Indonesia Wants to Collaborate with Finnish Education Experts
​Vice Rector Kalle-Antti Suominen from the University of Turku (left), Rector Tina Pulubuhu from Hasanuddin University, CEO Pasi Kaskinen from Finland University, CEO Juha Christensen from SCS-Consulting and the Ambassador of Indonesia in Finland Elias Ginting see great potential in the collaboration for both Finland and Indonesia.

​Finland University, a transnational education company, was jointly founded in 2013 by the University of Turku, the University of Tampere and the University of Eastern Finland. Its first big deals are currently being finalised. One of them is set to be made with Indonesia.

At the end of the week, the Chief Secretary of the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia led a delegation of Indonesian university rectors on a visit to Finland, to further work out the forms of the collaboration.

– We know that Finland has the best pedagogical expertise in the world, and that is what we need. We are also interested in the forestry sector and cyber security, and now, as we are on a visit at the University of Turku, we also became interested in healthcare, said Rector Tina Pulubuhu from Hasanuddin University, who led the Indonesian delegation in Turku.

Fast Progress with Indonesia

Finland University is establishing collaborations with many different countries, and progress has been fastest with Indonesia and Oman.

– It usually takes three years to develop this sort of high-quality international collaboration, but by focusing our resources and working systematically together with the Indonesians, it has only taken one year to get this far, says CEO Pasi Kaskinen.

The starting point of the collaboration can be traced back to 2013, when the then-current Finnish Minister of Education and Culture Krista Kiuru took her delegation to Indonesia. Finland University brought the education ministers of both countries to the same table, and this year the nations of Finland and Indonesia have signed two Memorandums of Understanding on starting the collaboration.

– As both countries have now agreed on the collaboration, we can begin the university-to-university collaboration. We can, for example, send professors here to learn new things, and we can invite professors from here to come teach us. We have also discussed sending a professor to teach Bahasa Indonesian at the University of Turku, says Pulubuhu.

Both Pulubuhu and Vice Rector Kalle-Antti Suominen from the University of Turku emphasised that the collaboration is expected to be diverse. It will encapsulate both education and research, as well as students and teachers.

Transnational Education Benefits Everyone

According to the Ambassador of Indonesia in Finland Elias Ginting, Indonesia aims to develop its economy with education.

– When I came to Finland in the spring of 2012, I was amazed by your fantastic education system. To make our economy more efficient, we need high-quality education, and Finland is the best country in the field of education. We want to collaborate with Finland, says Ginting.

According to Kaskinen, these activities will be fruitful in many ways.

– With the help of transnational education, we can help countries develop their democracies and education, make our universities' operations even more international, and for example create new opportunities for research collaboration. This also creates wholly new types of academic jobs.

According to Suominen, it is good that the universities of Turku, Tampere and Eastern Finland foresaw the benefits of transnational education, before the Finnish government's measures shrink the income of universities and reduce the number of academic jobs.

– It's good that we now have this system. Transnational education can produce new jobs for academic Finns. Indonesia for example already features funding for its citizens for Master's and doctoral level studies in foreign universities such Turku, says Suominen.

Finland University is the only transnational education company that is wholly university-based. According to Kaskinen, their revenue goal for the next few years is tens of millions of euro. Their main focus is on Southeast Asia, but efforts are ongoing for more collaboration with the Middle East.

 

Text and photo: Erja Hyytiäinen
Translation: Sam Parwar

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Published date 9/25/2015 2:20 PM ,  Modified date 9/25/2015 3:08 PM

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