Successful Team Finland visit to Chile: EEF members providing expertise to education reform
There is an education reform going on in Chile and Finland has a lot to offer. Members of Education Export Finland joined a Team Finland visit to Chile at the beginning of August 2016. The visit was very successful and opened many doors.
The Team Finland visit, led by Mr. Timo Soini, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Finland, presented Finnish education, bioenergy and cleantech know-how to Chileans. The delegation visited Santiago and Antofagasta, and the program included official meetings and networking events with local business leaders, organizations and authorities.
EEF members that joined the visit were Cimson Ltd, Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) and University of Oulu.
Great interest in Finnish education offering
Riitta Vänskä, Program Manager of Education Export Finland, was at Chile with EEF members. She is extremely pleased the visit.
“The Chilean educational system is currently undergoing the deepest reform in its recent history. Universities are interested in adapting Finnish solutions for educational excellence such as research-based pedagogy and innovative approach to teaching. This visit was really beneficial for EEF members. Many serious business negotiations were going on already during the visit and have continued afterwards”.
EEF member companies appreciated the arrangements and getting new contacts.
“There is a lot of interest in our online business training course. I see that the meeting with the Minister of Labor of Chile was one of the highlights of the visit, tells Jouni Suonpää, Chairman and Founder of Cimson/NEBA.
A seminar was arranged in Universidad Católica del Norte, a university in Antofagasta. There were representatives of almost 30 Chilean institutions present.
Turo Kilpeläinen, CEO of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences, enjoyed the seminar and its speed dating session.
“There is great interest towards Finnish offering, and it seems that the interest will create also concrete co-operation”.
Teacher training programs of Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) raised a lot of interest during the visit, at the ministerial meetings and also in the seminar.
Virpi Heinonen, Customer Relationship Manager, Global Education at TAMK, tells that the demand in Chile is mainly for teacher training, but also a lot of questions were asked regarding curriculum development.
Brazil is willing to strengthen cooperation with Finland in the field of vocational education. In a List of Priorities document, signed between Finland and Brazil, VET Teachers for the Future program is mentioned as solid example of successful educational cooperation. Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Häme University of Applied Sciences have provided the program for Brazilian teachers already for three years.
Team Finland co-operation: boosting Finnish businesses
Mika-Markus Leinonen, Ambassador of Finland to Chile, considers Team Finland work, co-operation of Finpro and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, as an important reason for success of the visit.
Leinonen sees that Chileans can benefit very much from Finland's educational expertise.
"Chile is in the middle of wide ranging ambitious reform of its entire educational system. Chileans are looking for especially teacher training from Finland, since teacher training is the basis of the whole reform. Also life-long learning is the area in which Finns have a lot to offer", tells Leinonen.
Leinonen is happy that during the visit not only Finnish education, which already is quite famous in Chile, but also Finnish energy know-how was getting wide visibility.