TAMK – The best professional higher education that Finland offers to the world.
• a sense of community
• respect for the individual and individual differences
• sustainable development
• appreciation of expertise and entrepreneurship
Our strong orientation towards working life ensures the best learning possibilities for our students. Furthermore, we are involved in research, development and innovation which specifically target the development needs of working life.
• Lifelong learning skills and competences for future needs
• Securing private sector funding
• Innovative, multidisciplinary focus areas grown from our expertise
• International dimension in all our operations
Lifelong learning skills and competences for future needs
We are currently paying special attention to the ways in which digitalization is changing teaching and learning
TAMK is currently involved in many national and international initiatives which aim to promote multi-modal approaches to teaching and learning. One of these is an international project called eMenthe, which is creating online study modules in the field of mental health work for the use of all the project partners. Another international project – OnCreate – is designing online learning models and joint teaching modules for education in the creative fields. Furthermore, TAMK is acting as co-ordinator for the so-called 10-step project, an important Finnish initiative which is developing joint online study units for the ICT sector. The first MOOC courses in Finland (Massive Open Online Courses) were also produced at TAMK.
”Student feedback on the study process has been taken into account to an ever-increasing degree, thus making student input into the development of education at TAMK more and more important. On each study programme, the aim is for teachers and students to review the given feedback together. It seems that the importance of the student experience is now better understood, and is being taken seriously.”
– Students’ union Tamko
In 2015, high priority was placed on updating the skills of the teaching staff for the digital age. To support this process, a skills evaluation matrix and an orientation programme were created, and staff training courses were arranged. At the end of 2015, “digi-mentors” were appointed in all the Schools of education; together, these mentors form a support network for developing TAMK’s digital competences and learning environments.
In addition to digital skills, other competence areas that were strongly targeted for up-grading and development included pedagogical methodology, team-working skills, and coaching. Language skills, IT skills, and information security knowhow are all areas where on-going development is called for.
Hands-on connections with working life and practical expertise were further strengthened in 2015 by participation in projects and other initiatives, and by involvement in a wide range of networks. Members of the teaching staff are also encouraged to work for fixed periods in organizations outside TAMK. This not only benefits the teachers concerned, but the updated expertise which they bring back with them also benefits the TAMK community as a whole.
In the autumn of 2015, TAMK’s quality management systems were audited by an international body. We are expecting the results of the audit in the spring of 2016. As part of our on-going quality process, we have chosen to focus particularly on development of the student experience.
Securing private sector funding
TAMK’s strategy for strengthening its financial base is to engage customers and partners in deeper co-operation and to activate TAMK’s staff to take initiative.
The trend towards a steady reduction in the level of state funding for higher education institutions in Finland is set to continue. Here at TAMK, we want to avoid the downward spiral of scaling back operations and downsizing our staff. The best way for us to ensure high quality operations is to retain all the wide-ranging know-how possessed by our staff, and to develop greater proficiency in engaging with customers and partners. In this way, each one of us – in our own areas of expertise, in our different roles and functions – can take action towards compensating for the reduction in state funding, for example by increasing the range of services for which we charge fees.
”The introduction of annual tuition fees will inevitably drive forward a more customer-centred approach. The expectations of fee-paying customers will challenge us in new ways to fulfil our assurances of high quality education.”
– Vice President Mikko Naukkarinen
Creating networks with other practitioners in our own areas of strength helps us to keep abreast of changes in our operating environment. Such partnerships also provide access to specialized know-how, obviating the need for TAMK to develop in-house expertise in every field. Furthermore, we are developing our own processes in order to maximize the benefits we get from our networks. We have introduced a system called Oiva, which is both a database for storing customer information and a social media platform for engaging with customers; every School of education at TAMK has its own Oiva manager, who is responsible for developing customer relations in the relevant field.
The next step beyond networking is the creation of long-term bi-lateral partnerships with particular customers, in which both sides become thoroughly familiar with the other’s operations. This is easier to achieve with those customers who have already learned through experience that we are partners to be trusted. However, we are constantly on the lookout for new customer partnerships, too. The same applies to our international co-operation, where we are developing a strategic level of collaboration with a small number of selected partners.
Innovative, multidisciplinary focus areas grown from our expertise
We have outstanding expertise in our five chosen focus areas, and collaborate closely with working life in all these fields:
• Energy-efficient and healthy built environments
• Developing professional pedagogy and education
• New operational models for health care and social services
• Entrepreneurship and innovative business
• Intelligent machines and smart devices
International dimension in all our operations
The introduction of annual tuition fees in 2017 will be a great challenge for TAMK’s support services and marketing operations.
In 2015, a little over 200 non-Finnish students were enrolled on degree programmes at TAMK, 70 per cent of whom came from outside the EU and EEA. New legislation requires that annual tuition fees be charged for students from outside the EU and EEA who enrol on English-medium degree programmes which start in 2017 and thereafter. As a result, we must recharge and expand our efforts to market our degree programmes internationally. Furthermore, fee-paying students will put new pressures on our educational support services to become more customer-oriented.
Through its Global Education services, TAMK aims to increase its education export operations. This has been a strategic objective for TAMK, and indeed for Finland, for the last five years. TAMK’s top export product is vocational teacher education. Its education export operations began with a project to provide continuing education to a group of foreign teachers. Currently, a course for vocational teachers from Brazil, paid for by the Brazilian Ministry of Education, is in progress as a joint effort between TAMK and Häme University of Applied Sciences. TAMK also continues to provide education in the latest pedagogical approaches through its 21st Century Educators programme, which is organized on a modular basis and targets individual teachers.
“When international exchange students join in group activities with Finnish students, it forces us – in a good way – to co-operate. It would be good to have more of these joint activities.”
– Students’ Union Tamko
China now looks like an attractive market for our services, as hundreds of traditional universities are modernizing and becoming more like universities of applied sciences. There is potential here for both TAMK and the University of Tampere, which have already worked together on a commission for the training institute of the Chinese Ministry of Education. This collaboration involved producing a three-week course for university rectors, and the first course of continuing education for Chinese university professors which specifically aimed to develop pedagogical skills.
Through its strategic partnerships, TAMK is deepening and extending the scope of its bi-lateral co-operation with selected institutions of higher education. An agreement with Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS), was signed in 2013, followed by one with Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen in 2014.
A new venture for TAMK is the international Master’s programme in Management and Economy in the International Forest Sector. This joint degree programme is being run in collaboration with Saint Petersburg State Forest Technical University.