Posts in the News category

Amanda Toler Woodward and Kimberly Steed-Page from MSU together with Aura and Kirsi from TAMK

Text and photos: Kirsi Jokipakka

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A small delegation from TAMK, Kirsi Jokipakka and Aura Loikkanen, had a chance to visit Michigan State University at the end of May. Two-day program included visits to MSU support services and learning environments. MSU is among the world’s top 100 universities and it has over 200 programs in undergraduate and graduate level but it also offers various pre-professional study opportunities. MSU is also one of the world’s top research universities and students are linked to research and development activities although their studies. TAMK has co-operation with MSU in the field of social work.

One of the focus areas of MSU is to support the regional development but also global responsibility is an important matter. At MSU students have great study abroad opportunities and in addition to this the services for international students and scholars are well organized. MSU’s 25 international institutes, centers and units collaborate with academic colleges across campus to help the students to develop their global competencies.

The student services of MSU are broad and divided into four parts. Services include Student Affairs and Service Operations, Health, Wellness & Safety, Identity & Affinity, Transition, Leadership and Experiential Learning. Staff members’ role is to support students throughout their studies. At MSU the student life is active and students are well-integrated into university community. Support services are visible and easily accessible. The tuition fees are the most important income for MSU and therefore degree-seeking students are vital for the university.

During the visit it became clear that MSU is committed to take good care of its students. It is important that the university offers good-quality education and research but also the student life should meet the needs of the present and future students.

Office of Cultural & Academic Transitions

Entrance hall of the Student Affairs and Services building

 

 

 

 

 

Text: Mirja Onduso
Photo: Merja Halivaara


Laughter and chatter in various languages filled TAMK’s cafeteria on a Friday evening in March when 59 international students from TAMK, TUT and UTA and 43 local Friend Families met each other for the first time over blueberry pie at TAMK.

IMG_3332– I was thrilled and eager to meet my friend family, said Hai Luong Dang, a first-year student from Tampere University of Technology (TUT).

Hai was one of the lucky international students studying in TUT, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) or University of Tampere (UTA) to get a local friend family through the universities’ Friend Family Programme. His Friend Family is Mira Pihlström’s family.

The universities have been running the Friend Family Programme together for already six years, and this year a record number of 43 families got involved. Earlier the programme was coordinated by UNIPOLI staff; from this year onwards it will be TAMK’s responsibility.

The idea of the programme is to help international students integrate into Finnish way of life, and to offer families a chance to practice their foreign language and intercultural skills. TAMK arranges the first and the last meeting jointly to all participants, and the family-student pairs otherwise agree on how often to meet and what to do. The families and the students commit to the programme for one year – but may even become friends for life!

Most families ‘adopt’ one international student, some brave ones even two.

Exciting experience for both sides

Mira Pihlström was an exchange student in Spain during her own studies, so she knows how it is to live in another country.

– I like meeting people from different countries and learning about their cultures, and it’s never a bad thing to have more friends either, she said.

In her application, she wished to have a “social, humorous and chatty” student friend – and she got two social, humorous and chatty Vietnamese boys, who had never met each other even though they have both lived in Finland for almost one year.

– I didn’t know anything about Vietnam but they told me e.g. that the traffic is chaotic and that families are only allowed to have two children, Mira said.

Hai was also excited:

– Meeting Mira erased my preassumed thoughts that Finnish people are not so into small talk: she was so receptive to our conversation and it was a memorable experience. We talked a lot of many different things: life in Vietnam and for example Finnish life, food, traffic and law. We helped Mira to know a lot more about Vietnam, since she didn’t have any clues about our country before, said Hai.

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Students may live here for 4-5 years without ever seeing a Finnish home

International students often find it difficult to integrate into the Finnish society and local activities. Many have said that they have lived in Finland for many years and have never been to a Finnish home or met other people than students: children, elderly or working people.

– My first meeting with my Friend Family is actually my first time ever talking to Finnish people outside the university and supermarket, said Hai.

The Friend Family Programme is open to TAMK, TUT and UTA students and any local families. Students may be selected for the Friend Family programme only once but families may act as Friend Families as many times as they wish!

Although most of the advertising is done through the universities, families don’t need to be related to the universities: any family interested in sharing their family experiences and learning about other cultures is welcome to apply. Also, all kinds of families are welcome: families with children or no children, large families or single-person families.

Both students and families have to apply for the programme. The application period is in January-March, and the programme runs in March-December.

The next application period for 2018 programme will be in January-March 2018. The instructions can be found on the UNIPOLI website.

Kauppi forests calling in May

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Many international students are usually interested in nature – and they have often only heard stories of the Finnish summer cottages. Hai might or might not yet know that Mira’s family also has a summer cottage!

In May, TAMK usually arranges also a joint forest trip and sausage roasting in Kauppi forest for the families and students.

Before the forest walk, they have plans for May Day (in Finnish, vappu) celebration:

– I wait for more activity with my Friend Family. These weeks are very busy for us, the exam week. However, we are going to have a picnic after the exam. I hope the weather will be nice to us, wished Hai.

Hai, how was blueberry pie?

– I don’t remember, all my memory and attention was drawn into the conversation with Mira!

 

Text: Mirja Onduso
Photo: Merja Halivaara

Tanyu and Virpi presenting the 21st Century Educators program to the world

Tanyu and Virpi presenting the 21st Century Educators programme to the world

Outstanding, highly acclaimed and on top of Europe’s rankings for the past 16 years, the Finnish education system continues to be an appealing topic for many educational institutions around the world. Consider the World Economic Forum and the many articles published on insights and secrets of Finland’s one of the most successful exports to the world. With the doors to the world already open and an increasing worldwide interest, a team of experts from Tampere University of Applied Sciences discovered an undeniable need of educating teachers through innovative methodologies to guarantee immediate results. Meet TAMK’s 21st Century Educators.

21st Century Educators is a fully supported, cohort based, collaborative programme which believes that learning is best undertaken as a social activity in an authentic context. The programme is developed so that it encompasses courses and services which can be delivered either online, face to face or in a blended format by TAMK Global Education. Which countries respond the best to the program? What skills should the educator of the future possess? Customer Relationship Managers, Virpi Heinonen and Tanyu Chen provided me the answers.

The first thing I notice when I step into their office is the chemistry between Virpi and Tanyu and how they conclude each other’s answers. Virpi constantly gives Tanyu the chance to share ideas related to her experience as a researcher well-accustomed to the Chinese market. As a consequence, Tanyu discloses how satisfied she is with her work “I realized that what I learned, researched and analyzed in theory, I can put in practice at TAMK.”

This year, they have worked with partners in China, Brazil, USA, Uruguay, Oman and Myanmar but the first two are the most eager to learn about the Finnish education system and implement the knowledge into their teaching practices. When it comes to China, the opportunities are bigger since the education model is shifting. “In 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a new policy wanting to have 600 out of 2000 existing higher education institutions transferred to universities of applied sciences. This is a big transformation. If previously the education methods and approaches were adopted from English speaking countries, nowadays China is more focused on the Nordic countries. They are deeply impressed with the Finnish education.” states Tanyu. Despite their sincere enthusiasm, Chinese customers are not easy to reach. For high-end customers, traditional face to face training is preferred to digital studies.

“We have been operating in the Chinese market for two years now and our program is very well known there because China is a very special case. Universities send their leaders to study abroad which means the management and the leadership are the core. Teachers don’t have so many opportunities and their visits here are relatively short. So if we can impact the leaders, then they will make the right decisions regarding the teacher training services.” she adds.

Do they have a follow-up scheme to track the progress of Chinese leaders back in their homeland? “Actually, we do have a follow-up scheme to collect the feedback for those who have learned in Finland and we also have Finnish experts to train the local teachers in China. So far, we received positive feedback from those teachers who attended the teacher trainings. Many of them got promoted or their level of teaching has increased. Teachers are switching their daily practices and taking to their classrooms what they learned from Finland. It’s very difficult in the beginning because their mindsets have changed, but the students’ not yet. The change is gradually happening in the classroom and it’s a slow process. “

Virpi travels more often to Latin American countries and Brazil is a top destination. “With Brazil it is going well. We just had our third graduated group and they are all great ambassadors. They are marketing Finland themselves within the federal institute where they work at so we are expecting more Brazilian teachers next year and we are also sending our teachers to Brazil. Mark Curcher, our Program Director is also taking care of the online program and services besides travelling to Brazil for conferences and workshops. We have traded in Brazil for four years already and there has been a lot of interest in Proakatemia type of innovation weeks, leadership and coaching trainings. TAMK will have a new Master’s programme in Educational Leadership starting in 2017 and the goal is to prepare those who work in educational institutions, HR management, governmental positions or NGO’s.  We are hoping to reach people from different countries with interesting and distinctive backgrounds.”

The must-have competences of a future educator

Is leadership one of the must-have competences of a future educator then? “Definitely. Leadership and coaching skills are the most needed at the moment. An educator has to be able to facilitate the student’s learning process. Students are already capable to find the information they need to support their studies so the teacher’s role is to facilitate the learning conditions and create an experience.” continues Virpi.

“If you go deep, you’ll probably find lots of skills. Lifelong learning and cultural competences are also very important. To always be hungry for learning and developing new skills and share them with your group of students. All student groups are diverse and international and we learn from them as much as they learn from us.”

Virpi and Tanyu have been working together for slightly over one year now and laid the basis of a small, but very efficient team. And while they’re selling the expertise of different degree programmes to other countries, they are counting on all the support they can get from the head of each department and front-line teachers. Especially when they have international visitors interested in class observation, laboratory showing and project presentation. A quick response is crucial in sealing the deals from which the whole institution benefits.

“We need everyone’s help and more effective internal communications in order to reach our future goals and spread the Joy of Discovery to the rest of the world.”

 

Text & photo: Andruta Ilie

 

Read more about 21st Century Educators: http://21stcenturyeducators.tamk.fi/

Discover our brand new Master’s programme: http://www.tamk.fi/web/tamken/educational-leadership-master

InnoEvent Tampere was an intensive week during which TAMK students from different fields of study were divided into multi-disciplinary teams with the purpose of  creating innovative solutions to real cases given by a variety of companies and organizations.

One of the participating teams was team ONGO, who aimed to solve a case given by TAYS Central Hospital regarding the difficulties foreigners experience in finding their way around the hospital premises. With most of their instructions in Finnish and about 30% of their patients being illiterate, TAYS is looking for bright and innovative solutions designed to make things easier for its visitors. Team ONGO responded to the challenge by creating a navigation device to guide the patient, once he registered the details of his appointment after arriving at the hospital.

The device is programmed in such a manner to lead the patient to his destination with the help of lighted arrows and there are also three more buttons which indicate how to reach the cafeteria area, toilets and other additional services. So far, the feedback received was quite good and the judges saw it as a realistic option to be considered.

Liza Daviskiba, ONGO team member said she was very pleased with the atmosphere within her team and the amount of work everyone put into the project: “The atmosphere in our group has been really good and that’s one of the key points during an intensive week when you have to spend so much time together and do team work. Everyone has actively participated and there were no language barriers. I think we all enjoyed working with each other.”

inno18

 

Team ONGO:

Liza Daviskiba
Joonas Kääriainen
Ellanoora Kärkkäinen
Petteri Pelkonen
Catherine Maloney
Suvi Löffler
Matthäus Hörmann

More about InnoEvent Tampere:

Innoevent

Text & photo: Andruta Ilie

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In October, we packed ourselves into TAMK cars and drove together to Helvetinjärvi National park, in Ruovesi. The drive took us about an hour and we navigated easily to our destination 😀 The plan was to hike the 11km trail from Haukanhieta to Helvetinkolu.

The weather was great: sunny and not too cold!

 

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We were 14 people, ten international students and four mentors. We saw green woods, swamps and small lakes on the way. The trail went up and down hills, along stairs and duckboards.

 

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When we got to Helvetinkolu after hiking a few hours, we unpacked our lunches and started cooking on the camp fire. We had sausages, hot chocolate, tea, coffee, chocolate bananas, stick bread and lots and lots of marshmallows.

 

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To start our way back, we climbed up the Helvetinkolu Gorge. The rocks were slippery, but everyone got up safely and had a lot of fun.

 

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The view down to the Lake Iso Helvetinjärvi was beautiful from the cliffs.

 

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The hike back was even faster than in the morning, and we got back to the cars exhausted, but happy.

 

Text: Mira Piilemä and Elina Mäenpää

Photos: Sophie Montigny, Andreia Rodrigues, Hegi Rezhda and Vesa-Pekka Tuomaala

 

Teambuilding activities

Teambuilding activities

 

Design Thinking Workshop by Aurelija Ganusauskaitė

Design Thinking Workshop by Aurelija Ganusauskaitė

 

In fall 2016 we spent one week in Kaunas, Lithuania. The coordinator of the Nordplus Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network and the intensive course “Customized product/service innovation & marketing through traditional, digital and social media”, Senior Lecturer in Marketing Pirkko Varis from Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Finland together with Monika Didžgalvytė and Aurelija Ganusauskaitė from Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, organized for us the programme. Loreta Petrauskaitė and Mindaugas Šerpytis coordinated the teambuilding activities and assisted in other tasks.

 

Teambuilding activities

Teambuilding activities

 

Altogether 30 students and 8 staff members from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Lithuania joined the intensive course. From TAMK, Finland students Heli Hekkanen, Hannele Keto, Jenni Kohtamäki, Ella Ora, Jane Nurmala, Anna Jaakkola, Pauliina Suojärvi and Mikael Lagerbohm took part in the Nordic & Baltic week.

 

Country presentation Finland

Country presentation Finland

 

Country presentation Norway

Country presentation Norway

 

On weekend we had some teambuilding activities and we could get acquainted with each other and spend some time together. In our working teams of students with different educational and international backgrounds we visited some famous places in Kaunas, did some photo/video tasks and created a photo story to present the tour in Kaunas city.  We also had presentations of all the countries, cities, universities and study programmes taking part in the course.

 

Christian Hammerich, Anneliis Tomingas, Kristo Krumm, Liisa Heinonen and Pirkko Varis following country presentations together with some students

Christian Hammerich, Anneliis Tomingas, Kristo Krumm, Liisa Heinonen and Pirkko Varis following country presentations together with some students

 

On Monday we were given the assignment from a Lithuanian company “Kavos Draugas” to work on conceptualizing  persona and on generating marketing communications plan.  It took us into the world of coffee. The company sells coffee machines mostly in Lithuania and other Baltic countries and in Finland, too.  We also had a workshop on Design Thinking by Aurelija Ganusauskaitė. In the afternoon we worked in teams discussing the challenges and analyzing the market and the clients. We did a thorough research and found out details to support our choices. To help us get a better understanding of why the company differentiated itself from the common retailer, all participants went idea generating at different coffee shops around the city.

 

Coffee tasting

Coffee tasting

 

Coffee tasting

Coffee tasting

 

On Tuesday and Wednesday we worked in our teams with the assignment.  We also went to an exquisite coffee tasting in Vero Café House. We did visualization of the persona and created a marketing communications plan including online marketing and social media. We finalized our work and also delivered our reports by the deadline.

 

Team presentation

Team presentation

 

Ignas Dombrauskis from the company

Ignas Dombrauskis from the company

 

On Thursday our presentations took place. Many different target groups and communication plans were presented, and a winner was chosen between the five teams. All teams did great work. The winning team members were Simon Barman-Jenssen, Kristine Green, Janne Disko, Anna Jaakkola, Pauliina Suojärvi, Monika Lisauskaitė and Morten Tanne.  On Thursday evening we had a closing ceremony and dinner. We congratulated the winners and thanked the organisers and all participants and spent the evening together. On Friday we left Kaunas with a lot of nice memories.

 

The coordinator Pirkko Varis happy with the results of the teams

The coordinator Pirkko Varis happy with the results of the teams

 

In the following some students share their experiences and thoughts of the intensive course and time in Lithuania.

 

Simon Barman-Jenssen from UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics, Tromsø, Norway

 

Getting this opportunity to work with so many talented people was an experience I won’t forget in the foreseeable future. I’ve met and worked with people I’d love to work with again, and I’ve made friends that I know I’ll be seeing a lot of in the years to come. A big applause to our hosts in Kaunas. I thank you for letting me take part in this great project!

Winning team presentation by Simon Barman-Jenssen and Kristine Green

Winning team presentation by Simon Barman-Jenssen and Kristine Green

 

Students from the University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Odense, Denmark

written by Sidsel Dahl Knudsen

Six 3rd semester students from PDI together with PDI’s project coordinator Christian Hammerich spent a week in Lithuania developing their PDI skills in an international business week, while working on a case. The Nordic Baltic Business Week is an opportunity for 3rd semester PDI students to go out and use our new learned innovative project management and business skills. The week provides an international environment where both creative learning and fun is important.

For a student at PDI, all six participants agree that this business week allow us, as students, to take on a project leader role and use the skills we have gained so far to understand a job fast and gain an impression of the different competences available in a team. It is clear that we as PDI’s can take on different roles and create good internal as well as external team communication. One week can mean a large amount of personal development – if you are open and motivated. So as a call for the 1st semester PDI’s take some changes and do participate in an international project when your chance is there.

Country presentation Denmark

Country presentation Denmark

 

Students from Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia

Janne Disko

Participating in this project for me was really interesting, since it was the first international project for me. What made it more interesting was that we were working for a small local business and we worked in international teams. We all had different ideas and backgrounds, therefore our final project came out even better than we expected!

Karin Märjamaa

Work hard, play hard – a week when intensive work mingles with fun!

International diversity is not an obstacle but a joy and an opportunity for self-development!

Heelia Sillamaa

I really loved participating in the Nordic and Baltic business week. I had a great team to work with and it was really interesting and useful for the future to work in a fully international group. It was interesting to see how students from different countries have different lifestyles and perspective to life and it was a challenge to combine all these different opinions for a mutual understanding and outcome. Finally we were able to do it successfully and we were all really proud of the work we did as one team. Also really important part of the experience for me was the free time, mainly because then we had the opportunity to discuss about all the topics that are close to our hearts and it was really nice to see that it doesn`t matter where you come from, we are all still the same. It was fun to get new friends from all over the Europe. I truly enjoyed my time in Kaunas and I would love to take part in this kind of a project again in the future.

 

Country presentation Estonia

Country presentation Estonia

 

 

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Students from Denmark, Estonia and Norway

 

Photos

Monika Didžgalvytė & Jonas Petronis, Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania

Anneliis Tomingas, Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia

Pirkko Varis, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Finland 

 

The following institutions are members of the Nordplus Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network:

Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Business, Finland

The University of Southern Denmark, Faculty of Engineering, Odense, Denmark

Tallinn College of Tallinn University of Technology, Business, Estonia

UiT The Arctic University of Norway, School of Business and Economics, Tromsø, Norway

Vytautas Magnus University, Faculty of Economics and Management, Kaunas, Lithuania

tanja-verho

Boring lectures held in huge auditoriums where everyone is checking their mobile phones and planning the great escape? Forget about that. Experiential learning or learning by doing is the way forward in education. And TAMK’s Proakatemia, a student-orientated environment, masters the concept pretty well through its nonconventional teaching and learning approaches. The student is the one to discover the theoretical part and hands-on teamwork, how to combine the two and how to balance them. Nonetheless, he is not alone in this adventurous journey. A team of fellow students and an experienced coach is the best type of assistance he will ever need.

Tanja Verho is one of Proakatemia’s coaches whose vision is to develop future entrepreneurs and really good workers. To inspire her team of students to find their motivation and drive in achieving their goals. To find their own path in life. She does that by asking lots of questions which are not always comfortable. Those questions though, invite to self-evaluation. And it is well-known that self-evaluation leads to lasting change.

 

Tanja, please introduce me to the coaching and learning approaches used in Proakatemia.

At Proakatemia, we have a four-hour training session with our team twice a week. There is a specific theme for each session and we prefer that people don’t use their mobile phones, nor laptops during that time. We are learning by dialogue. We discuss projects, business models and organizations, leadership and teamwork.  Students read a lot of professional books about marketing and communications, leadership and management along with economical and financial aspects. Later on, they have to write essays on some of the models and techniques they found interesting and want to test on their own companies. If it works, then that’s great. If it doesn’t, they still learned something new.

They can also attend seminars and webinars, listen to TED talks and read academic articles. The main way though, is through project work. Doing projects for their own companies with real customers who pay them.

We recently had a training session about product conceptualization, their own company products and services and since my background is in service design and design thinking, I gave them some insights in a five-minute speech. No longer than that. This is a different kind of learning and studying style because the coach’s role is not to give out theory and prepare the training session, but to assist the students in revealing the answers to their questions.

When is the right time for the coach to step in?

Students have to learn to be patient and to listen so they can prevent their first reactions from igniting into them. When they feel stuck, then it’s my time to ask questions. “Why do you think this is going this way?”, “What scares you?”, “What would be the best way to move forward and solve this issue?” and so on.

Most of the time, we already have the answers but we are scared and unsure about ourselves and how to further proceed. When students discover the answers by themselves, it’s more motivating and empowering, rather than me providing them.

That’s a great way to learn but I’m certain it brings up some challenges too. Which are the main ones?

I personally see challenges as possibilities to learn. Of course, there has to be chemistry in a team. Realizing you don’t like someone who’s part of your team should give you a place to reflect upon your own attitude and how to deal with it. As coaches, we are supporting them in solving those kind of issues and talk about what bothers them. One of our roles is to challenge everyone in the team to work together. Problems usually occur when there’s a lack of communication.

Chemistry is one thing and there are lazy people every now and then. If they don’t show up to our mandatory sessions and they are not actively involved in projects and teamwork, we question their motifs. When motivation is an issue, those people are in the wrong place. It’s not easy for them to admit that because they feel like giving up. However, there is a sense of relief that comes with that realization and knowing that you can do something different elsewhere.

Selling is another challenge for most people. When you’re talking about companies and entrepreneurship, you need to sell your products and services. Money talk and selling your own skills and expertise are difficulties to Finnish people. Nowadays, it’s much easier to do that because we have the knowledge for it and atmosphere in Finland has changed in the past years. Students coming to Proakatemia are open-minded and have the desire to improve and change their mindsets.

Is your team involved in any interesting projects nowadays? Any particular achievements you’re proud of?

There are sixteen students in my team of which two are doing a three-month exchange. Some members of my team are involved in a sports and business conference taking place next year, in January. Others are producing advertising videos for companies (Alma Media, for example) and writing articles for different events too. They participate in volunteer projects for the community when needed.

Some of the recent past projects included three cafeterias opened in the Tampere area and the whole team was working there. It was their own project and altogether, the turnover was between 60,000€ and 70,000€. Which is not bad, considering they are still student entrepreneurs.

You graduated from Proakatemia ten years ago and now you’re back in a different role. What made you return? 

When I look back, I’ve always been the teacher type. I like interacting with people and I think everyone is a learner. I ask the right questions and help people figure out the answers by themselves. Something magical happens when a person is able to learn and change her attitude for the best. That’s huge for me.

I remember Proakatemia as a fascinating place during my studies. I was a junior coach at the time. After graduation, I did marketing, service design and even established a sign language translating service, where I learned a lot about human behavior and what motivates people to do certain things. But my dream was always to return to Proakatemia when I’ll have something to give back.

Now I have the experience I can relate to and share it with my students. As a coach, I’m happy if my students found their direction in life and know where they’re heading to after graduation. I think they have succeeded. They are building their characters and we are supporting them. I believe that every coach in Proakatemia shares the same vision.

Most educational institutions are struggling to keep a track of their graduates. How do you know if your students have succeeded or not after they left Proakatemia?

We still have meetings after they graduate to see what they’re doing. If someone feels lost, we can have a development discussion and help him regain direction and focus.

Proakatemia is built on trust. That’s one of the most important values we have here. In the first year, a student learns about teamwork and has to trust its colleagues, co-owners and coach. I know all of my sixteen students. They’re all different and some of them share things about their personal lives with me. They know they can talk to me about anything. It’s all about trust and knowing that someone cares about you and is there to support you.

Is that a realistic and achievable goal within a larger group?

I think it can work if you divide the group into smaller pieces and establish relationships based on trust.

You’ve been an entrepreneur for more than ten years now. Is there such thing as a recipe of a successful entrepreneur?

It has a lot to do with failures. You have to learn about them and have the courage to make mistakes. If you ask me about my failures, I can’t even remember them. I made so many. I always reflect upon them afterwards because the second time is always coming and I have to be prepared.

If you have the courage and the attitude to trust the entire process of entrepreneurship, you’ll find your way and be successful.

When I look at our students, they are doing things. Of course, they are thinkers also, but overall a good combination of doers and thinkers. You need them both.

 

Text: Andruta Ilie

Photo: Harri Hinkka

 

Professor Antonio Roberto de Oliveira has returned to Finland for his second visit this year. This time though, he is not alone. Antonio and six of his students embarked on an innovative journey of discovering new methodologies, learning techniques and entrepreneurship with the aim of changing the traditional system back in their home country, Brazil. On the last leg of their trip, they stopped at TAMK’s Proakatemia to learn more about teamwork and young leadership.

Antonio, where did your second trip to Finland start and when did you arrive to Tampere?

My journey started a week ago, in Helsinki, where we had a workshop on service design and visited a few innovative consultancies.  After that, we went to Tallinn for one day and since Monday, we’ve been in Tampere.

What have you been doing in Tampere?

We visited Mediapolis, New Factory, Futurice , Suomen Luonnonkosmetiikan Osuustukku and Suomen Lasinjalostus during our first two days here. We were impressed by the last company and their great idea of transforming used glass in reusable products. I think that’s an inspiring project. On our last day in Finland, we decided to visit Proakatemia.

What are your impressions so far?

In the morning, there was a one-hour workshop on friend leadership and now we’re taking part in an innovative challenge coming from Suomen Luonnonkosmetiikan Osuustukku, a Finnish company specialized in organic cosmetics. The theme is how to sell organic cosmetic products via Internet. Two of my students, Marcos and his wife, Sheila own a cosmetics company called Medicatriz so they know a lot about the market, customer behavior and touchpoints. Altogether with the rest of the group and Proaketemia students, they have been divided into three teams working together on new ideas. I was amazed to see that Proakatemia students, even though they are younger than my students, are already thinking ahead. They are really nice and engaged people, know what they want and are prepared for the market. The level of discussions in here is high and that’s one the most important things about this place.

Last time we talked, you told me how you wanted to change the traditional system back in your home institution, Rio Branco. Is that still one of your goals?

Yes, it is. In Brazil, the competition is high and we’re not used to work together. When people start learning and going to schools, they’re used with following a traditional system. Nowadays, we’re trying to change their mindsets by working in teams and adding entrepreneurship to all study fields. I know that anyone has the power to be innovative. They just have to push themselves and work as entrepreneurs if they want to create a social impact.

How is this change affecting the way the teacher is perceived?

The teacher is going to be facilitating the process of learning by stepping off of the stage. As a result, students will show more enthusiasm and have more power. To think by themselves and to work in teams. As a teacher, my purpose is to change mindsets with the use of different methodologies. I believe I have the power to do that and show my students the best way to redesign their lives.

Have you got a motto in life?

My motto is “Different to make a difference!”.

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In the first three photos: Antonio’s students working in teams with Proakatemia students

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In the last two photos: Professor Antonio Roberto de Oliveira, Coordinator of the Master in Branding Innovation at Rio Branco College in Brazil and Virpi Heinonen, Customer Relationship Manager (Global Education at Tampere University of Applied Sciences)

Text & photos: Andruta Ilie

Read about Antonio’s first visit to Finland:

Collaboration is the new key word in education

TAMK Ambassadors come from various degree programmes and national backgrounds, allowing them to showcase the TAMK student experience from many different viewpoints and create a truly international experience for visitors.

Let's start with introducing you to Tengfei Liu, an exchange student from China who studies Paper Technology at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. Here's how Tengfei describes himself:
"I am an outgoing person, fond of getting to make new friends. I really like TAMK and appreciate this great chance to be an ambassador of TAMK. Let me show you around and introduce you to our amazing TAMK. Are you ready?"

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From China also comes Dandan Hou, another one of our exchange students. She really enjoys her stay in Finland and the beautiful nature here. 
"Hi! I'm Dandan Hou and I study Chemical and Process Engineering at TAMK. I really enjoy my stay in Finland. I love forests and nature. I like hiking, running and sleeping. Sometimes I go hiking in the forest with my friends. I really enjoy it. But I have never been to the forest alone, because it’s easy for me to get lost."

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Our next ambassador is Qinning Wan and he's also an exchange student from China. Qinning has a background in Applied Chemistry back in his home university and he chose to study Paper Technology with us. You could say Qinning has succeeded in adopting a Finnish lifestyle, given his hobbies: 
"I like playing musical instruments and watching drums TV in my spare time. Besides, swimming is also one of my habits, which is a really exciting workout for keeping fit. I am pretty interested to be a TAMK ambassador and introduce specific information about TAMK to those who need it."

qinning-wan

We'll stick for a bit to the biggest continent in this world, but this time with a different country, Vietnam. Linh Nguyen is doing her degree in Energy and Environmental Engineering and she is on a mission:
"I am a 19-year-old cute Vietnamese girl. I love forests, animals and TAMK! TAMK is my sweet home. I want to tell everyone about its beauty! Let's 'TAMK' together!"

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Yen Bui comes from Vietnam as well and she is an International Business Tutor Student. She describes herself as a catholic and daydreamer and is very passionate about dancing:
"I love dancing the most. Hip-hop dance is the best thing I ever do in my life. It’s never wrong to say that music can help people to heal their souls. I have started dancing when I was 14, and from that time on, music has always been my best friend."

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We're getting closer to home, but not until we greet one of our neighbours. Ivan Denisenko is a first-year student of the Energy and Environmental Engineering double degree programme. He's originally from Vyborg, Russia and he's the right guy to contact for musical collaborations.
"Active and willing to support different kind of social work, I decided to join the TAMK Ambassadors team to bring some of my ideas to life and also help TAMK with my own labour and enthusiasm. More than that, to me it's a great opportunity to get to know many people, both those who are with me in this team and those who I will help as part of my duties. I also write music, sing and play the guitar, so if you have any interesting musical cooperation ideas or need a person for a band, contact me at any time."

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We now reached home with our last, but not the least TAMK Ambassador, Elina Eskola. Elina is a Business Information Systems student who enjoys travelling, exploring new places and meeting new people. And she has quite an unusual and interesting favourite hobby...
"I love spending my time either playing, reading or doing various different sports. Aerial fitness is my favourite."

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Best of luck to our TAMK Ambassadors and we can’t wait to hear more about their duties and achievements!

Read more here:
http://www.tamk.fi/web/tamken/tamk-ambassadors

 

 

 

Scandinavian countries put themselves back on top of the leader board by scoring exceptionally well on international student satisfaction in 2016.

With Norway as a winning country scoring a 9.3, followed by Finland in 4th place, Sweden in 7th place and Denmark in 8th position, Scandinavian universities maintain their reputation of high student satisfaction characterized by offering solid and high-quality education to their students.

Being included in the International Student Satisfaction Awards is recognised as a great achievement for universities and we are very pleased to announce that Tampere University of Applied Sciences has won the StudyPortals Award for Very Good International Student Satisfaction 2016. International students rated their study experience at our university with an average score of 8+ based on 85 reviews. This result takes TAMK to the top ten universities in Finland.

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Tampere University of Applied Sciences would like to express its gratitude to all our amazing international students for their reviews and to StudyPortals for sharing this valuable information with us.
Thank you!

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StudyPortals is the international study choice platform, enabling students to find and compare their study options across borders. StudyPortals’ annual award is based on the analysis of thousands of students reviews on STeXx.eu, the world’s largest database of international student experiences. These reviews provide rare insights into universities’ performance from a student’s’ perspective.

International Student Satisfaction Awards 2016 were officially announced during the Annual EAIE conference Liverpool, on 15th of September, 2016.

More information about StudyPortals here:

This year’s press release on the country rankings:
http://www.studyportals.com/press-releases/norway-climbs-to-the-top-of-international-student-satisfaction/