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SAFINET Southern African and Finnish Higher Education Institutions' Network for Health and Well-Being

SAFINET can help health and well-being scholars in Finland to discover opportunities for collaboration with Southern African higher education institutions, research institutions and other stakeholders.

The focus of SAFINET is on building research partnerships and projects within SAFINET scope as well as facilitating joint educational collaboration and capacity building projects. SAFINET maps funding sources for joint activities, enhances contacts between its members and Southern African higher education institutions (HEIs), and engages different stakeholders.


Facilitating collaboration between Southern African and Finland’s academia

The network joins the forces of Finnish HEIs in the field of health and well-being, to conduct high-impact and goal-oriented collaboration with Southern African higher education and research institutions and other stakeholders. The aim is to focus on mutually identified relevant areas and to increase the productivity, quality, and impact of the participating institutions both in Finland and in Southern Africa. 

Primarily, SAFINET helps its individual members from the Finnish member organizations in their aspirations for academic engagement in Southern Africa and with Southern African countries’ higher education institutions in the field of health and well-being. 

Secondly, SAFINET conveys messages to the Finnish partner institutions on the initiatives of Southern African (SADC countries) higher education institutions seeking Finnish HEI partners in the field of health and well-being. Looking for collaboration under the themes of health and well-being, SAFINET aims to be the link between Finnish and Southern African research centers and higher education institutions, matching networks to help them achieve their goals.

Engaging Ministry for Science and Education and the EU

SAFINET pursues proactive policy dialogue with research and innovation policymakers of Finland and the European Union. In order to be more efficient in internationalisation of higher education in Finland, SAFINET engages actively with the Ministry of Culture and Education of Finland. Furthermore, SAFINET participates in the EU-Africa policy dialogue, which means significant opportunities for the EU-Africa research partnerships within both continents.

Upstream action with science policy priorities makes us better prepared for upcoming calls. This together with our partners makes us stronger.

Thematic groups

  • Arts, Culture and Well-Being
  • Digitalization, Innovation and Health Services
  • Food Systems and Living Environment
  • Social Sustainability
  • Public and Mental Health and Life Course

There are strategic alliances where several SAFINET HEIs join forces for a bigger goal. For example, one on ‘Digitalization & Rehabilitation’ (the initiative between Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences, University of Jyväskylä and Lapland University of Applied Sciences).

SAFINET comprises 9 Finnish universities and 15 Finnish universities of applied sciences. In total, there are 13 universities and 22 universities of applied sciences in Finland, so our network covers a wide range of Finnish higher education institutions. A central collaboration partner for the network is the Southern-Nordic Centre SANORD.

The SAFINET network is coordinated by Tampere University. SAFINET is contributing to the implementation of Finland’s Africa Strategy and advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

One of the new areas emerging from fundamental research at Tampere University is the future of well-being. We explore novel solutions for improving health and well-being, guided by an in-depth understanding of changes in the societal landscape. Therefore, the natural focus SDG of SAFINET is number 3: Good health and well-being.

Join our network

Join our network by sending us an email at:

  • safinet-tau [at]

You can also reach us by email if you have any questions or would like to have more information on what SAFINET can offer you.

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Southern African and Finnish Higher Education Institutions' Network for Health and Well-Being SAFINET was established in late 2020. It is one of the large-scale, thematic networks supported by the Ministry for Education and Culture of Finland under its Global Internationalisation Programme 2021–2024.

In addition to SAFINET, there are three global internationalisation programme networks that are working with Africa to facilitate joint research, education and innovation collaboration between Finnish higher education institutions and African partners:

Ministry of Education and Culture