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!
Chair of the International Working Group
School of Culture and Creative Industries