I attended the International Staff Exchange Week Club for Business Collaboration organised by the University of Helsinki from the 7th to 9th November, 2018.
With 11 faculties spread across 4 different campuses, University of Helsinki has over 7,800 employees (with 56% comprising of teaching and research staff) and 31,300 students.
University of Helsinki has 4 doctoral schools offering 32 doctoral programmes; 61 master’s programmes (of which 35 are in English); and 32 Bachelor’s programmes and EU/EEA students enjoy either no-fee and very low fee tuition at University of Helsinki.
University of Helsinki has an impressive research profile and footprint with over 7,100 academic articles published per year and boasts a total of €194M research funding for 2017.
The University has also pledged to protect the environment by only serving vegetarian catering at university functions.
A total of 31 participants from 21 different institutions from Germany, Lithuania, Romania, France, Finland, Estonia, Greece, Slovenia, Denmark, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, UK, Hungary and Switzerland took part in this staff mobility programme.
The programme activities included keynotes, workshops, participants’ roundtable, poster presentation and competition, dinner hosted by University of Helsinki, facilitated dialogues and reflection exercise.
The theme of the programme was around perspectives and approaches on University-Business collaboration and the keynote speakers included:
- Arno Meerman, the CEO of the University Industry Innovation Network (UIIN) who talked about a holistic perspective to University-Industry Interaction;
- Ms Annette Fløcke Lorenzen, the Industrial Relations Manager (University of Copenhagen) who spoke on University-Business collaboration strategy and actions;
- Jari Strandman, the CEO of Helsinki Innovation Services who spoke on steps to commercialisation; and
- Amanda Paananen, the Senior Adviser in Business Collaboration (University of Helsinkin) who spoke about engaging faculties in business collaboration.
Aside from that, participants also had the opportunity to network and engage with each other through a series of workshop, participants’ roundtable, posters presentation and competition, and facilitated dialogue activities, all on topics relevant to the central theme of University-Industry collaboration.
On the evening of the second day, we were even treated to a delicious and sumptuous traditional Finnish meal at a restaurant near to the University, by the generous host. The fish (pike) was to die for!
Towards the end of the programme, there was also some time left for me to explore the city before darkness fell and despite the cold and wet weather, Helsinki still looked beautiful and what was most memorable to me was a visit to the Temppeliaukio Church, which was built into the bedrock and the interior was both impressive and an architecture marvel. I also took the opportunity to visit the Helsinki City Museum and the Fear exhibition was powerful and unconventional, to say the least….
As you can see, the Erasmus+ staff mobility award has given me this wonderful opportunity to not only visit an institution and country outside of the UK, but has also given me the chance to be actively engaged with colleagues from other EU countries in exchanging best practice, in an area and topic which is relevant and contemporary!
Pengpeng Hatch – Funding Development Officer, RKEO