torstai 20. joulukuuta 2012

Greets from the International Working Group

20.12.2012 Kaija Ahola
 It was a clear autumn's day when I was called to step in the shoes of the new
Chair of the International Working Group. It was a pleasure to join this dynamic group! Because of being a Lecturer in English, and thanks to my former experience in international affairs; a career as an International Coordinator and an Expert at the EU Commission, evaluating Higher Education proposals, I was not completely on thin ice here.

Our Working Group is composed of representatives from all of our Degree Programmes,
plus we have the super power support of our two International Coordinators at each meeting.

The Group is an important forum to discuss common practices and improvements to arrange student and staff mobility, internships and other international activities, like fairs and exhibitions.

We also have on our agenda the new national and EU – level regulations and guidelines, to be discussed how to meet the challenges. 

During this autumn 2012 we have also focused on discussing possibilities to add teaching in English. We have started discussions to fine tune our partner network to better meet educational needs and strategic requirements.

We are very pleased to say that mobility has been one of our fastest growing international sectors during the autumn of 2012, and in fact during the whole Academic Year 2011-2012; both incoming and outgoing exchange figures have gone up. We hosted 43 exchange students or internships. Next spring, 2013, we are expecting 39 incoming exchange students more.

We have sent out 260 of our own students abroad on Erasmus, Nordplus, free movers, or participating in various conferences, fairs and exhibitions. The figures are fine, considering the small size of our Faculty. What’s more, students’ response to our work has been positive and encouraging.

Staff mobility has also been successful, 145 out, 25 in. It is our aim to support long staff exchanges, degree programmes and intensive studies in English with our strategic partners.

We strive to serve students and staff in international matters systematically, punctually, with quality and reliability, although time and budgets are limited also here in Finland.

The Group works with enthusiasm and delight, looking forward to future activities
with our colleagues, students, partners and projects, and the new Erasmus for All.

We wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013!

Kaija Ahola
Chair of the International Working Group
School of Culture and Creative Industries

maanantai 17. joulukuuta 2012

Winter greetings

Tuire Ranta-Meyer

This is the view from my bedroom window. There is a lovely l'heure bleue in Helsinki every afternoon in the wintertime. The blue hour, you know, is the period of twilight each morning and evening where there is neither full daylight nor complete darkness. The time is special because of the quality of the light and the wonderful blue hue at the sky. It makes me love the Finnish winters so much and enjoy my daily drive home from my work.

Many of Helsinki Metropolia's partners think that it is very cold in Finland. They are ashtonished to hear from me that Finland can in the summer often be the warmest country in whole Europe. Winters can be mild, too, and especially in Helsinki region, but we Finns normally like it better with either some snow or lots of snow. It makes the landscape look so soft and bright.

This week I hope very much to be able to forget the Christmas preparations for two hours and get to my skies. Crosscountry skiing is something extraordinary and makes the wintertime just perfect for me.

With best regards

Tuire Ranta-Meyer

maanantai 3. joulukuuta 2012

Metropolia in Shanghai - a close up

Helsinki 1.12.2012, Tuire Ranta-Meyer

The ambitious and very demanding project of Helsinki Metropolia participating in the Radical Design Week Shanghai 2012 is over since 21 days. I am glad and proud to say that the exhibition week Urban Inspiration from Finland at our partner university Donghua was a great success.

We had, of course prepared everything thoroughly and worked hard more or less the whole year through to make it happen, so I knew what we were doing and I believed in it. But still, I have to say, it was such a wonderful experience to lead a delegation of 26 staff and student members and share their expertise, commitment and good spirits. My sincere thanks to every single person. You did a great job!

The Scandinavian idea of design belonging to everyday life and equally to all residents is, indeed, very radical in a global scale. Our decision makers´seminar in Shanghai, under the title Wellbeing for All, made it very clear to me that co-creating is the key word for the future urban planning. Finland is a small country, but is is said to be a world-class superpower of education. In finding human-centered solutions for better life Helsinki Metropolia can play an important global role, as well. It is quite often that the big ships need lighthouses to get to the harbour, isn´t it?