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International partner universities shared valuable insight on topical issues during Partner Day 2020

Published on 27.11.2020
Tampere Universities
Matti Apunen keynote speech in Partner Day 2020The participants of Partner Day 2020 applaud Matti Apunen (top left), keynote speaker, at the end of his presentation.
The environment of collaborations is changing, but their necessity remains. Over 150 staff members of higher education institutions from around the world registered for an active and interactive Partner Day 2020, the first such virtual event in the Tampere Universities community.

As many yearly events have been cancelled during 2020, the idea for Partner Day came to life. This virtual event for non-teaching staff created the platform for Tampere Universities to come together with their partners and share news and solutions for issues that professionals working with international affairs are facing.  

“Our initial aim was to create a space where we could come together with our partner universities and share news about current situations in each institution. There is so much we learn from each other,” commented Noora Kahra, Coordinator in TAMK International Services.

The virtual nature of Partner Day 2020 offered the unique opportunity to bring together partners from all around the world who, maybe even under normal circumstances, would not have been able to take time and travel to Tampere. This brought a bigger range of backgrounds and perspectives into play, making a successful first Partner Day.

“There were participants from Mexico, Uruguay and Russia side by side with our European partners. There were active and fruitful discussions throughout the day,” exclaims Krista Merikoski, TAMK International Services Coordinator.

In her opening words, Kirsi Viskari emphasized the importance of an active mindset and perseverance. Higher education institutions have now new ways of rethinking their internationalization strategies. Collaborations and partnerships continue to be valued and necessary, though the processes might need to be redesigned.

“By persevering to actively communicate with our partners, we can all continue growing and improving our services,” Viskari reminded.

Matti Apunen, Professor of Practice and keynote speaker for the day, discussed the long-term effects of the Covid-19 pandemic both in the economy and our societal behaviours. He emphasized the importance of strategic planning, as educational institutions continue to support the development of the communities and economies, as well as their students and employees. 

“A global talent pool is now differently available as distance work has been normalized. Maybe in the future people can live in the city of their choice and offer their services anywhere in the world,” said Apunen highlighting the possible need for re-evaluating skills taught in universities.


Read the full story at TAMK International Blog

Photos by Dimitra Panopoulou-Huovila