE-Metropolia, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

This article deals with the higher education preparatory program for immigrants and its online implementation that will be carried out by nine Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences. The main objective of the online implementation is to add to the availability and accessibility of the preparatory program on the national level. Furthermore, studying online develops digital skills that are essential in today’s higher education studies and that are thus considered both as objectives and contents of the preparatory program. The pedagogical approach of the online implementation is based on co-teaching, collaborative construction of knowledge as well between students and teachers as among students, activating learning and teaching methods and continuous assessment and guidance. The online implementation can be seen not only as a new way of implementing the preparatory program but also as a new kind of cooperation and sharing know-how between higher education institutes.

Thesis process in the digital era

Merja Koikkalainen, Ph.D., Principal Lecturer, Master’s Degree Unit, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Marika Kunnari, D.H.S., Principal Lecturer, Master’s Degree Unit, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
Soili Mäkimurto-Koivumaa, Ph.D., Principal Lecturer, Master’s Degree Unit, Lapland University of Applied Sciences

In autumn 2017, Lapland UAS launched a new multidisciplinary Master’s degree programme, Service Management in Digital Era, which is completed entirely online. The programme was designed to meet the challenges of rapidly changing working life. The multidisciplinary MONT thesis process, developed previously at Lapland UAS, was adopted for the programme’s thesis process. Most importantly, the MONT process is interdisciplinary and close to working life. MONT theses are written in small multidisciplinary groups. In an online thesis process, the students’ own activeness and responsibility throughout the process are vital. The MONT process, which is done online, is constructed such that a thesis is completed over the course of 18 months. Small thesis groups write articles on their individual development task, and students in each thematic group also compile a joint knowledge base connected to their theme as a co-creation project. Based on student feedback, satisfaction with the MONT project is connected to multidisciplinary work and the broad analysis it facilitates. Areas in need of improvement include specifying the schedule of the overall process right at the beginning of studies.

Increase personal relevance with learning diaries

Minna Jukka, D. Sc. (Econ.), M.Sc. (Tech.), Project Manager DaaS – Open Data as a Service, South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences

Increasing digital teaching creates a need for new kinds of interaction and personal relevance with the studies. One option is self-reflection of learning by writing a learning diary that supports the forming of personal insights helping to understand and remember. Reviewing over 40 learning diary instructions suggests the best learning diary instructions are tailored to each course, and clearly outline the goals of the diary, the teacher’s expectations and its evaluation. Guiding questions are also included: what I want to learn, what I learned, what was left unclear, what this new knowledge means to me, and what thoughts it aroused. With virtual courses, and especially with adult learners, the learning diary instructions were more detailed, suggesting that self-directedness of the studies needs more detailed guidance. Therefore, the new era of digital teaching needs good guidance in learning diaries.

Master’s Students as the Developers of Communication Skills

Mervi Varhelahti, D.Ed., M.A., M.Sc. (Econ. & Bus.Adm.), Senior Lecturer, Turku University of Applied Sciences
Mirjamaija Mikkilä-Erdmann, D.Ed., Professor, University of Turku, Department of Teacher Education

Changes in the world of work are posing new challenges in orientation in higher educational institutions. This study focuses on the development of adult students’ communication skills ‒ especially media choice ‒ in Master’s studies in universities of applied sciences in Finland. The approach used in this study is mixed method, combining a framework of digital communication skills to the media synchronicity theory as theoretical background. Results suggest that a stronger link to working life orientation could be achieved with a varied choice of digital communications tools in learning.

How to Learn Use of ICT Tools while Learning in Student Projects

Anu Kurvinen, M.BA., Senior Lecture, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences
Pasi Juvonen, D.Sc., Senior Lecturer, Head Coach, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences

Change in digitalization has been rapid. Future working life will need employees who are skilled in different areas. While educating the next generation professionals, we are teaching them capabilities to take over new ways of increasing their knowledge. There is plenty of information available. Thus, one has to be able to think critically, have skills to synthesize and put the information into action in a wise way. This article presents an example of learning environment where ICT tools are learnt in conjunction with student cooperative’s business projects. Since 2009 we have been developing a new learning environment combining studying content knowledge (theory) learning by doing (practice), and employing dialogue in knowledge sharing, knowledge creation and reflection. Adopting and learning to use ICT tools is not depending on the availability of the ICT tools or applications anymore. It’s rather a question to learn how to better utilize the free to use tools available on the market, and harnessing them in the student projects. The article presents pedagogical choices that according to our experiences are increasing the readiness of adopting ICT tools and utilizing them alongside learning business.

Profiling in the virtual world of education

Ritva Kosonen, L.Phil., Principal lecturer, Saimaa University of Applied Sciences
Taina Sjöholm, M.A., Senior Lecturer, Novia University of Applied Sciences

International evaluations show that Finland’s university system is still fragmented and profiles are minimal. A weakness is also that the universities of applied sciences in Finland cooperate only to a limited extent.

The eAMK project acknowledges the importance of profiling. In the autumn of 2018, the project sent a request to all universities of applied sciences asking on which areas of education the university wants to focus considering online studies.

Two of the universities expressed their desire to profile themselves in one area of education, four wanted to profile themselves in two different areas of education. For the rest (15) the wishes were divided into several areas of education. At this stage of the project, it would be challenging to try to create a clear profile of online studies for each of the universities of applied sciences.

In the long term, we should aim to improve cooperation in those areas that provide synergy effects. The work within the eAMK project has come to a good start and we look forward to a wide variety of activities in the future.