The visions’ five themes
The Forum of International affairs and its stakeholders, appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture, has published the document Vision for strengthening the international dimension of Finnish higher education and research by 2035 in August. The aim of the vision is to steer, among others, universities and administrative offices to direct their internationalization strategies towards the following five themes:
- Finland, a society guided by values and principles
- Finland, a competitive economy that attracts talent
- Finland, a responsible and receptive nation
- Finland, an agent in resolving sustainable development challenges
- Finland, a country that build on cooperation
The themes emphasize freedom of science, research and teaching, competitiveness, multicultural and -language society, sustainable development, and national cooperation for advancing international activity, respectively. The second, third, and fifth theme need to be further scrutinized here.
Regarding attractiveness and competitiveness, it is especially maintained that
”… active mobility, close academic cooperation as well as interaction with the world of work lay the foundation for international cooperation across all sectors of society.”
Pertaining to responsibility and receptiveness, it is emphasized that
“Finland welcomes international talent and their families at every stage of their studies, career and life. Entering Finland and staying in the country is smooth and easy. Finland offers seamless career paths and interesting visiting opportunities.”
In terms of cooperation, it is highlighted that
“[a]t the national level, Finnish stakeholders collaborate actively in order to identify common interests and prepare communications on Finland’s higher education and science politics.”
The vision may be achieved with concrete measures. Active mobility, including colorful personal histories of the applicants, smoothness of the exchange, and interesting study opportunities, can be considered by national cooperation and the right kind of digital tools.
SoleMove promotes Finnish mobility and mobility directed towards Finland
On one hand, implementing the vision of Ministry of Education and Culture requires solving the reasons that led to the decline of mobility numbers already before corona. These reasons were discussed at the Autumn days for the international affairs of universities (Kv-syyspäivät), held in Oulu in August. We have also pondered our ability to advance the situation. Read more here.
On the other hand, we need grass roots digital solutions which promote Finland and Finnish mobility. Technically advanced and reliable system for international mobilities, SoleMove, supports mobility in three essential ways.
- SoleMove helps universities to market exchange destinations by listing their essential attractions to both outgoing and incoming students. Here, national and international cooperation, and the recognition of common interests are key. Finnish universities may together make out versatile interinstitutional exchange agreements which enable comprehensively various exchange programs and studies. SoleMove conveniently transfers exchange agreements from one organization to another. With these agreements Finnish universities and other education institutions may better send and receive talented people in every study, career, and life phase. Strategic marketing of domestic and foreign destinations on a single platform provides a clear picture of the available interesting career paths and study and visiting opportunities for those participating in an exchange.
- In SoleMove, the entire chain from filling out the application to its handling and decision making has been made as easy as possible. To this end, Solenove has participated in practical cooperation with several universities. Applying for exchange happens by filling out an electronic personal and application form. Adding documents, diplomas, and other enclosures is effortless. Data can be transferred to the system, for example, by using the camera of the mobile phone. SoleMove also offers support during the stay in the destination. The system helps the university personnel to take care of the outgoing students and those incoming to Finland, for instance, by facilitating their communication.
- With SoleMove, one can conveniently collect feedback from exchange periods and show it to those considering participating in exchanges and thusly raise the interest-level of destinations and the probability of the exchanges happening. Inquiries can be modified in many ways, and they can be targeted based on different exchange programs or based on incoming and outgoing students. Adjustable feedback feature encourages students to share their experiences. Especially the feedback of foreign visitors offers means for the next visitors to streamline their entry and even stay in the country. Officers can edit and publish received feedback. With SoleMove, feedback can be shared, reported, and utilized in the organization’s marketing.
Together, these three features promote Finland as an attractive and competitive country in a practical manner by increasing mobilities in both directions.
N. Lahti: The experiences of students increasing mobility numbers. 31.10.2022. https://www.solenovo.fi/2022/10/31/the-experiences-of-students-increasing-mobility-numbers/
Ministry of Education and Culture: Vision for strengthening the international dimension of Finnish higher education and research by 2035. https://okm.fi/en/vision-for-the-international-dimension-2035
The text is written by Customer Success Manager Niilo Lahti. In terms of his researcher background, Niilo has practiced internationalization in many academic conferences. During his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, exercising, and roleplaying. Niilo is also an enthusiastic Dream Theater fan.