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TOWARDS NEW KARELIA STRATEGY Why do we need global education services?


How to tackle the integration and employability challenge?

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Industrial nt Manageme ee - new degr education

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We are the bright world Degree students

Awarded degrees in 2018

3671 710 Student satisfaction rate

Fields of study


Degree Programmes in English


Graduate employability

76% 82% (satisfied or very satisfied students)

Joensuu is the home town of Our Bright World


The bright world is international


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igher education has been growing more and more international for decades already and this development seems to continue. The forms, however, change, and the internationalisation is not only part of education, research and development (RDI) and global education services but in Finland there is also a distinct turn into a focus on internationalisation of the regions. In mobility, in its turn, the emphasis has been already a while in increasing the quality and systemic promotion of learning goals while the exchanges. And as a whole, to put it short, the tendency to do more and gain real impacts with less partners continues all over.

Globally thinking many phenomena challenge us to change our ways of life. We are now living at times of disruption in many ways. Globally thinking many phenomena challenge us to change our ways to live. At Karelia we contribute into the challengesolving on a concrete and coherent manner meeting with our resources and potential. Therefore, we develop our degree, continuous and complementary education to foresee and meet with the future needs. Karelia opens a brand-new international degree programme Industrial Management, which innovatively combines the engineering and business studies providing the students an arena to apply a true transdisciplinary approach in learning. That also serves the development of soft-skills, the key skills in the future working life, throughout the studies. And in the fields of RDI and global education services, Karelia works for developing

sustainable solutions for the needs of good care and activation of the ageing population and also for promotion of the circular economy especially in the fields of renewables and wood construction. In Finland, the population is ageing rapidly and concentrating into fewer regions than ever before. This challenges all of us to work for not only sustainable and ethical care and other service design but also to ensure the availability of skilful and talented people in the future. Therefore, the internationalisation of the regions meaning active work enabling education-based immigration, inclusive higher education and support of integration and employment into the regional communities is highly promoted even at Karelia to boost the vitality of the surrounding communities. In this international issue you can take a look at some examples of our concrete actions to tackle the challenges of the disruptive times. You can find articles about the internationalisation of the region, degree programme and education development, RDI and global education services. A lot of significant work is and will be done – we want to contribute and work for the bright world! Liisa Timonen, Head of International Affairs | 3

A bright world.



Editorial-in-chief Liisa Timonen, Head of Internationalisation Sub-editors Eija Piiparinen, Communications Officer Layout Salla Anttila, Graphic Designer Photos Tovari marketing agency Cover photo Tovari marketing agency Translations and language editing Sanna Lötjönen Liisa Sandvall Laura Väistö Publisher Karelia University of Applied Sciences, Tikkarinne 9, 80200 Joensuu Contact information,, ISSN 2323-8453 (Printed), ISSN 2323-8461 (Online Publication)


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Karelia University of Applied Sciences

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Towards new Karelia strategy Why do we need global education services?


Expert services to Canada

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Wood is leading the way towards more sustainable future Solving arctic challenges by transnational cooperation




How to tackle the integration and employability challenge?


Industrial Management new degree education


Services and recent & on-going projects


International Business degree programme 25 years


10 years on the entrepreneurship path


The first joint summer school by the educational operators in North Karelia


Learning for the expertise on global business | 5



TOWARDS NEW KARELIA STRATEGY During 2019 all universities of applied sciences in Finland have prepared for the new strategy period which spans to the year 2030. Karelia University of Applied Sciences has also worked on its own strategy and the choices related to it. TEXT President Petri Raivo | PHOTO Tovari

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he central change trends in our operational environment are transformation of work, digitalization, ageing population and climate change. As work transforms, also the organization of work, content and technologies as well as ways of working and competence requirements change. Employment requires a solid educational base and responding to quick changes in work requires the constant update of competence. The significance of universities in strengthening competence is increasing. Finland has committed to being a pioneer in fighting climate change. This calls for fast and major changes in the whole society. In order to rise to this challenge, we have made five central strategic choices headlined as follows: 1) Growth to working life through competence, 2) Education-based immigration and internationalization, 3) Sustainable wellbeing in sparsely populated area, 4) Smart production and services and 5) Carbon neutral solutions. Growth to working life through competence entails reacting more attentively to the competence and educational needs of working life. We will be profiled as a broad-ranging developer of competence in working life with the emphasis on services of life-long learning.

Education-based immigration and internationalization means strong internationalization at Karelia. We will expand our education in degree qualification and retraining and upgrading qualification in English. We will also enhance our international RDI activities and make Karelia a genuinely international and networked university community. Sustainable well-being in sparsely populated area refers to the challenges of ageing population and well-being in our operational area. We will work to make North Karelia the leading area in promoting age-friendliness, health and well-being both nationally and internationally.

We will expand our education in degree qualification and retraining and upgrading qualification in English. We will also enhance our international RDI activities and make Karelia a genuinely international and networked university community. Smart production and services emphasize the change in working life which digitalization has brought about. We support the growth and competitiveness of companies with ongoing training in intelligent products and automated services. Our research, development and innovation environment offers our partner companies a possibility to develop their operation in interaction with students from various fields. Carbon neutral solutions underline the procedures to fight climate change, such as circular economy and resource wisdom, as a part of education and activities in all our programs. In our research, development and innovation operations, we focus on solutions, which replace products based on non-renewable natural resources with products based on renewable natural resources. Population ages, work changes and environmental responsibility concerns all of us. Our goal is international Karelia University of Applied Sciences, which rises to meet these challenges together with its partners and which is known for innovative, high-quality operation, good results and strong expertise and competence of both the staff and students. We are ready for the next decade. | 7



One might ask, why should we go across our borders when we talk about education and expertise services – wouldn’t it be more sustainable and economic to limit the operation area and stay within our own regions? Is there not enough to do and is it not challenging enough to work for the future of our own students and partners from the working life? Why do we need to travel and network so widely? These questions are highly relevant and something what we always have to consider when planning and designing new actions in the areas of global education. TEXT Liisa Timonen | PHOTO Tovari


he need for global education comes, again, from the times of disruption. The challenges what we meet today – climate change, health problems and epidemics, ageing, drastic changes in the working life, urbanisation, polarisation of wealth and well-being – are so huge that they will totally change the way of our living in the very near future. Therefore, all the high-level expertise available is needed to tackle the challenge-solving and adjustment in a sustainable way. However, the expertise is needed not only globally, but regionally and nationally, too. The questioning of the way, volume and manner of the global education services are needed all the time, and self-criticism in this area, too, is healthy. Moreover, what is also important is that the global education is not easy and it challenges the organisation and staff in many ways. On one hand, we are asking ourselves, how can we fit these tasks in into the work, how can we ensure having all the tools and expertise needed to work in a totally different context and how can we integrate together the normal daily life and the more and more diverse field of work in a way we can live with? And, on the other hand, the global education offers us an arena for impact building, professional development and learning in a way nothing else can do. Thus, we can find it professionally highly rewarding and motivating and might ask how to get more involved. At Karelia we do what we can in the context of our resources and potential. Therefore, the emphasis of our global education service development is in the following

areas where we have a very strong expertise: active ageing, renewables and wood construction, transversal skills, and quality of education and its management. And even in these, the pilots are sized meeting with what we really can do and where. So far, we have operated in some countries within the Finnish higher education key partner areas: China, Canada, Chile, Jordan and Peru, and a bit elsewhere. Proudly we can say that Karelia has already achieved very good results in this arena. To name some examples, the international degree in China, where already two cohorts of 100 students each have enrolled into the programme, the business promotion operations in Jordan, the expertise in renewables and energy production consulting in Canada. Additionally, Karelia’s various tailor-made programmes for selected partners have all contributed into the global challenge-solving in an efficient manner that enables the beneficiaries to gain real value. However, at Karelia we are still considering first the geographical areas where it is relevant and economic for us to operate, and second, the pallet of the services we design and do. We are also seriously considering moving the focus of the global education services into the international degree development to serve multiple aims, meeting with not only global but also regional needs. Internally, we are continuously thinking how to ensure the sustainability, impact harvesting and meaningfulness of global education in the long run. Karelia wants to be truly responsible and sustainable contributor for the better future for all of us. | 9



Last year Karelia did a feasibility study of forest biomass-based heating model for two small Canadian communities. The communities are located in Central Canada, near Thunder Bay area. Sioux Lookout is a small town of 5200 inhabitants and Lac Seul is one of the numerous First Nation reserves in Canada with a population of 900 people. TEXT AND PHOTOS Anssi Kokkonen, Ville Kuittinen


This study was the first joint commercial step for Karelia on the Canadian market with Luke (Natural Resources Institute Finland). The outcome showed real potential for wood energy in Sioux Lookout and Lac Seul. Moreover, the next steps have already been taken, as the first boiler investment is being implemented and it will be Finnish technology.


Wood chip production in Teslin.

Both Karelia and LUKE have been active in the Canadian bioenergy scheme for a long time. From 2016, Karelia and LUKE have been active participants in Business Finland (previously Finnpro) events and negotiations. Our long experience on wood-based energy and fuels was recognized as a great addition when planning and establishing the Finnish bioenergy coalition. The aim for the coalition was to be able to offer comprehensive solutions, including training and technology for the northern conditions of Canada, especially for the First Nations. The role of Karelia was especially in the training of wood fuels use, including the quality issues, as well as the social impacts of using local renewable fuel. This training, combined with technology investments, formed a unique and competitive offer. The bioenergy orientated delegation from Karelia visited Yukon Territory and Ontario during 2017. The Cold Climate Innovation from Yukon College hosted the trip to Yukon Territory. The trip included a number of negotiations and site visits and resulted a national radio interview and video presentations. Nevertheless, the first real steps | 11

towards actual sale were taken in the Ontario area and in the communities of Sioux Lookout and Lac Seul First Nation. Two different visits to the area enabled the negotiations with the local decision makers and showed the potential of local wood energy in heat production. All the preliminary work and the study itself were done jointly with the Natural Resources Institute Finland Joensuu LUKE. From the Canadian side the partners were Obishikokaang Resources Corporation, GCK Consulting Ltd. and Finnopool Ltd. The Embassy of Finland in Ottawa has also been of great value for us. Commercial and trade affairs counsellor Jarno Valkeapää has been actively involved in the planning phase and he also attended most of the site visits with us. The contents of the study were divided in two sections. The study was divided into two sections. First part consisted of plant site descriptions and costs, preliminary technical plans and boiler size calculations. The second part included the estimates of the available forest biomass, the supply chain technology descriptions and the socioecological impacts of replacing the fossil fuels with local wood fuel. Karelia was responsible for the first section and Luke for the second. Most of the raw data came from the Canadian partners and some was collected at the location, especially the data concerning the sites and buildings.

↗ Anssi Kokkonen and Steven Mooney discussing the next steps with Teslin First Nation Chief Richard Sydney (in the middle). → Jesse Reams, Ville Kuittinen, Jarno Haapakoski and Steven Mooney checking the potential location for a Volter CHP plant and wood chip storage at the Yukon College.

The current heating solution in Lac Seul saw mill is an outdated wood stove.

Andreas Zailo and Markus Hirvonen refining the heating network plans for the Sioux Lookout fire station.

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For a small Finnish University of Applied Sciences, starting these kinds of activities with small Canadian communities would not have been possible without our excellent partners (LUKE, Business Finland, Embassy of Finland, GCK Consulting Ltd. and Finnopool Ltd.). Forming solid and reliable partnerships usually take a long time and in many cases, they are the natural byproducts of publicly funded projects. Local representation and partners are important. For local people it is often difficult to be seen as a reliable business partner candidate without having a local representative. Local culture, habits and history can play a significant role when trying to set up new business. In order to succeed, mutual trust and respect are needed, as new things are not always seen good, especially if they are presented by foreigners across the globe.

More information:

Forming solid and reliable partnerships usually take a long time and in many cases, they are the natural byproducts of publicly funded projects. | 13


WOOD IS LEADING THE WAY TOWARDS MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE Joensuu is often titled as a forest capital of Europe. In the Joensuu area can be found unique research concentration related to forests, wood material and construction. The University of Eastern Finland is a leading researcher within the field of wood and bio-based materials. The research of the Natural Resource Institute of Finland (LUKE) focuses on the sustainable use of forests. Headquarters of the European Forest Institute (EFI) is also located in Joensuu. In addition, Karelia University of Applied Sciences focuses on research and development related to wood construction. TEXT Mikko Matveinen, Ville Mertanen PHOTOS Mikko Matveinen, Jarno Artika / Jonsuun kaupunki

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The City of Joensuu has committed to developing wood construction as a part of the sustainable city development. First wood construction pilot projects in Joensuu area were established already in the 1990´s. Along the way many remarkable milestones have already been reached. The milestones include the largest wooden multipurpose hall in Europe, and the largest office building in Finland at that time. The currently tallest all wooden apartment building in Finland was completed in autumn 2019. Therefore, it is easy to say that the city is a pioneer in wood construction in Finland.


Wood construction is one of the focus areas in Karelia University of Applied Sciences part of the Degree Programme in Construction Engineering. The core competence in wood construction is applying construction engineering and construction physics into materials used in wood construction. Experienced personnel consist of experts in timber engineering, wood technology, industrial design, HVAC engineering and international business. | 15

Research and development activities (R&D) related to wood construction concentrate on wood and wood-based fibre materials and their use in construction aiming also at promoting industrial wood construction and new business opportunities. All R&D activities are implemented in cooperation with local companies and other national and international partners. Current R&D topics related to wood construction: »  Product development (CLT, LVL applications) »  Building acoustics engineering »  Low carbon construction »  Digitalisation in the construction sector »  Follow-up of on-going construction projects (research)


One example of the research and development activities is an on-going research project related to the 14-storey wooden apartment building Joensuu Lighthouse. The objective of the research project is to produce information on the design and construction of the 14-storey wooden apartment building (Joensuu Lighthouse). The project is financed by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment. During the design phase of the building, research activities included the documentation of the construction process: special features to be considered in the design and construction of a high building, including fire safety and acoustics issues. During the construction phase activities also included, for instance, acoustics measurements on the site. The outer walls of the building have been equipped with measuring probes which measure temperature and humidity from the different layers of the wall structure. Deformation of the structures is also one important part of the research. Vertical deformation was already measured during the installation of the wooden panel elements. One measuring line has also embedded in the structures of the finalized building to get long-term data. Additionally, the horizontal deformation has been measured with the acceleration transducers. Research activities in the building continues, even though the building was accomplished already in August 2019.

More information:

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During the design phase of the building, research activities included the documentation of the construction process: special features to be considered in the design and construction of a high building, including fire safety and acoustics issues.

The objective of the Light house project is to produce information on the design and construction of tall timber buildings. Different measuring devices has been used during the project. | 17


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SOLVING ARCTIC CHALLENGES BY TRANSNATIONAL COOPERATION The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020 programme (NPA) forms the interregional cooperation in the Northern and Arctic Europe. The nine partner regions include parts of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Greenland and Faroe Islands, as well as some Canadian and Russian territories. The programme aims for beating the challenges related to sparse population, long distances, low economic diversity, harsh climate conditions, and sustainable use of the natural resources in the rural North. Special priorities for the programme include innovations for competitive communities, promotion of entrepreneurship, energy security, energy efficiency and promotion of renewable energy, and protection of cultural and natural heritage. TEXT Helena Puhakka-Tarvainen | PHOTO mainostoimisto Hรถyry, Helena Puhakka-Tarvainen | 19


Karelia University of Applied Sciences is one of the pioneer organisations working for the NPA programme and its predecessors since two decades. Karelia has been active especially in development related to the creation and use of renewable energy in different forms. Lately, the variety of project themes has been widened and during this programme period, the portfolio includes projects about digital public services (IMPROVE), renewable energy business development (GREBE), smarter energy communities (SECURE), anaerobic digestion for district heating (HANDIHEAT), smart sensor devices for rehabilitation (SENDoc), partnerships for ecotourism (SHAPE), SME marketing in immersive digital technologies (Digi2Market), and empowering woman entrepreneurship (W-POWER). Thus, the project themes support the education provided by Karelia extensively. The projects offer a variety of possibilities for learning: small studies and student group work, thesis topics, brainstorming, summer training and even jobs.


W-POWER is one of ongoing projects funded by the NPA programmme. The project is coordinated by Karelia and the aim is to empower woman entrepreneurs in the sparsely populated communities. W-POWER encourages woman entrepreneurs to set up, develop and grow their businesses. The project offers possibilities for capacity building, transnational learning and networking, support for new business ideas and chances to participate in gender sensitive business coaching. The first year of the W-POWER project has been encouraging: over a hundred entrepreneurs from all of the project regions have already joined the network, many capacity building and networking events have taken place, a transnational innovation platform for new business ideas is ongoing, and over 40 applications for an international peer mentoring programme have been received. With more than a year still to go, the project targets to identify both new and internationalized woman-led businesses in the rural North, with incoming euros to vitalize the sparsely populated communities.

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The programme aims for beating the challenges related to sparse population, long distances, low economic diversity, harsh climate conditions, and sustainable use of the natural resources in the rural North. Photos: Woman entrepreneurs networking and learning in Argyll, Scotland, in June 2019. | 21


HOW TO TACKLE THE INTEGRATION AND EMPLOYABILITY CHALLENGE? Many of the international people in North Karelia are exchange students, full time degree students, immigrants, spouses, and refugees who want to live, stay, and work in the region. They have cultural understanding, knowhow, and networks that can benefit the local companies. However, these skilled international talents and local companies have difficulties matching one another. TEXT Kirsi Autio, Hannele Niskanen, Timo Rui, Sini-Tuuli Saaristo, Riikka Simonen PHOTOS Tovari

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Once companies know the benefits of hiring someone with a completely different background, they can begin to break the barriers in recruiting diversely and therefore reach an international market. By utilizing staff from different backgrounds, cultures and countries, companies can benefit from different perspectives, skills and experiences not otherwise available to them. Having a rich cultural team can aid in developing different ideas and viewpoints that otherwise would not have been possible compared to a homogenous one. According to the North Karelia Regional Counsil (Maakuntaliitto 2018), the overall population of North Karelia in 2017 was roughly 163 000 persons of which roughly 6000 persons were of foreign background. Thankfully, the unemployment levels have decreased 7,4% among foreigners in the past year, from 1778 persons to 1647 persons between March 2018 to March 2019 (TEM, 2019). The unemployment among foreigners has dropped 7,4%, from 1778 persons to 1647 unemployed persons between March 2018 to March 2019 (TEM, 2019). This is a bright light for future research and development and shows that companies are beginning to hire foreigners. The integration of immigrants and international students to Finnish higher education, job markets and society is important. Finland needs migrants to address the labour shortage within different sectors, to improve the weakening of the dependency ratio caused by an ageing population, and to attract more international talent and entrepreneurs to Finland (Sisäministeriön julkaisu 2018, 1). It is crucial that the region could utilize immigrants and international students’ talents and enable their stay in North Karelia. Successful integration of educated immigrants makes the region’s age structure younger and increases the knowledge that offers the region’s businesses opportunities for internationalisation.

It is crucial that the region could utilize immigrants and international students’ talents and enable their stay in North Karelia. Successful integration of educated immigrants makes the region’s age structure younger and increases the knowledge that offers the region’s businesses opportunities for internationalisation.


Karelia University of Applied Sciences (UAS) has taken a strong role in enabling immigrant`s integration in the area of Eastern Finland. The Ministry of Education has selected Karelia UAS as one of the Higher Education Institutions, which are responsible for supporting immigrants with integration. This development work is implemented within the national SIMHE network (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland) including three Universities of Applied Sciences and three Universities from different | 23

parts of Finland. Karelia UAS is active in the area of Eastern Finland and works closely with other businesses, services and institutions. Karelia UAS has launched several activities to help the immigrants’ employment and studying possibilities. There are guidance services, preparatory studies for higher education and suitable shorter studying paths for those immigrants who have prior higher education done in their home countries. Karelia UAS gives coaching, workshops and seminars for those international students and immigrants who are seeking job opportunities. With the help of various projects, Karelia UAS has been able to create ways to enable immigrants’ and international students’ integration into Finnish working life and society.

The SIMHE Guidance Services has met over 250 immigrants in the past two years. Many of them have found their way to further education or language studies.

As another example, the TalentHub Joensuu Project has helped over 20 local companies find international talent in the form of internships. This allows local companies to see the potential of international talents as a means for internationalisation. In the fall of 2019, the project organised an event series where international talents received advice, sparring and real-life tips on how to start one’s own business in Finland. Over dozen internationals have expressed their desire to become an entrepreneur and stay in the region. In addition to these examples, the SIMHE Path Project is developing an education model to make the competences of the highly educated immigrants more visible, and to increase their access into the job market. The educational model includes individual guidance, possible training in a local company, and additional short-term studies at Karelia UAS. The target is a fluent transition into the Finnish working life. This is done by mapping the competences needed by the local companies and recognising the bottlenecks hindering the professional qualifications and/or employment.


As described, these challenges are not overcome overnight, but solutions to these problems are being recognised and reacted to by Karelia UAS. As times are changing, all residents and companies of the region need to understand the benefits and richness of connecting with and employing international talents. Sources: Sisäministeriö 2018, Sisäministeriön julkaisu 1/2018: Töihin Suomeen –Hallituksen maahanmuuttopoliittinen ohjelma työperusteisen maahanmuuton vahvistamiseksi Karelia-ammattikorkeakoulu. n.d. Available from: http://www.

For example, the aim of the SIMHE Guidance Services is to give career and study guidance to immigrants, to help them find studying possibilities in higher education, and to produce services for recognizing prior learning and competence of highly educated immigrants in order to facilitate the process of integration and enabling them to find suitable working possibilities in the region. The SIMHE Guidance Services has met over 250 immigrants in the past two years. Many of them have found their way to further education or language studies. The Preparatory Study Group for Higher Education, held in 2018-2019, led to higher education studying placement for 16 students out of 20.

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Opetushallitus. n.d. Available from: korkeakoulut_tukemassa_maahanmuuttajia/simhe_palvelut Maakuntaliitto. TEM


The purpose of SIMHE-Karelia Guidance and Counselling service is to ensure that highly educated immigrants arriving in Finland can have their prior learning, prior studies and prior degrees swiftly recognised and acknowledged according to national practices, and that they will be guided towards meaningful educational and career paths. The guidance activities will be implemented in close cooperation with other regional higher education institutes and other regional actors involved in the process of supporting the integration and employment of immigrants in Eastern Finland. Guidance service gives a possibility for a personal meeting with a counsellor. SIMHE-Karelia serves immigrants with prior higher education and those who have eligibility to study in higher education.


Preparatory studies for higher education are six months studies for those immigrants who need additional Finnish language and studying skills before they enter higher education studies. The studies also include suitable professional studies and digital skills studies. This training has been implemented twice, in years 2018 – 2019, and the third one will start in November 2019. In each study group there have been 20 students. Most of them have had prior higher education done in their home country, but they have needed more Finnish language skills and studying skills in Finnish higher education.

SIMHE Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education | 25


The TalentHub Joensuu Project was a project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (EAKR) and was implemented in cooperation between Business Joensuu and Karelia University of Applied Sciences. The project aimed at connecting foreigners, also known as international talents, to local SME’s. The project was able to connect international talents to over 20 different local companies. The TalentHub Joensuu Project ran from January 2018 till December 2019. The project also helped international talents in guiding them towards entrepreneurship. Over 80 international talents attended different entrepreneurship training programs, where they were able to get hands-on examples and guidance in starting one’s own business in Finland.


The aim of the SIMHE Path Project is to make the competences of highly educated immigrants visible, and to develop an educational model that promotes employment and supplements competences from regional needs. The target group is highly educated immigrants in the field of technology and business. The educational model includes individual guidance, possible training in a local company, and additional studies at the universities of applied sciences involved in the project. The SIMHE Path Project is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and is implemented together with Oulu University of Applied Sciences and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. The SIMHE Path Project began in October 2018 and will finish by the end of year 2020.

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The project aims to find solutions to the problems of the employment of international experts and the availability of skilled labour for enterprises. This is done by implementing pilot measures in co-operation between higher education institutions and enterprises. Two sets of measures are piloted and developed. First set of measures: “Training skills: International experts in enterprises” focuses on developing coaching and training based on the needs of enterprises employing international experts and supporting the employment of international experts in enterprises. Second set of measures: “The services for the international experts, development of employment and career guidance” supports the transition of international experts to working life. It is aimed at highly educated, unemployed immigrants and at international students in higher education institutions. This project is implemented by University of Eastern Finland and Karelia UAS. It began in October 2018 and ends in June 2020.


The aim of the project is to develop advanced training in higher education through the harmonization of the training process and principles of training and by preparing national recommendations for preparatory education. The project aim is also promoting an operational culture which furthers engaging integration in higher education institutions. The project will develop both the regional implementation of education and the joint implementation of higher education institutions by using digital methods. The target group of the project is people with an immigrant background who benefit from the development of learning abilities and language skills when applying for higher education. As a result of the project, the availability, flexibility, choice and effectiveness of advanced training for immigrants will increase, and higher education institutions will have common ways of organizing training courses. maahanmuuttajille/kovat


The SIMHEapp Project is a ministry funded project that created a mobile app (currently the Android version is available for download from the Play Store) that is a mobile-based, user-oriented and intelligent service. The app provides information on educational pathways bases on the description and compilation of the immigrant’s own skills, and it also supports contact management to other services. The service is intended for independent use for immigrants in the beginning of their training path. The mobile service offers the ability to control the first phase easily from anywhere in Finland or the world, regardless of time. | 27



- NEW DEGREE EDUCATION Education in the new Degree Programme in Industrial Management starts in Karelia in the autumn 2020. The language of instruction in this degree programme is English. The education has been planned and will be implemented in close co-operation with the local working life. The partner companies are actively involved already in the student recruitment phase. The goal is to build a smooth continuum of education and work-based immigration to ensure the availability of labour force in the near future. TEXT Pekka Auvinen, Ulla Asikainen PHOTO Tovari

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n the external quality audit at Karelia and in the midterm review of Karelia strategy for 2016-2020 one of the development areas brought up was the uneven manifestation of internationalization in various parts of the university. Based on the review, the Board of Karelia UAS decide to start at least one new degree programme instructed in English during the strategy period. In the autumn of 2018, a team was nominated to prepare a proposal for increasing the degree education in English. Ulla Asikainen, Head of Education, acted as the chairman of this team. At first, all education fields at Karelia were asked for proposals. During the preparation, the team members interviewed extensively the representatives of working life, stakeholders and Ministry of Education and Culture. In addition, the already existing English degree programmes in universities of applied sciences were surveyed, as well as results from recent years. There were also discussions with international partner universities about the possibilities for co-operation and the operation model in implementing the education. Three proposals were obtained as the new degree education: Nursing (Bachelor of Health Care), Engineering (Bachelor of Engineering)/Industrial Management and Master’s Degree in Active Ageing. Based on the received material, the team gave points to the strengths of the alternatives by using 13 criteria. The education in Industrial Management scored the highest points in total. The most significant strength was the positive message from the re-

gion’s working life about the need for and importance of this kind of competence produced in the degree programme, especially considering the attraction of the region, and the companies’ interest in co-operation in developing and implementing the education. Based on the team’s proposal, the Board of Karelia decided in February 2019 that the Industrial Management engineering programme will start as the new degree education instructed in English. The curriculum work started immediately after the Board’s decision. The preparation work has been carried out by a multidisciplinary team in close co-operation with the companies in the region as well as with international

Production, sales and finances were selected as the three main themes of the degree. These themes establish a continuum of increasingly developing competence for the duration of the studies. partners. Production, sales and finances were selected as the three main themes of the degree. These themes establish a continuum of increasingly developing competence for the duration of the studies. Learning is connected to annual working life assignments from partner companies. This way the close connection with working life is ensured for the duration of studies and at the same time natural recruitment paths are formed with the companies. A lot of attention is paid to developing language skills in Finnish and as an incentive, tuition fees will be relieved gradually as the language skill develops. The companies (e.g. John Deere, Abloy, CGI, Mantsinen Oy ) closely participating in the planning and development of the new degree have expressed their satisfaction regarding Karelia’s investment in starting engineering education in English in North-Karelia.



25 YEARS 25th October 2019 Karelia UAS International Business Degree Programme (former IBM, North Karelia Polytechnic/UAS) celebrated 25th anniversary at Joensuu Science Park. TEXT Salla Anttila PHOTOS Oskari Nevalainen

Opening words by Mr Petri Raivo, President of Karelia UAS.

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Panel discussion ”IB today”, moderators Ms Kirsi-Marja Toivanen, Lecturer and Mr Pertti Laitinen, Lecturer.

All the staff members, students and alumni who participated to the celebrations.

Panel discussion ”IB today”.

“From 1994 to 2019”, a Retrospective by Mr Ari Stenroos, Lecturer.

Students and alumni networking. | 31




TEXT Heikki Immonen PHOTO Jussi Ratilainen

2008 2011 2012 2014 TULI program starts, aiming at commercializing UAS based innovations.

2009 ACE project starts, launching tools for entrepreneurship in North Karelia.

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University students’ entrepreneurial organization Joensuu Entrepreneurship Society starts its operation.

Draft program starts. The new program offers micro-funding to UAS-based teams.

UEF joins the Draft program.



tudying entrepreneurial skills, and being an entrepreneur while studying has never been this easy in Karelia UAS. Studies are offered on all study fields and complementary and optional studies offer about sixty courses related to various sections of entrepreneurship. Various own and partners’ services from ideas competitions to long-term acceleration programs are all accessible to students. To pull together all these services even better, a comprehensive learning environment for entrepreneurship, Spark Joensuu, was established in 2019. Spark Joensuu is the latest and most comprehensive entrepreneurial effort in Joensuu by the UAS, UEF, vocational education and Business Joensuu. In practice, Spark is an international and multidisciplinary learning environment at Joensuu Science Park, where many of the entrepreneurial activities of various schools and partners are concentrated. The biggest operator from Karelia is the Y-Academy, which has its premises in the same hall with the business accelerator of Business Joensuu. In addition to

Y-Academy, some operations of the Draft program, Epic Challenge, JA Company programs, ProRiveria and Joensuu Entrepreneurship Society have been brought into this environment. The services provided by non-educational organizations are services of Business Joensuu, startup grants provided by TE services as well as the office of North Karelia Entrepreneurs. The common goal is to make Spark the world’s best place to combine entrepreneurship and studies. Spark offers Draft, Epic Challenge and Joensuu Entrepreneurship Society as the option for the international students. In addition, the JA Company program is an alternative for an international student. One step on the international entrepreneurship path at Karelia was taken in 2019 when the pre-accelerator program Draft was tried out in a joint international ideas competition with seven countries. The competition was arranged by the international women’s entrepreneurship project W-Power. Of the 24 participants, five best ones will get micro-funding for the commercialization of their business ideas.

2016 2017 2018 2019 KYKY project starts, aiming at developing education related to experimental competence.

UAS and UEF start together Polku Entrepreneurship Week.

Y-Academy® (Business Academy) and the JA Company programs start at Karelia UAS.

Spark Joensuu is established.

CMYK: 100-0-30-0 / 30-0-100-0 / 0-26-100-0 / 0-100-80-0, RGB 0-156-180 / 200-212-0 / 253-193-0 / 228-3-46, Fontti: Francker Condensed SemiBold | 33


THE FIRST JOINT SUMMER SCHOOL BY THE EDUCATIONAL OPERATORS IN NORTH KARELIA Karelia University of Applied Sciences, University of Eastern Finland, Finland University and Riveria (vocational education and training) accomplished for the first time a joint international summer school for Chinese forestry students studying for the Master’s Degree. A group of 24 students from Xian County, Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University, studied in Joensuu in June 2019, familiarizing extensively with the themes of bioeconomy and sustainable natural resources management. TEXT Liisa Timonen, Ulla Asikainen PHOTO Salla Anttila

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tudies have included work in classroom, periods in forest, practical assignments as well as visits and excursions. The students have been enthusiastic and motivated. Although planning and coordinating an extensive and versatile summer school together with several operators and international student group in a short time has been a big effort, the end result with satisfied students and partners is very rewarding, says Ulla Asikainen, Head of Education at Karelia University of Applied Sciences. Three month’s summer school, intensive study in Finland in the summertime, Joensuu and the region’s beautiful nature along with the light summer nights have been unique experiences for the students. The students have been satisfied with the teaching methods in summer school. - Active discussions in class have encouraged me to express my own ideas and this has been a new learning method for me. These discussions have been important considering the learning process. I want to take this active discussion method back to China with me, because you can learn from others and also increase your own knowledge, tells Yu Lei, a student in summer school.

Three month’s summer school, intensive study in Finland in the summertime, Joensuu and the region’s beautiful nature along with the light summer nights have been unique experiences for the students.

Familiarizing with the Finnish forestry chain has also been a memorable experience for the students. - Learning about sustainable and multiple-use forestry for the whole production chain is a matter that helps us to develop the use of Chinese forests in the future. Forests in China have mainly environmental goals so learning about sustainable and multiple-use forestry can be useful in the future, Yu Lei continues. Also the teachers of NWAFU have followed actively the studies in summer school and they have been satisfied with the arrangements. - I am surprised by the commitment of the teachers and organizers. Themes related to bioeconomy and developing rural areas have widened the students’ thoughts in addition to things related to forests. I hope that this well started co-operation will expand in the near future, tells Professor Guangzhe Liu.

Idea for this summer school came from Paavo Pelkonen, Emeritus Professor of University of Eastern Finland, and the administration has been the responsibility of Ulla Asikainen, Head of Education and Liisa Timonen, Head of International Affairs at Karelia University of Applied Sciences. The versatile group of teachers included working life experts from University of Eastern Finland, Karelia and Riveria. - The ending international summer school is a good example of how educational operators in the same region can produce and implement a versatile whole and at the same time take an important step into common regional development of international co-operation and education export. It is exactly this type of effort that is more and more needed in this region, tells Liisa Timonen, Head of International Affairs at Karelia. | 35


LEARNING FOR THE EXPERTISE ON GLOBAL BUSINESS At Karelia UAS, students from different countries and cultures work together to learn the skills needed in the world of work. Furthermore, alumni from all over the world give perspective and share their experiences for the future experts of global business during the studies. In these stories, you can sense the motivation the studies give for working on global markets. Alumnus, International Business graduate 2014 Isaac Adam, shares his story and students Nhung Tran and Yuchen Xu give a glimpse to their special learning experiences.

ISAAC ADAM International Business gradaduate 2014

A EDIT Tarja Tuononen PHOTO Oskari Nevalainen

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t Karelia University of Applied Sciences you are given the insights to see things from different perspectives. As we know, going international now is not even an option, you are forced to go. You need the right expertise, you need some of the basic knowledge and understanding. Karelia UAS you get to meet people from different countries. You know your classmates want you to succeed. That is really important and I have taken that with me to my work also. I believe where ever you are the power comes from everybody in the team. I’m in charge of market developement, business development in sales in Africa and Middle East. My typical workday initially used to be more about finding new partners, but now, most of the work is to give attention to the needs of existing clients and maintaining relationships with them. I have a personal connection to the kind of work I do. I sell ECG, medical devices. I found this company after my dad passed away due to a heart problem. Each day it is kind of comforting thing to me that I’m probably helping somebody’s father just like mine. For me that gives the motivation and that’s the passion that keeps me going.

TEXT AND PHOTO Kaija Sankila

NHUNG TRAN International Business student


n Vietnam I studied business administration related to logistics at the airport. After graduation I worked in Cargo Service Corporation for four months, and my responsibility was on import documents. My second job was a flight attendant in Jetstar Pacific Airlines for almost two years. During the job, I gained a lot of experience about customer service, first aid and solved many problems with customers, especially in emergency situations. Moreover, I traveled a lot and learned to understand more about cultures from different countries. Currently I am a second-year student in Karelia University of Applied Sciences, and I major in International Business. My passion is to run my own business and now I learn to view business from many perspectives, such as marketing and economical field in European countries. I am also able to acquire deeper knowlege about international business. Studying in English gives me a good foundation to integrate into the world and make my life better.

Last year I had a chance to join the ECMT+ Intensive Programme for 10 days in Roanne, France. We had people from seven countries working together, and every team had a startup with their own idea, which included preparing everything for the final presentation to get financing from sponsors. During this program, ECMT+ students worked with their projects and developed their communication,marketing plans and resources. After visiting and exploring Lyon to interview people, my team and I improved our marketing campaign, strategies and determined the strengths and weaknesses of our team. During this course, I learned more about entrepreneurship, working in a multicultural team as well as improved my English skills. My team and I had amazing time together in Roanne, and the course ended successfully thanks to careful and thoughtful organization from organizers. Once again, I would like to thank the organizers, staff and all of you who participated for creating memorable and useful ECMT+2019, it will forever be a part of my journey in Europe. | 37

YUCHEN XU International Business student


It’s not easy, but it is flexible. And I feel I’m not under pressure. I love studying here, it makes me happy!

’m from China, a country really far away from Finland. I started my studies in August 2018. Finland is my dream country. After five years of graduating from my senior high school I decided to come here to study. I did my own research of what field I can study here. I’m interested in business and Degree Programme in International Business was suitable for me to apply to. I was accepted to the programme and now I’m here. When we do groupwork the teacher divides us to teams So, as I am interested in different cultures, it is good that the people who I work with change regularly. Sometimes studying is relaxed. It’s not easy, but it is flexible and I feel I’m not under pressure. I love studying here, it makes me happy! The best of our study is that I have my own tutor teacher who gave me options what fields of business I can study on the third study year. So, I don’t have to follow the predetermined plan. The city of Joensuu has organization that helps foreign students with their visas and problems. They also teach Finnish language for free. That helps also and I understand local culture better. Currently at Karelia UAS I’m the only student from China. When the international students come next summer, I can help them to get to know the city and tell them about my experiences. At the start I felt lonely here but now I also take part into Friend Family programme which is so nice! I’m thankful to my teacher who introduced me to my friend family. My Finnish family is really nice, and they treat me like I was their own daughter. They invite me to their house in every important Finnish holiday, like Independence Day and Easter. They make me feel that I have a home here. Also, my parents don’t need to worry about me because I have a caring family here in Finland.

EDIT Tarja Tuononen PHOTO Oskari Nevalainen

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How will you shape the world? STUDY INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS OR INDUSTRIAL MANAGEMENT IN ENGLISH! Bachelor of Business Administration, Degree Programme in International Business Bachelor of Engineering, Degree Programme in Industrial Management The path to a great future is paved with skills and expertise. Karelia University of Applied Sciences is proud to be a part of this development by training skilled professionals. We offer excellent conditions for internationally oriented business students who strive with us to be the experts of the future. At Karelia University of Applied Sciences, all students work closely with local companies and with other educational institutions on exciting research and development projects.

Each student builds a solid grounding in their field throughout their studies. The curriculum is customized to each student’s own preferences and needs, and is supplemented through close contact with prospective employers. A degree from Karelia University of Applied Sciences will give you the professional skills you need for a rewarding future. Choose Karelia University of Applied Sciences and become part of the bright world! | 39

A bright world. 40 |

Profile for Karelia-ammattikorkeakoulu - International Edition 2020  

International Edition 2020 Towards new Karelia strategy! - International Edition 2020  

International Edition 2020 Towards new Karelia strategy!


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