Finland to Fanshawe
Three distinguished guests from a Finnish university visited Fanshawe College in February. The officials visited Fanshawe on Monday, February 23, 2009, to establish a working relationship for student mobility between Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences (JAMK), Jyväskylä, Finland, and the College.
Dr. Jussi Halttunen, Rector/Managing Director; Dra. Asta Wahlgrén, Director of Unit, School of Business and Services Management; and Mr. Risto Korkia-Aho, School of Business and Services Management, Lecturer and International Affairs Director, crossed the Atlantic to learn more about Fanshawe while introducing College staff and students to their university.
Plans for the Fanshawe-Finland project include project-based learning,
exchange, articulation and summer programming. This is expected to involve the
opportunity for students in approved programs from Fanshawe College to visit Finland as well as
the opportunity for Finnish students to visit Fanshawe to study approved courses or
complete their internship requirement. In 2008, JAMK University welcomed 160
international students through about 50 different exchange partner institutions while sending
about 105 students on exchange. The Fanshawe-Finland project and relationship directly addresses
Fanshawe College's Strategic Directions including:
- Pursue excellence in learning, teaching and service;
- Encourage and enhance student success;
- Engage in applied research and scholarly activity; and
- Support strategic growth in current and new markets both domestic and international.
JAMK offers degree programs and many courses are taught in English. Their School of Business and Services Management recently merged the School of Hospitality and Facility Management, so the group was delighted to see the facilities at Fanshawe.
School of Business and Services Management, Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland
The visitors enjoyed a tour hosted by Mary Pierce, Acting Chair, Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, and Wendy Curtis, Manager, International Services. Mr. Risto Korkia-Aho and his colleagues made a compelling presentation about Finland, the unique strengths of the University, and the merits of the summer study abroad program. International Business Management students and staff attended along with David Belford, Dean, Faculty of Business; Dee Morrissey, Program Manager, Lawrence Kinlin School of Business; Murray Morgan, coordinator, International Business Management; Scott Hubert, coordinator, Business Marketing programs; Alison Wiseman, coordinator, Business program; and Jeannine Cookson, Chair of the School of Tourism and Hospitality.
The guests from Finland had an extensive tour of the School of Tourism and Hospitality and enjoyed a student-catered lunch in Fanshawe's culinary lab, Saffron's, followed by a presentation with Mary Pierce and Rhonda Payne, coordinator of Community-Based Projects Consultants, on opportunities for collaboration focusing on a project that was based on a company from Finland expanding to North America.
Murray Morgan, in collaboration with the International Office at Fanshawe College, initiated this grant proposal funded by Human Resources and Social Development Canada (HRSDC) to explore "Partnerships for Internationally Mobile Management Students." One of the goals of the project is to enhance International Business Management programming to better meet the needs of today's increasingly competitive global marketplace. Under this project, groundwork for the first joint Canada-European Union post-graduate program in International Business Management will be established. Canadian and international partnerships will be developed with innovative and unique learning opportunities for Canadian students.
Two Fanshawe students secured internship positions funded by this grant and are gathering information on European partnership opportunities with London-based exporters. Other possibilities include linkages with the Forum for International Trade Training (FITT), JAMK and possibly other European partners.
Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland
JAMK offers a short term program for business students in May and June every year. The courses offered this year include 'Europe as a market area', 'Special Issues in High Tech Management', and an Entrepreneurial learning project with the Unit Team Academy. Cultural trips before or after the courses can be arranged to Stockholm, Estonia or St. Petersburg, Russia. The university has a significant international presence with approximately 50 percent of first-year students from outside of Finland.
There are several reasons why Finland was identified as an interesting country for collaborative partnerships with Fanshawe. The European Innovation Scorecard (EIS) 2008 rates Finland in the top two European Union member states (along with Sweden) with respect to innovation. Given the importance of innovation to the economic growth in Ontario and Canada, this is an important factor behind our interest in Finland.
In addition, Finland offers a safe and beautiful environment, with around two-thirds of the country covered in forest and about a tenth by water. Photographs of Jyväskylä confirm the natural beauty as well as the attractive architectural design of the campus. For further information please see the university's website at http://www.jamk.fi.
We are hopeful that the initial HRSDC grant will lead to a second and even larger grant to develop collaborative partnerships in Finland and other European countries to help Fanshawe students "succeed in the global economy."