Degree programmes and employers can jointly promote the employment of international students in Finland
Finding a job is a significant factor international experts’ integration into Finnish society.
Getting to know potential employers and networking with them during the studies can be a gateway to working life for international students. Co-operation between the University’s degree programmes and employers helps international students learn about Finnish work culture and finding employment after graduation. In addition, the co-operation enables companies to find out what kind of expertise the international degree programmes provide.
International students bring valuable konwledge to Finland
Hannele Auvinen is a University Lecturer at the English-language Master’s degree programme in Environmental Engineering, in which most students are international. In her view, international experts can provide valuable expertise for the company.
“Often the students at our international degree programmes do not enter working life straight from school; they may have already gained work experience before studying. They also may have new visions of the world and cultures to share with the workplace,” Auvinen says.
Tero Blomqvist, CEO of Kaira Clan, is convinced of the professionalism of international experts he sees in his work. Kaira Clan is a company specialising in the export of Finnish technology expertise and as the working language at the company is English, it employs many different nationalities.
Blomqvist says that Finland needs additional knowledge in the field of technology, for example, at such companies as Kaira Clan. According to him, international students increase the availability of experts in Finland. As students there is also a place for all of them in the education system.
“It is only possible with enough professionals to develop Finland further. Here in the Tampere region there are many technology and industrial companies, for example, which need employees. If the students stay here, the value of the region is also increased,” Blomqvist notes.
There are many co-operation options
Blomqvist says that together with international degree programmes and students, companies can carry out, for example, theses, internships and summer jobs, company visits, certificates, and CV banks. Companies and students can also be brought together with various events, such as seminars.
The Master’s programme in Environmental Engineering, for example, previously included compulsory internship. Teachers helped students with finding an internship placement and worked closely with companies.
“The students gained more self-confidence from the internships, and the companies were given demonstrations of the students’ ability and motivation. Some students could author their thesis in engineering commissioned by the internship placement, and some continued to work at the same workplace even after graduation,” Auvinen mentions.
In the master’s degree programme in Environmental Engineering, internship periods are replaced by project works in the future. According to Auvinen, the aim is that students would contact companies independently and ask for suggestions on the topic of their project work.
Dialogue needed between universities and employers
Companies may also participate in the design of the degree programmes’ contents. Both Blomqvist and Auvinen find it important that international degree programmes at the universities meet the needs of companies and can be renewed, if necessary.
“It would be great if the responsible persons at the degree programmes and company representatives could meet regularly and discuss the content of the educations. It would also enable networking and making new contacts to us teachers, which we could also pass on to students,” Auvinen points out.
Companies attach importance to systems or sites where they can submit job advertisements to students. Tampere University uses the JobTeaser service, in which employers may announce jobs, internships, and thesis positions to university students and recent graduates.
The degree programmes encourage representatives of companies to contact education providers in their field regarding the recruitment of students. Through the dialogue between the University and employers, valuable information can be shared on where international students find employment.