Aihearkisto: koulutusjärjestelmät

Digital ambassadors across Europe


Digitalisation, robotisation, mobility, individualisation are some of the megatrends which will change our environment and life within the next decades. In our aim to use digital tools in a smart way we though it might be wise to use the joint understanding and experience of our European partners instead of trying to solve all questions we have in the implementation on our own. Therefore, representatives of five VET providers (including Jyväskylä Educational Consortium) and JAMK teacher training college joined forces for two days to discuss cooperation in the field of digitalisation of learning and teaching.

One of oldest partners of Jyväskylä Educational Consortium, IBJ network in Wilhelmshaven – Jever area, hosted the meeting and the other participants came from St. Gallen (CH), IES Puerta Bonita (ES), Aarhus Tech (DK), Horizon College (NL) and JAMK (FI).

All colleges agreed that there is a genuine need for non-traditional, more informal training and support for adopting the use of digital tools within the different staff groups. All colleges  have also either already appointed, or are planning to appoint, digital ambassadors (or eTutors as we call them) which is a peer-mentoring system for e.g. teachers to guide and help them to realize digital education with their learners. Secondly there is increased need for strategic tools or guidelines to help decide which instruments and investments are relevant and most cost-effective in VET.

After two very intensive days with lots of good discussion on the needs of the participating colleges the conclusion was that in the bigger picture the needs of the colleges are more or less the same. As the colleges are at different stages in development and adoption of digitalisation finding the suitable areas for cooperation was perhaps a bit trickier than expected and instead of a clear project plan the participants returned home with a bit of homework. The discussion will continue online and the next big step is to identify the potential coordinator for the project and start discussions with the relevant NA on the potential outcomes of the project.


More information Jaana Virtanen, Hanna Rajala and Rea Tuominen (at)

We and I culture with Rijn Ijssel

The week before our mid-term break we had the pleasure of hosting ten visitors from the Netherlands. They came from one of our core partners, Rijn Ijssel VET College in Arnhem. The visit was a follow-up of several of our guidance and support staff having visited Arnhem in the recent years. The theme of this study visit was  to explore the various elements in student centered support systems in the Finnish VET. The programme included many visits and lots of discussion on themes such as avoiding drop-outs, individualisation of learning and transition from comprehensive education to upper secondary education.






On the final day of the visit, the visitors themselves were put in ’the driver’s seat’ and they arranged a workshop on cultural differences – on the topic of we and I cultures – for the staff of Jyväskylä College and the five German trainee teachers that had been doing their placement with us for three weeks by then.

At the end of the day we also arranged an extensive feedback session for the visitors and asked them to share their thoughts on the visit and what they had learned. Here are some of their answers:

What was new?

  • entrerpreneurship
  • flexible start of studies
  • own path/ individual learning/ focus more on individual than group
  • practical learning at school
  • the flexibility of the whole system
  • possibilities in education also for adults / lifelong learning easier
  • closer relationship between teacher and student
  • free breakfast and lunch
  • respect for teacher, each other, environment and buildings

What surprised you?

  • same problems with the students e.g. drop-outs, attendance
  • self-reflection at such an early age/ spending a lot of time on self-reflection
  • no national tests/exams
  • students are quiet
  • great equipment
  • education is free
  • validation of previously acquired competences ( holiday jobs, social activities)
  • no grade/ exam pressure
  • personal help and support of the teacher for their students
  • calling  the teacher by their first name

What will you do? What kind of an impact will your visit in Finland have on your thinking, actions, way of working and/ or your organisation?

  • changing school and lessons into a place the students like to go to
  • individualize teaching more
  • value traditions but also appreciate changes
  • self-reflection for teacher and students
  • focus on skills (still missing) and (not so much) on what students already can do
  • introduce team teaching to my school
  • introduce self-reflection
  • lower the distance between teacher + team + counselor
  • long term goal:  start a course on entrepreneurship in my school
  • make more use of what students do in their free-time and side jobs

I want more! What would you like to happen next?

  • learn more about the matter of self-reflection
  • continue exchange with the purpose of learning from each other
  • learn more about education systems in Europe
  • (have a system where students can) start education any time
  • start pre-vocational programmes (valma)
  • make a project on avoiding dropouts
  • create warm, open, flexible individual learning paths without using so many hours for the inspections
  • international exchanges

A lot of food for thought! The next step of this cooperation will take place in November when Principal Pirjo Kauhanen and Programme Manager Minna Ahokas will visit Rijn Ijssel. During this meeting the memorandum of understanding between the two colleges will be renewed, and who knows, perhaps some of the issues mentioned above will also be discussed?

More information

Minna Ahokas (at)

Rea Tuominen (at)

Five Trainee Teachers from Germany in Finland



We are five vocational trainee teachers from Hessen in Germany. We came to Jyväskylä in the end of September 2017 to get to know the Finnish vocational school system.

The School

From our point of view, JAO is a huge school with a lot of educational departments and opportunities. From the beginning onwards, we felt very welcomed and everyone was helpful.

As we all have different subjects, we were able to get an overview of the different locations. Milena,  who has nutrition and biology, was mostly at Primus working in the hotel, catering and service classes. For biology, she was able to go to the Schildt Upper Secondary School. Silke was mainly located at Viitaniemi in hairdressing and went to the Secondary School at Harju with Religion.  Nicole went to Kukkula working with the practical nurses in health care and English. Nadine mainly worked with bakers in Viitaniemi in nutrition and with chefs and high school students in English. Kristin was in the business department with her subjects business administration and English, and among others, got to know about visual merchandising and entrepreneurship at Viitaniemi.

For us, it was especially interesting how the system of individual learning is implemented into the Finnish vocational system and we are able to take lots of ideas home to our classes. Moreover, the programms VALMA and OKSA were very interesting for us.

In the beginning, the students were very shy, but they opened up a little after seeing us around more often. Especially in the practical lessons, it was easier to get into contact with the Finnish students.

The Finnish Language

For most of us, the Finnish language was something very new when we arrived and it still seems extremely difficult. But we were eager to learn some Finnish and therefore visited a foreign class that taught us some Finnish. In return, they wanted to learn some German and decided that Finnish is the easier language for them, which made the teacher very happy. It was a very funny lesson, as there were so many different languages and cultures in the classroom and we still managed to communicate with one another.






Impressions of Finland

During the three weeks, we used our weekends to travel to get to know different sides of Finland. Firstly, we arrived in Helsinki. Then we went to Rovaniemi to visit Santa Claus, the reindeers and the arctic circle. Our last weekend, we spent in Turku to see the archipelago and to have a traditional sauna with jumping into the Baltic Sea.

We are very grateful for being able to enjoy this great opportunity and learned so many new things. Thanks to everyone who helped to make our stay as special as it is.

Moi, Moi.

Milena, Silke, Nicole, Nadine and Kristin

More information

Rea Tuominen, Jyväskylä Educational Consortium

Ralf Hölzer-Germann, VET teacher training institute in Hessen



Network of Networks in Glasgow

35 members from 16 VET colleges and four other organisations came together on Monday 2 October in Glasgow for three consecutive days of discussions and sharing project ideas. The Finnish network was represented by staff from all four VET providers Tredu, Varia, Salpaus and Jyväskylä.Jyväskylä Educational Consortium was represented by Chief IT and Quality Officer, Hanna Rajala and International Coordinators Milka Niskanen and Rea Tuominen.

Network of Networks is a cooperation forum of five national networks; Finn Net from Finland, The Dutch Alliance from the Netherlands, Colleges Partnership from West Scotland, Colleges NI from Northern Ireland and HETEL from the Basque country in Spain.

Topics discussed during the first project workshops were among other things: skills mismatch, digitalisation, continous professional development of VET staff, preparing VET staff for a less classroom based future as well as collaboration for improving commercial income streams.

More information Rea Tuominen

Competence Test Assessments in Qatarian Context

Learning Assistant Education

Competence Test Assessments in Qatarian Context, June 2017

Jyväskylä Educational Consortium started to organize Further Qualification in Learning Support and Morning and Afternoon Club Activity in Doha, Qatar, in autumn 2016. Our role is to organize preparatory training and competence test assessments there.

We – Kaisa Lassila and Jyrki Veistämö two teachers visiting Doha – had a great opportunity to be a part in this process. We travelled to Doha, Qatar in June 2017 to assess Learning Assistants´ competence tests in Qatar-Finland International School (QFIS). Our trip to Doha started from Tikkakoski and the weather was quite typical of Finnish summer: +4 degrees Celsius and a little bit cloudy. When we arrived in Doha in the afternoon, the weather was sunny and the temperature was plus 38 degrees Celsius. In the airport the taxi driver said that the weather would get even warmer during the week. There was also the Ramadan season going on so all the shops and restaurants were closed during the day.


There are eleven learning assistant students studying Further Qualification in Learning Support and Morning and Afternoon Club Activity/Instruction. The students come from different cultures. They had two competence test assessments: UNIT 1 (Working in the occupation) and Unit 2 (providing support and guidance for growth and development). Learning assistants (LA) work at QFIS in different grades; in Grade 0 the students are four-five years old, in grade 1 five-six years old, in grade 2 seven-eight years old. In grade 0 the LA is present in the classroom all the time, but in the upper grades the LA is a ”floating assistant” helping students in different subjects like maths, Arabic, English etc.

Now a few words about the assessment process. All the learning assistants and also each employer representative/ assessor (class teachers) and employee representative/assessor were carefully prepared to assess both of these modules and different assessment targets and criteria. Also all the LAs had done a great job both with the actual work during the competence test days in both modules and filling in their self-assessment forms. The assessment meetings were held at school and they took about an hour per candidate. First we gave an opportunity to the candidate to go through their self-assessment and then there were excellent professional discussions on how different targets showed in the candidates’ daily work. Learning assistants were very professional and they all passed both modules.

We think that the assessment process was quite similar in both countries. Every one of us thought that the assessment meeting was a great opportunity to get valuable feedback of our work and a possibility to reflect on how we work. On behalf of our Institute we were very satisfied that the QFIS staff had done so wonderful job to guarantee that the practical arrangements were well organized. To guarantee that everything will go well in the future as well, we have to keep up discussions about the partner’s expectations of good practices concerning the competence test and the assessment.


During the week we also had an opportunity to explore Doha. The City of Doha was very clean, friendly, hot and sunny. We went to see different shopping malls and we also visited the Souq Waqif bazaar area, Pearl area, and the MIA’s (Museum of Islamic Art). After the working days we relaxed by walking in the seafronts and admiring the skyscrapers and all the amazing cars. It was something you won´t see every day in Finland.

More information Marleena Tuuri (at)