Posts in the Tampere3 category

Text: Topias Lehtimäki (student, International Business), Trung Dang Viet (student, Energy and Environmental Engineering) and Alessandro Zocca (student, International Business)

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This writing is done by students participating Tampere3 Smart Campus Innovation Lab (SCIL) summer 2017 projects. At SCIL, students from various fields and university professionals collaboratively carry out development projects that benefit the higher education consortium on a wide scale.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

There are two words that are thrown around a lot nowadays. Sustainable is one, development is another. When combined with each other, a concept called sustainable development is born. Many of you readers have heard of the concept, some of you may even be educated in the matter.

Sustainable development has many definitions by various organizations. Even TAMK has its own definition of the concept, and by the way, did you know that sustainable development is also one of the four values of TAMK’s current strategy for 2020? Because sustainable development is one of TAMK’s values, we decided to ask some of the staff and students what it means to them.

Janne Hopeela

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

Three main areas actually: I’m a student counsellor, which is my main responsibility, then I’m working with practical training; coaching our practical trainees. I’m also responsible for international coordination.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

That’s a very big question. Well of course I try to think about the small steps and things in my private life, how to recycle things, it’s an everyday thing. I really want to do my share and take care of sustainability. I’m very interested in that.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

Of course it has. I have been working in TAMK for 20 years, so I’ve seen some of the changes here as well. For example, we are using more double-sided copying and at the same time we try to do less copying and use more electronic ways of circulating materials by teachers and students. The attitude towards copying has radically changed.

But then some of the things I have seen changed here when we implemented the strategy for example the kind of lights we use but of course we should be switching off more. During winter we can still see quite a lot of class rooms where there are no people inside, but lights are on. So how could everyone of us really notice that I am the last person leaving the classroom – just remember to switch off the light. Very simple things.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

For example, in my own office they are changing the windows at the moment. I guess it’s because it’s an old building from the 60’s and they are trying to become more efficient in finding a way to reduce the use of energy in different ways. Of course it’s quite expensive to do that. But I think in the long run it will be for the benefit of TAMK as it’s a big institution.

If we can save some costs in heating during the winter or cooling down during summer time. Money is an issue for UAS’ nowadays so if we can find ways to reduce the use of energy, let’s go for it. An example: switching off the lights when I’m the last person leaving. This is just some of the tiny things I notice in everyday life.

Paula Nissilä

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

Customer services secretary at TAMK Info Desk.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

For me it means that everyday there is something new to learn, in different ways, even at work we are improving all the time and all we do here, has become more advanced.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

It has changed the way of working here at TAMK. Sustainable development is discussed constantly and the staff is trying to come out and develop new ideas to improve and also to reflect on it. Also thanks to this, sustainable development has been imprinted into my mind permanently! I try to learn more about it, because I understand that we have to save the nature somehow and at the same time intensify the elimination of unnecessary operation that isn’t helping the cause.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

I was in Scotland for an exchange last year (2016) and after that I have realized that maybe even here at TAMK we could for example decrease the amount of paper consumption by using more monitors instead of normal boards and banners.

Tinja and Riikka

What is your occupation here at TAMK?

We are Nursing and Healthcare students.

What does sustainable development mean to you?

Recycling and also thinking in a more ecological way come immediately to mind .

I can think about it in relation to nursing work, as well, said Tinja, when discussing about effective use of medical supplies.

Sustainable development is a value of TAMK, how has it changed the way you perform your daily routines?

At least, we are trying to use less paper and utilize more online material on Tabula, Tinja said.

Having some of the exams on screen and not on paper is helping the cause, Riikka adds, and also last summer I participated in an online course where it was possible to take part in the discussions and consulting the slides directly from home.

How, in your opinion, could TAMK develop its sustainability further?

About social sustainability; making students that are studying different subjects, cooperate together is a way to implement that, for example being able to practice with a team formed by nurses, doctors and physiotherapists is a good thing.

 

As it can be seen, staff members and students are already aware of what has been done and what can be done to improve sustainability. Now the question remains: is TAMK ready to take sustainable development to the next level?

International networking in the Tampere3 spirit

The 2008-started tradition of international weeks in TAMK got a new twist when at the beginning of the summer, all three higher education institutions in Tampere – the University of Tampere (UTA), Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) – organised an International Staff Week for non-teaching staff together for the first time. The week hosted about 50 administrative staff members from higher learning institutes from around Europe, and the week and its activities took place on the premises of all three main campuses during June 12-15, 2017.

 

Understanding each other as the theme of the week

The theme of the week was Intercultural Communication and issues relating to the area. Hence, the programme included five hours of Intercultural Communication workshops by TAMK Lecturer Mari Rytisalo. During the workshops, the participants increased their knowledge and awareness of different cultures and their influence on communication.

The guests had an opportunity to benchmark different services and practices of the three universities and share views on topics related to their own work. In addition to the common workshops around intercultural communication, everyone chose a thematic track they wanted to attend. The tracks evolved around international cooperation, library services, student services & administration, and industry cooperation & career services.

The week started at the UTA premises, where the guests had a chance to get to know the main campus, the Demola concept and the concept of Y-campuses in the higher education scene in Tampere. Both concepts seemed to raise a lot of discussion and interest as strategically combining the higher education scheme with entrepreneurial studies and practice seems to be a topical issue all over Europe. As it was the first day of the week, the participants got a bath of Finnish language, too, when participating the crash course into Finnish by the university Lecturer Jenni Hakanen from TUT. Since everyone was a bit novice in the area and not at their core competencies when trying to speak Finnish, this was a fun way to break the ice within the group and everyone became a big family after this. And if the language lesson did not get everyone at ease, the Monttu get-together with its delicious buffet, fire show and international dancing (performers from within the group 😉 ) certainly did.

 

Y-kampus

The group at the Y-kampus at UTA.

 

dinner buffet

Dinner buffet in Monttu at UTA on the first night.

 

On the second night everyone got to experience the truly Finnish “hot sauna – cold lake experience” at Varala, and then on the third day, the week transferred to TUT and the Hervanta campus with the impressive Kampusareena building and recently renovated other premises. The guests discussed international security, got to experience some virtual reality gadgets and the group was able to examine the study services available on each campus a bit more. The Intercultural Communications workshop took the active group to the “heart” of Kampusareena by gathering the people to work at the Kampusklubi area. One of the staff members at Kampusklubi unknowingly defined the spirit of the week in one simple sentence: “It is mindblowing and great to hear such vivid discussions in so many languages at the same time with so much laughter in here.”

 

campus tour TUT

Getting ready for the campus tour at TUT.

 

the group_TUT

The whole group at TUT.

 

sauna and Varala

Fantastic premises for sauna evening at Varala.

 

The final day of the week took the group to the TAMK Kuntokatu campus and the final lecture of the week; the subject was social media and the presenter Essi Kannelkoski, the Community Manager of TAMK. This very topical theme aroused a lot of discussion and interesting analysis. After the campus tour and the lecture, the engaging week was coming to an end: all but the certificates, farewell hugs and closing toasting with lunch was done.

 

group TAMK

The group during the final presentation at TAMK.

 

some_essi_tamk

Essi Kannelkoski and a some-moment: the group selfie.

 

Once-in-a-lifetime week and a new way of doing things together

In addition to the official discussions, workshops, benchmarking, et cetera, the week offered the guests an opportunity to gain once-in-a-lifetime experiences of Finnish culture, society and the Nordic White Nights at a sauna by a lake, naturally! As for the organisers, I think, it is safe to say that although a lot of work, the week offered us memorable events and a chance to be at the forefront of creating a new culture of “doing together” within the Tampere3 framework.

To finalise, a big thank you for all the international guests, the presenters, track organisers, logistic helpers and naturally UTA & TUT is in place! Hope to do this soon again!

 

Text: Tiina Nilsson
Photos: Essi Sirén, Annukka Hämäläinen, Saara Lehtonen, Tiina Nilsson

 

 

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.

IMG_3354 IMG_3333

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

IMG_3328

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