The Box Yomiuri Shimbun -lehdessä: Educational reform of Finland · Foster under-professionals

Yomiuri Shimbun, Japanin suurimpilevikkisimpiä kansallisia sanomalehtiä, julkaisi elokuussa artikkelin suomalaisesta koulutuksesta. Artikkelin kirjoittaja tutustui Haaga-Helia amkiin Haagan kampuksella. Juttu alkaa komeasti vierailulla The Box -hankkeen joulupukin virtuaalipajassa. Lehden aamupainoksen levikki on tällä hetkellä yli 9 miljoonaa.

Alkuperäisen artikkelin voi lukea (tai ainakin katsella) osoitteessa Alla on lyhentäen muokattu käännös englanniksi. Pahoittelut joidenkin haastateltujen epätarkoista kirjoitusasuista.

Educational reform of Finland · Foster under-professionals

Yomiuri Shimbun editorial writer Yukiko Furusawa

Finland in Scandinavia is also known for its emphasis on vocational education. Apart from general universities, there is a specialized university (applied science university), and teachers with practical experience learn knowledge and technology directly connected with occupation. Elementary and junior high school new curriculum also focuses on entrepreneurs education etc. It is attracting attention in Japan as it leads to an improvement in motivation for learning by conscious of occupation.

Learn at a ”hospitality specialty university”

In the booth for sightseeing PR produced by students. It is possible to interact with the village of the northern part where Santa Claus lives by telephone and picture of the Internet (at Haga helia specialty university in Helsinki)

In the booth for sightseeing PR produced by students. It is possible to interact with the village of the northern part where Santa Claus lives by telephone and picture of the Internet (at Haaga Helia UAS in Helsinki)

Although summer vacation is near, we were greeted by women in costumes reminiscent of Santa Claus. It was about visiting Haaga Helia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki city. We are focusing on nurturing human resources who are the core of the service (hospitality) industry and travel industry such as hotels and restaurants.

I covered the final day of the semester, and a box-shaped booth completed by the students was set up in the hall in the school. I devised a way to promote the northern Lapland region known as ”village of Santa Claus”. When entering the booth, one can enjoy Christmas in virtual reality.

The women of the red hat are graduate students and it seems that they imaged Santa Claus’ assistant ”elves”. A Christmas song flows in the booth, and one can smell traditional drinks with cinnamon’s richness. The eyeball is a conversation with ”Santa Claus” of ”real” which was reflected largely on the screen. By using Skype of the network telephone, I can answer the question ”Have you been a good boy/girl past year?” and can take a commemorative photo together.

”I would like to boost the feeling of traveling to Finland by setting up a booth at Asian shopping malls in Japan etc. It would be nice to have companies adopt the project”, said Haaga-HeliaUAS´s Ari Björkqvist, who oversees the course.

When listening to the women of graduate students engaged in this project, they were both experienced professionals. Minna Lamminen (47) says, ”It was inexperienced and difficult to use the latest IT technology,” she said. After working in a restaurant for over 20 years, she enrolled in Haaga Helia UAS as ”I want to learn management and step up”.

Nina Järvinen (30) worked at the airport after graduating from Haaga Helia University, but she came back to graduate school to want to get involved in the travel industry in earnest.

In Japan, professional colleges are introduced from fiscal 2019. Although it is expected to shift from existing vocational schools and the like, it is unknown how much to settle as a new destination to go to school. Specialized universities in Finland are also attracting worldwide attention as institutions of higher education that provide practical vocational education.

Students who practice at a hotel of a major chain adjacent to Haga Helia University. "Most of the students are working on the weekends," says Bjorkvist (in Helsinki city)

Students who practice at a hotel of a major chain adjacent to Haaga-Helia UAS. ”Most of the students are working on the weekends,” says Björkqvist (in Helsinki city).

Work closely with companies

At Haaga-Helia UAS, students from Sweden and Norway also participated and a contest was held to compete for the development of a new menu for vegetarians. Hosted by domestic famous food manufacturers, 10 teams will narrow down their wisdom in 2 days 1 night.

When I checked the school guide, it is attracting attention that the illustration of the company name and the product such as the major hotel and the confectionary maker are listed at the entrance of the classroom lined up in the corridor. In the classes held in each classroom, companies send lecturers and provide practical tasks. There is also a merit that the company side will lead to the adoption of excellent students.

What is even more unique is that the building next to the school building is a major chain, a hotel of the Best Western series. Although it is said that it opened for training of students, it is operated as a general hotel and used by many travellers. Among the employees who worked hard at the front desk, there were also students.

Convert part-time jobs to credits

Specialized universities place emphasis on vocational training. Students are evaluated as practical experience if they work part-time at the weekends, etc., and are converted into units. Of course, it will be necessary to write a report.

In Finland, junior high school is compulsory education, from 16 years old to regular high school or vocational school. There is no entrance examination of high school, the course is decided by hope of the principal and grades of the junior high school.

General national universities focus on academic research. Specialized universities are aiming at research and development that contributes to the development of the region based on the demand of the labor market. Besides business, there are various fields such as engineering and social welfare. It is easy to go on to advance not only from high school but also from vocational school, and nearly half of the students from Haaga-Helia are from vocational schools. I go to college while working and graduate in three and a half years. Many people graduate to work experience, graduate school after seven to eight years.

Education to graduate school is free in Finland. Although Haaga-Helia UAS is private, many of the operating expenses are covered by public funds. There are three campuses in total, IT, journalism etc can also be learned. Flexible cooperation with industry and the region should be effective in responding to changes in society.

The spirit of ”startup”

At the National Aalto University, there was a recital meeting of products etc. devised by the students (in Espoo city)

At the National Aalto University, there was a recital meeting of products etc. devised by the students (in Espoo city).

Finland, where startup (emerging) companies such as IT related companies are born one after another. Efforts to foster entrepreneurial spirit are also taking place at national universities.

At the National Aalto University, which has reorganized the Helsinki University of Technology and the name of Alvar Aalto, a representative architect in Scandinavia, there are student support entrepreneurs. According to Mr. Casper Suomarainen, 26, a graduate student at the center member, students who went to Silicon Valley and elsewhere requested the university after returning home, so that the buildings within the campus can be used free of charge as a shared office. In addition to planning lectures and symposiums inviting prominent entrepreneurs, he also works on the large-scale event ”Slash” where entrepreneurs gather from the world. For seven weeks, lecture ”startup sauna” where business owners and students of start-up companies learn business is popular. A unique name overlaps with a new idea not steaming up.

At Aalto University, which has undergraduates in engineering, management and design, classes on entrepreneurship are also substantial, and on the day of visit to the interview, an event was held to announce product designs developed by students .

Utilize occupational experience facilities

The new curriculum of Finnish elementary and junior high schools which was introduced in the autumn of last autumn is putting emphasis on vocational education conscious of entrepreneurship.

In the vocational experience facility 'Me and My City', booths of various companies line up (in Vantaa city)

In the vocational experience facility ’Me and My City’, booths of various companies line up (in Vantaa city).

I visited a vocational experience facility ”Me and My City” in Vantaa City near Helsinki. There are similar facilities in eight locations, and about 40,000 people, 70% of Finland’s 6th graders, will visit during the year. Participation by school is the basis and will be extended to junior high school third graders from now on.

The facility of Vantaa City, which has refurbished a corner of the museum, is simple, and box-shaped booths line up in a gymnasium like gymnasium. Inside there are desks, personal computers, products for sale, and real companies are cooperating. In addition to well-known companies such as ”Nokia” and ”Samsung”, booths such as supermarkets, electric power companies, hospitals and others were also on the stage.

Children receive about 10 hours of classes at school beforehand and learn economics, banks, role of advertisement, etc. Learning tax payment is also indispensable only in countries with high welfare. In the professional experience, go to the conference as an employee of the desired work place, sell the product. Shopping at the salary obtained as a salary, paying taxes and voting. If you look at the tablet terminal at hand, you can see the performance of each company and the task of work.

On the day when I went to the interview, a sixth grader who attended Martin Larkson Konaka consistent school in the city was participating. Nutti (13), who was at the Nokia booth, said, ”I understand the structure of the company somehow, I have not decided on course but I am interested in IT, I think the experience will be useful.” Erika (13), who was studying the structure of a power company in the form of a helmet, was motivated to ”become a CEO in the future”.

According to Yaro Baramies, a teacher who has led children, according to a junior high school class in the modern society, a company is created for each class, and the entrepreneurial experience of getting income by washing the teachers’ cars is tackled. ”If you come to such a facility, you can experience a wider range of experiences,” he said.

A nonprofit organization aiming to connect industry with school operates facilities and exports know-how to neighboring country Sweden.

Focus on manufacturing

In Finland, after completing compulsory education to junior high school, nearly half of the students go on to vocational school. Education that becomes the foundation is widely done in elementary and junior high school.

The Tapiola Middle School in Espoo, students in work clothes were using tools to produce audio speakers in the ”technology” class. Some students make metal chairs with serious looks. There is full-scale practical training such as welding like Japanese industrial high school, both men and women are required.

In Finland traditionally has a reputation for design and manufacturing, there is time for crafts in elementary schools, and it is important to move hands. At Vyerkhallion Elementary School in Espoo City, we were working on making wooden battleships using electric saws etc. I was surprised that the girls were watching video teaching materials while knitting in religious lessons learning morality.

At the nursery school in Helsinki city, as part of pre-school education, 6-year olds handmade stuffed toys of characters they like. Nursery schools that bring hands and hands with hands are hard to think in Japan.

Not only desk study but also emphasis on manufacturing from an early age may enrich the choice of career in the future.

Education guidelines for Japanese elementary and junior high schools to be implemented after fiscal 2020 also emphasize learning about real society and occupation. It made me think that I can make more use of manufacturing, which is a strength of Japan.

What kind of power should children acquire in times when it is difficult to see the future. There are a lot of parents and teachers who have vague anxiety. I realized that opportunities to touch advanced and multifaceted Finnish education will broaden my horizons even when thinking about the future of children in Japan.


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