HELGA, LAUREAMKO AND METKA GIVE THEIR SUPPORT TO THE COLLABORATION PROJECT AMONG THE THREE UNIVERSITIES OF APPLIED SCIENCES
Three universities of applied sciences, Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia compact their collaboration based on the development obligations given in pursuance of the licenses issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The universities have been requested to dissolve the overlapping education provisions and develop their structures so that the know-how of the universities can be gathered to stronger units. This request has been answered with a “With the power of collaboration: 1+1+1=9” project that aims to bring actions, results and effectiveness by working less on the structures.
The student unions of Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia have monitored the common 1+1+1=9 project very closely. The student unions have welcomed the reforms that will be brought to the common education provision mainly with a positive attitude. “It’s great that the collaboration between the three strongly profiled universities is seen as an opportunity in the capital region”, the chairperson of Helga’s board Max Laihonen comments.
In the future parts of the process, the student unions want to remind the importance of student representatives. These decisions consider every student, and students’ voices have to be heard. “Even when the project is progressing fast, having a student representative is the only way to have a real student oriented approach”, the chairperson of Laureamko’s board Juho Kärkkäinen reminds. “The communications regarding the project has to be developed so that every student has a chance to comprehend the project.”
Of the seven openings regarding the project, GreenCard and TalentTrack specifically raised a lot of compliments from the student unions. GreenCard aims to enable flexible selections from the education provision among the three universities, for instance, in the form of an exchange period. Breaking the traditional division between universities brings a nice extra for the provision of the universities of applied sciences, thus enabling interdisciplinary projects and courses uniting the strengths of students and staff from the three universities. TalentTrack, on the other hand, enables a smoother transition in selected fields to master level studies after completing bachelor’s degree. The student unions warmly welcome the possibility that may erase the bridge studies that have been considered troublesome and unjust by students.
“Universities must also consider compacting the collaboration from the perspective of digitalization. At least Metropolia has outlined a virtual campus that would bring together the physical campuses enabling smooth distant learning. Universities have to start working on a report for the foundation of a common virtual campus in order for students to be genuinely able to select flexibly from the education provision of the three universities”, the chairperson of METKA’s board Emmi Paajanen suggests.
Student unions regard the realization of working life orientation as an important point of development. “Universities of applied sciences should have a tight connection to the modern working life. Students have come to these universities in order to open doors to the working life but the connection is currently not working to its fullest potential. Working life orientation 9.0, one of the points in the collaboration project, has to be strongly visible to students so that we can get rid of the connections described in the course descriptions. In addition to the orientation towards working life, YrittäjyysSavotta is an important part of the project. Many students dream about setting up their own business in the future so student unions have great expectations towards YrittäjyysSavotta”, the chairperson of Helga’s board Max Laihonen says encouragingly.
When executed right, the openings in the project will increase the freedom to select one’s studies and the option to tailor the degree and study in a flexible way according to each situation a student may face in life. The student unions are waiting for the next phase of the project with great interest and will willingly take part in the preparation work.
Chairpersons of the student unions,
The Student Union of Haaga-Helia – Helga
The Student Union of Laurea University of Applied Sciences
The Student Union of Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences