Aihearkisto: koulutusvienti

Learning new skills through Finnish vocational and professional qualifications in China

 has launched two diploma programs with new Chinese partners during autumn 2019. Programs are joint efforts with EduCluster Finland.

Entrepreneurship as an exciting learning method

At Shanghai Modern Circulation School, 35 third-year business students aged 18-19, began studies in marketing communication and content production in October 2019 in accordance to the Finnish Vocational Qualification in Business. The program highlights entrepreneurship as a method in learning new skills and competences and gives a chance to complete one accredited Finnish module in business.

As a part of the program, students establish so-called mini-companies and learn the required competences by running those companies. Entrepreneurship is an efficient learning method. In addition to acquiring competence specific to business, students learn so-called 21st century skills like problem-solving, collaboration, communication.

The program is run by two Gradia experts, Ms Johanna Ärling and Ms Elina Maukonen, both working as business teachers at Gradia. They shared their observations and experiences just after their first two-week session in China.

Johanna tells that the training program is based on teamwork and hands-on exercises.
“Students really like the idea of learning by doing and having less traditional theory lectures. In our program, they have a permission to make mistakes and to learn from them. They appreciate the possibility of working in teams and sharing and testing their own ideas with working life representatives.”

Johanna and Elina have paid attention to the differences in Finnish and Chinese VET systems. In China the system is teacher-centered whereas in Finland we emphasis student-centeredness.” Teachers are running the classes in a traditional way and students are less active during the classes than in Finland.”

The Finnish pedagogy challenges the Chinese students to learn differently “They need to be active all the time, figuring out the answers and ideas by themselves,” says Elina. “Naturally a different learning and teaching culture challenges us Finnish teachers but once students get used to collaborative, hands-on learning methods, the results are very good,” adds Johanna who is experienced in running training programs in China.

Although there are some differences, there are lot of similarities as well. “Both in Finland and China we all want our students to have a good chance to find a job after the graduation,” says Johanna.

According to Johanna and Elina, Finnish VET qualifications are well applicable for the Chinese market. Finnish qualifications are competence-based and the competences are not dependent on national boundaries. “But since Chinese are not familiar with competence-based structured qualifications we need to explain the system and contents carefully and make them easy to understand.”

Johanna and Elina say that they have learnt a lot by working as an expert overseas. “We have learnt e.g. about the Chinese business life, education and culture. But certainly, to match training with local needs, more information is still needed. More information and experiences we have the better programs we are able to provide.”

Enhancing school-company collaboration

Development of school-company collaboration is one of the national priorities in Chinese vocational education and training. Cooperation is essential in increasing the quality and attractiveness of vocational education. Finland as a forerunner in developing different kind of work-based learning models has lot to share. Therefore, Gradia has developed the teacher training program called Skills Broker to improve the match between training provision and the needs of the industry. The first Skills Broker Teacher training program was successfully piloted in China in 2018-2019.

In September 2019, Gradia launched Skills Broker program for 30 teachers from Changzhou Technical Institute of Tourism and Commerce. Teachers are developing cooperation with local enterprises using the methodology of service design. The program has been aligned with a service design module from the Finnish Specialist Qualification in Product Development. Teachers who pass the program successfully will get an accredited Finnish diploma of completing part of the qualification. The program consists of intensive weeks in Changzhou, distance learning (team and development work) and competence assessment.

Ms Maritta Kinnunen, working as a lead expert in Skills Broker program shares the experiences of Johanna and Elina. “In China it seems that the education is more teacher-centered than in Finland – whereas we have an emphasis on student-centered learning and teaching. This means that the teachers in Skills Broker program are not only getting tools to develop school-company collaboration but also tools for promoting student-centered methods in their own teaching.”

More information Kirsi Koivunen (at)

Students from Shanghai

We had the pleasure of welcoming guests from Shanghai last week. A group of 7 students and their teacher Karen from Shanghai Commercial and Accounting School visited us in Viitaniemi. They are part of the group of 22 students in Shanghai studying planning and implementation of marketing communication activities. The group is taking part in the programme leading to  Finnish qualification in business and administration. 

 Please find attached a link for the presentation of their visit:

More infromation Johanna Ärling

Picture credit: Petteri Kivimäki (HS)


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)


GBS St. Gallen in Jyväskylä

Board  members of GBS St. Gallen from Switzerland have visited Jyväskylä Educational Consortium for two very  intensive days 24-25 August 2017. 

The visitors were given an extensive overview of the organisation, education system and all the development going on at the moment. GBS St. Gallen is since several years a partner for the media  sector (printing, photography). They are also one of the external partners in the KA2 project Commercialpolis. One of the concrete aims of this visit was to expand this cooperation to other fields and to the strategic level as well.

Amongst many other things the principals and managers of GBS St Gallen (name list below) were introduced to Finnish vocational teacher training,  development regarding digitalisation of both processes and learning, quality assurance, language teaching and guidance processes. Teacher training was presented by Harri Keurulainen, Hannele Torvinen and Tuulia Kiilavuori from JAMK Teacher Education College.

Thursday afternoon the visitors met with Principal Pirjo Kauhanen to discuss the organisational changes and the VET reform.

Friday morning was devoted to regional development and global partnerships presented by Director of Development Anu Tokila and Programme Manager Marleena Tuuri.


During the visit both parties found out that, although there are significant systemic level differences, there are a lot of similiarities on strategic level that can be advanced through cooperation between the two VET providers. In the more immediate future there is hope to work on issues around digitalisation as well as staff and student mobilities. We are expecting the first mobilities to take place during this school year from electrical engineering and hairdressing programmes.

Participants from GBS St. Gallen

  • Lukas Reichle, director of GBS
  • Daniel Kehl,  deputy-director of GBS, head of vocational education and training at GBS
  • Thomas Klement, head of the technical departement of GBS
  • Patrik Forrer, head of the school of design of GBS
  • Nicole Bauer, head of KSD – social care team of GBS
  • Jürg Pfeiffer, head of paedagogical advice and support team of GBS
  • Michael Andrist, head of IT at GBS

More information on the Commercialpolis project: project

Picture credit: Daniel Kehl

More information: Rea Tuominen, international coordinator