TAMK Annual Review 2020: How the pandemic year affected our internationality
The Covid-19 pandemic brought challenges and uncertainty on a global level. At the same time, it also brought everyone closer together. Both organisations and individuals were pushed out of their comfort zones. As a result, we all made leaps forward in developing practices and tools that benefit international collaborations.
“Not even a pandemic can come between us”
“At first, our customers relied on us for consultation and support, in the development of teachers’ digital skills. Shortly after, our new online courses and group sales started to grow. This attests to the strong and trustful relationships we have built with our partners over the years. Not even a pandemic can come between us,” comments Carita Prokki, Director of Continuous Education.
Despite the mobility restrictions, the number of international degree students continued to grow. We used new ways to support incoming international students in settling and beginning their studies in such exceptional situation.
“Customer satisfaction is very important for TAMK. We evaluate the feedback given by our customers very carefully and improve our education continuously. Also attracting international talents to Finland is one big challenge that Finnish higher education faces,” says Kirsi Jokipakka, Head of International Services.
Together with our strategic partners we developed virtual exchange practices. Through cooperation, we can now offer higher education students a more extensive provision of remote studies.
Inclusive international events
During spring 2020, travel restrictions brought a sudden need for modifying TAMK events. The School of Media, Music and Art reacted fast and implemented TAMK’s first fully digital international week in April. Our partner institutions liked the idea and the number of participants in all events of the week was higher than ever.
Numerous international virtual events followed, as this new era increased popularity of virtual events. The increased global interested in our virtual events even lead to the creation of a new service inside TAMK.
Looking into the future
In the near future, we will focus on strategic partnerships in all continents. TAMK aims to deepen the cooperation with our international strategic partners. In education export we need to find the right kind of partners for a more intensive cooperation.
“This year has shown that there is a lot of potential for common project ideas and virtual exchange modules with our partners,” discloses Kirsi Jokipakka.
TAMK aims at becoming an even more welcoming and vibrant international study environment. We wish to host more students from abroad at our home base in Tampere but also offer TAMK students more study opportunities in our partner universities.
“Our dream is a happy community of TAMK students and alumni from all over the globe, with the necessary international mindset and skills for the working life, supporting and networking with each other on a continuous education basis,” conclude Carita Prokki and Kirsi Jokipakka.
Read more about Internationality at TAMK Annual Review 2020
Text and image: Dimitra Panopoulou-Huovila