Monday, 29 December 2008

Application Time Starts After Two Weeks

Two weeks to go: the application time for the degree programmes taught in English of Finnish universities of applied sciences starts on Monday, January 12th and is closed on Friday February 13th.

TAMK University of Applied Sciences welcomes applications to three Bachelor's Degree Programmes:
  • Environmental Engineering
  • International Business
  • Media
Applicants to the Media Programme will send a three-part pre-task, which now is available at the web-page of the programme.

Full description of the application process

Degree Programme in Environmental Engineering

Degree Programme in International Business
Degree Programme in Media

Photo: © City of Tampere/Sami Helenius
Tampere Illuminations

Saturday, 27 December 2008

International Week of Artmedia in May

The TAMK School of Art and Media will arrange her second International Week May 11-14, followed by the second Tampere Art Factory (TAF) May 15-16. Invitations have already been sent to partner universities.

The events in May this year became very successful, the week and the festival were visited by 50 professors, lecturers, students and company representatives from 18 universities and three companies from 15 countries.

The core of the International Week was lectures, presentations, tutorials and workshops given by our international guests. The results of the workshops were presented at Tampere Art Factory.

The participants of the International Week and TAF gave very good feedback. They liked very much the opportunity to see the presentations of their colleagues, to discuss during the breaks in the International Teachers’ Lobby, and to network during the evening programme. A lot of new relationships and project ideas were born during the sunny spring days and nights in Tampere.

The networking has continued at several occasions after TAF. Many International Week lecturers met each other again at the Academic Network Conference in Graz, November.

Tampere Art Factory

Photo: The Circle of Friendship at the smoke sauna evening hosted by TAMK International Office Photo by Juha Suonpää

Friday, 19 December 2008

New TAMK Innovation Saves Energy

Science journalist Kalle Heiska has published a report about our new lighting method at his web site "New High Technology!":

"TAMK University of Applied Sciences in the City of Tampere (Finland) has developed a unique lighting method intended for use in commercial greenhouses. Here the light required by the plants is produced by means of LED technology between the rows of plants. It is estimated that in the future the method will achieve savings of up to one half of the present vast need for energy in hothouses. "

Read the whole story

Photo: For use in the hothouse, the curtain of light between the rows of plants is an idea cultivated by Matti Horppu, lecturer at TAMK University of Applied Sciences (left) and Managing director Esa Kivioja of the company KKK-Vihannes Oy. The use of the curtain has been piloted in the cultivation of cucumbers.

Photographer: Niko-Matti Kivioja

Earlier articles by Kalle Heiska about TAMK projects:

Alpo welfare portal
Instrument for measuring air quality
Theatrical functions modelling project
Technique for the frame of the outside walls of wooden buildings
Learning environment for the design of aluminium structures
Materials bank for teaching programming
Dry toilet compost
Social Media
One hundred Finnish soundscapes

Monday, 15 December 2008

TAMK business students have enjoyed their stay in Amsterdam

On a day three of TAMK delegation trip to the Netherlands Aura Loikkanen and Kirsi Tolvanen visited the HES School of Economics and Management which is part of Hogeschool van Amsterdam. During the visit Aura and Kirsi met the staff of the International Office and discussed about future cooperation between TAMK and HES. They were hosted by Judith Rijpstra and André Resing. Student exchange cooperation between TAMK and HES have worked well both ways for many years and in the future both parties wish to do also teacher and staff exchanges.

The HES building is modern and has good facilities for studying. There are many international students every year at HES and the students from abroad can study in English. The school is only about 15 minutes from the city centre of Amsterdam by train or metro.

During the meeting the TAMK delegation had a change to discuss with TAMK business students who are studying at the moment in HES. Henna Kuivalainen, Perttu Noppari and Juha-Pekka Ropo told that they have enjoyed their stay in Amsterdam and have learned a lot during their study exchange period abroad. Henna, Perttu and Juha-Pekka will return back to Finland by Christmas but all of them hope to come back to Amsterdam soon (at least for a holiday!).

There was also a change for Aura, Kirsi and the TAMK students to meet the three students from HES who will come to TAMK International Business programme for the spring term 2009. The HES students Renee, Michael and Frank are looking forward to study at TAMK and to have good time in Finland!

Story: Kirsi Tolvanen, International Coordinator and Aura Loikkanen, Development Director
Photo: TAMK student helped HES students to select studies from the TAMK International Business programme

Sunday, 14 December 2008

The Last IMP Premiere

The ninth edition of the Interactive Media Programme made the IMP 2008 DVD premiere. This attractive DVD with a hilarious user interface presents the shortfilms, interactive movies and other art work made by the students over four months of hard work and intense learning.

This year the 17 students came from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

The Interactive Media Programme is a special one semester study programme at TAMK School of Art and Media, run in English, designed for exchange students. IMP has been arranged every autumn since 2000. This was the last IMP in its present form.

In 2009 the current BA Degree Programme of the School of Art and Media run in Finnish will split into two new Bachelor's programmes: The Degree Programme in Film and Television (in Finnish), and the Degree Programme in Media, completely run in English. The new Media Programme focuses on interactive media, and will host future exchange students. Another option for exchange students is also under construction: The Film and Television Programme and the Fine Arts Programme will jointly offer a one semester course on Hybrid Movie.

The IMP students were again active not only in school work, but also participating in the international social life in Tampere. No, it was not only the parties. To name an example, many students took part in the My Tampere contest of MindTrek Awards. Dan Castro and Nick Rowley took the first price with their animation "Tampere - A Truly British Guide".

Thank you, IMPs! Fly safe back home! We will miss you, but we know we will see you in Tampere again.

The New Media Programme
Tampere - A Truly British Guide

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Joint Entrepreneurship Project with Polytechnic of Namibia and TAMK ProAcademy is nearly there

For the past year Polytechnic of Namibia and TAMK’s special unit in entrepreneurship, ProAcademy, have been working together on a project to create a degree program in entrepreneurship for the Polytechnic of Namibia.

The project hosted a one-month fieldwork period in August-September in Namibia for four ProAcademy students and two coaches. During this fieldwork period a feasibility study on the model was completed together with the local students, faculty and businesses. The feasibility study established that the ProAcademy model would work well in the local context supporting entrepreneurial development and the state of Namibia in its Vision 2030. Polytechnic of Namibia decided to start their own proacademy already in February 2009 with a pilot team.

In continuation to the feasibility study two Namibian students Karen Vries and Lennord Eiseb from the pilot team and two upcoming coaches Suleiman Mbaziira and Carlos Ndjavera come to ProAcademy at the end of the October for two weeks of training. Objective of the training was to become acquainted with methods of ProAcademy and open the visitors’ understanding of the concept of these entrepreneurship studies. During their stay the Namibians took part in a lot of exercises and gained good tips and practical tools for studying and learning in a new way.

Karen and Lennord especially liked the good spirit and culture of TAMK’s ProAcademy. Suleiman and Carlos took notice of students’ creative and innovative thinking. Everybody thought however that the most important things in ProAcademy are definitely the trust between team members and taking responsibility for the team.

Karen, Lennord, Suleiman and Carlos have learned a lot but there are still some things to work on. When they are starting the proacademy in Namibia next spring, they will get assistance from Jutta Myyryläinen, a ProAcademy student, who is going to Namibia for the spring to complete her final thesis.

There are some pictures of the fieldwork period in TAMK Business School's blog.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Cooperation in Tanzania with University of Dar-Es-Salaam

During this year TAMK and PITKY (Information Processing Association of Tampere Region) have prepared a joint development cooperation project with the University of Dar-Es-Salaam (UDSM) and Institution of Engineers Tanzania (IET). The aim of this project is to provide technical support in demanding ICT projects for the UDSM and IET and to help in building ICT capacities and skills in the country by training, education and consulting.

Key subprojects is this larger project are to support both creation of an eLearning system for rural secondary schools and ICT mediated distant learning on the university level and in teacher training. Project also aims to support development of a software incubator on UDSM campus and mobile software development. This is because mobile applications and computer software are booming in Africa but there's a lot of untapped local potential.

Funding for this project has been applied via the Finnish Foreign Ministry's NGO Development cooperation program with PITKY as the coordinator and main applicant. If the project is accepted, TAMK staff and students will have many chances in the following three years to take part in these projects. However, TAMK and University of Dar-Es-Salaam have already signed a partnership agreement this week making it possible to students and staff to cooperate in non-ICT-related areas via our exchange programs.

University of Dar-Es-Salaam main building

We have also had visitors from UDSM already here at TAMK. Last August we had a delegation of eLearning developers for rural secondary schools project for two weeks of training and workshops on the structure, tools and pedagogy of the eLearning system. Ellen and Suzan from this delegation will be working here in Tampere also next Spring.

Last May I took part in a preparatory trip to Dar-Es-Salaam to meet all the parties with a representative of PITKY so we could write the application for the Foreign Ministry. The friendship and hospitality of the people who we met was really wonderful and Tanzania was an amazing country although I only had a chance to see Dar-Es-Salaam. We stayed at a Finnish development worker compound called Onnela where I of course had a chance to have a sauna in the cooling night. Words can't describe that experience...

Below are some pictures from the preparatory trip and from the delegation who visited TAMK in August.

Our workshop at TAMK in August 2008

Streets of Dar-Es-Salaam

Center of Dar-Es-Salaam from the PPF Tower

Jukka Siltanen

The Survival Weekend

Do you think that you could survive without some of the modern day utilities, like electricity, running water, cell phones and central heating? That is what the Survival Weekend is about. The idea of Survival weekend is quite simple; we go to the middle of nowhere to a cottage for one weekend. However, like the name says, we live there without the things we usually take for granted. We have to heat the cottage with wood which, of course, needs to be chopped first. Sauna and the water are heated with wood also. If you want to have hot water, first you need to heat it in a boiler in the sauna. And where does the water come? Well, you need to carry it there, naturally. You just can’t turn a tap and you get hot water from there. On top of that, it is quite dark in the middle of forest during the evening and the night and since we don’t have electricity to light the cottage, we use storm lanterns to provide light indoors and outdoors. But even with the lanterns, it still is quite dark. One of the first things that need to be done when we arrive to the cottage is setting up the tent. There is not enough space in the cottage for everyone so some of us need to sleep in the tent. The tent is much easier to set up when there is still natural light than try to set it up in the dark.

The Survival Weekend is about surviving but we do have time to have fun also so it is not all about chopping wood or carrying water. The main event during the weekend is the Survival Checkpoint Race. The idea of this race is that the survivalists are divided into groups and they go from a checkpoint to another doing different kind of tasks. After that there is possibility to go for a walk in the forest. Other activities during the weekend are sauna of course and the camp fire where you can grill your sausages or other meat. If there is snow on the ground, it is really nice to try to roll on the snow right after coming out of the sauna. It feels quite interesting on your body.

At the end of the Survival Weekend, the cottage needs to be clean and the rubbish needs to be taken away. After the Survival Weekend, you have experienced a nice and interesting outdoor weekend in the Finnish forest. It is quite an experience, you should try it out yourself!

Visit to Hanzehogeschool Groningen

Part of our delegation from TAMK visited the School of Engineering and the School of Architecture, Built environment and Civil Engineering at Hanzehogeschool Groningen. The schools have several one year programmes taught in English, so there are good opportunities especially for civil, electrical and mechanical engineering students from TAMK to go to Groningen for an exchange semester. The educational approach in Hanzehogeschool is project-based learning: in each period of ten weeks the students complete a project along with attending the theory classes. Our delegation was very impressed how the learning environment was designed to support this kind of learning.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Fine Arts Academie Minerva and Academie voor Popcultuur

On day two of TAMK University of Applied Sciences delegation's tour in Northern Holland Leena Mäkelä and Cai Melakoski, TAMK School of Art and Media and Kirsi Tolvanen, TAMK International Office, paid a visit to two art schools of Hanze University of Applied Sciences.

Most of Hanze University 18 schools are at the main campus area 5 kilometres from the centre of Groningen. Academie Minerva, which is the oldest of Hanze schools, lies in the heart of the city.

Academie Minerva is a classical fine arts school, where you can study painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, photography and media art. The resources are excellent, the students may use all traditional techniques and tools, but there is also an impressive set of digital instruments.

The atmosphere is truly international, so Minerva is a good choice for exchange studies. The Academie Minerva Frank Mohr Institut also offers MA programmes in Painting and Interactive Media.

The Academy of Popculture (Academie voor Popcultuur) is not in Groningen, but 40 minutes away in Leeuwarden, the capital of Friesland.

The Academy has a very modern approach to education. It is not based on traditional courses in various topics, but the skills are learned and knowledge acquired in hands on projects. The education is not about classes, it is about competences coaching the creative processes. You first create an unique idea, implement it, and sell it. The idea is to educate pop artists who are able to independently make their living. Business and revenue models are a central issue here unlike in most art schools.

The School of Art and Media has had exchange with both art schools, but after this visit the cooperation will be more intense. We are looking forward to see representatives of Akademie Minerva and Academie voor Popcultuur at our International Week and Tampere Art Factory in May 2009

Photos: Upper from Akademie Minerva, lower from Akademie voor Popcultuur

Academie Minerva
Academie voor Popcultuur

Tampere Art Factory

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Work Shadowing at Hanze UAS Groningen

A delegation representing mostly the heads of degree programmes at TAMK University of Applied Sciences is on a visit to Hanzehogeschool Groningen, Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen, Netherlands.

The purpose of the trip is to benchmark Hanze University and to develop closer links. There is already some staff and student exchanges between the institutions but there is also a strong will for further development of mobility and project cooperation. During the first day of the visit TAMK delegation got an introduction to the university and it's international policy. Also the applied research activities, the system of accreditation of prior learning and the educational development and assessment were part of the programme.

During the second day of the visit the delegation split up into two groups. One group visiting the institute of technology, the other group visiting Akademie Minerva and Akademia voor Popkultuur. Reports on these trips are published soon in this blog.

Photo, from left to right: Maija Tikkala, student at TAMK, doing her exchange programme at Hanze, Jarkko Lehtonen, Kirsi Tolvanen, Reijo Rasmus, Aura Loikkanen, Lammert Tiesinga (Hanze), Kaarlo Koivisto, Hannu Kauranen, and behind the camera Cai Melakoski.

Story: Kirsi Tolvanen, Cai Melakoski

Hanze University of Applied Sciences

Staff exchange in Tandil, part 2: intercultural communication

Three weeks in Tandil have been busy and full of activities. Short course "Marketing and production in Audiovisual Media" at Faculty of Arts, "Facts and figures about Finland" for students of English at Department of Languages and workshop "Marketing and new media" at the Faculty of Economics, meetings and discussions with professors and teachers, in the evenings cultural events like concerts and theater...

During the English lessons I told the basic facts about our country and the students were very active and asked questions; we were talking about education and health care in Finland, about cultural differencies and family life. There are different types of problems in these two countries, lots of stereotypes and images about each other, it is interesting to change ideas. And of course we were talking about climate, sports and sauna! Yes, it can be -35 in the winter time, and yes, some people can enjoy sauna with +100 C...believe me or not.

Photo 1: English teacher Giselle Blanchiman (third from left) with her students

About 20 students and teachers attended "Márketing y producción en Medios Audiovisuales" at Faculty of Arts. I was teaching in English, professor Miguel Santagada and Mariela Manfra were translating when needed, but most of the students understood English quite well. We had discussions about similarities and differencies in media culture, audiovisual production and audiences in Argentina and Finland, about financing film production, posibilities for co-operation. We also talked about new ways for marketing with web 2.0 / social media. Interesting topics, nice to talk with active students! And believe me: it was hot as in sauna in the classroom! And NO problems with presentation technology, really!

Photo 2: Students of "Márketing y Producción en Medios Audiovisuales" and
Mariela Manfra with perfect English (first from right)

More postcards next week!

Monday, 8 December 2008

Inspirations and insights from Denmark

Greetings from Denmark - Land of flat plains, bridges, rain, innovative universities, stylish design and very nice people!

University of Southern Denmark (SDU) in Odense and Copenhagen University College of Engineering (IHK) are among TAMK's partner universities in Denmark. During the first week of December I was at an Erasmus staff exchange in Odense and I had the chance to meet many of the staff and students who are teaching and studying at both institutions in various engineering and international programs. I was very inspired by the visit and wanted to share some highlights here in TAMK's international blog.

First I visited Copenhagen University College of Engineering and especially their semester-long exchange programs. Innovation and Business Design Semester is a 30 ECTS program for everyone interested business development and innovation regardless of the discipline studies. It runs both in spring and autumn and it has modules for example in cross-cultural management and marketing, innovation and business design, and global business development. Their also have a very popular program called European Project Semester where interdisciplinary students across Europe work together on large projects. I also encourage our engineering students to have a look at their International Business Semester which a program specifically designed to give general business skills to engineering students. Many modules from these programs are also available in their Summer School programs. For more information, check for details.

I spent the rest of the week at University of Southern Denmark in Odense where I worked together with my colleagues from SDU and University of Tromsø to design an innovation camp concept based on our experiences from the Nordic Business Week at TAMK ProAcademy that would allow students in our Nordic partner network to work on company assignments and innovation cases together in week-long workshops in Finland, Norway and Denmark. Draft of the concept is now ready and we will soon contact other partners and companies about it for feedback. We plan to organize the first innovation camp using this concept next year in Finland and then 2010 in Denmark and Norway.

Another definitive highlight of the SDU visit was meeting local integrated design students who were here in Tampere a couple of months ago for the Nordic Business Week. They introduced me to their study methods, group work and equipment that they use in their studies. I especially liked the problem-based projects on which they work in teams for the semester. Very challenging and practical tasks that require a lot of teamwork and coordination. They also had some very cool equipment for their studies: Who has heard of a 3d-printer which prints the object when you send it a cad-drawing?! Very nice!! SDU has an international exchange program in integrated design among other interesting programs ;) ...

Next year in April University of Southern Denmark is organizing an international week where we plan to try different innovation and brainstorming techniques for different real-world problems. I hope some TAMK students will have a chance to take part in this.

University of Southern Denmark students who were in Tampere and who I also met in Odense

Jukka Siltanen
TAMK ProAcademy Coach

Saturday, 6 December 2008

UN Millenium Development Goals Blues

Today I was setting up posters of The World Summit Youth Awards 2009 on the notice boards of our school, with a fourth year producer student. As we were removing the expired notices and finding usable pins, we chatted about the Millennium Development Goals.

My companion confessed that she was only vaguely aware of the goals, but managed to point out female rights and education. It is not at all unusual that in Finland people don't know what the MDGs are, "something to do with Bono?". I started thinking about the situation. A non-military service person with a female student of a free education facility, in the field of culture. What a long road our society has travelled to make this happen. Maybe the reason we don't know about the goals is that most of them are stating the obvious for us.

Even though Big Brother gets more attention than MDGs in western countries, it doesn't mean the issues behind the MDGs are not seen important. In fact, many projects in this university and universities around Finland deal with the issues, most probably unaware of the MDGs.

I try to promote The World Summit Youth Award and MDGs as part of my job here. But I keep asking, for a young pioneer, is it important to know the name of what you do? I call it saving the world. It takes the seriousness away.

Story & Photo: Wesa Aapro

UN Millenium Development Goals

World Summit Youth Award

TAMK University of Applied Sciences is one of the WSYA partners, putting the Millenium Goals in action.
Wesa Aapro is member of the WSYA International Team. He does his non-military service at TAMK.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Hello from Europrix, Graz!

The Operaatio Hurrikaani women team headed off to Graz, Austria 27.-30.11.2008 to present the project and TAMK University of Applied Sciences School of Art and Media.

The festival took place for the most part at Kunsthaus Graz, a modern art centre located in the heart of the city. Graz was full of Christmas atmosphere and we fell in love with it totally!

During the festival, the Kunsthaus was full of seminars and nominees from all across the Europe. All 23 Top Talent nominee projects presented their work on Saturday afternoon, and in the evening the winners from all categories were celebrated at the Multimedia Awards Gala 2009.

The overall winner of the Europrix 2009 was a French project called mü. It’s an fairytale based interactive multimedia device targeted to kindergarten kids. Pretty cool!

The winner of our category, Interactive TV was Kika & Bob from the Netherlands. We were even more happy to be nominees, and will still keep on working hard with Operaatio Hurrikaani. The production will continue and we will make the new series even better and bigger.

During the festival we heard that Tampere is almost the capital of Finland, at least when it comes to multimedia & culture. Maybe it has something to do with MindTrek? The new TAF festival’09 is also awaited.

So, stay tuned….

Riikka & Kaisa
aka The Hurricane Angels


Picture 1: The Exhibition of the projects took place in the Kunsthaus’s ”Needle”. Kaisa is checking out some cool project.
Picture 2: Riikka is testing some touch-screen technology by Amigos from Germany.
Picture 3: RoboVox has a little brother, RoboVoice who made it to Graz. The Robot speaks based on SMS messages you send to it. 8 meters heigh installation can be spotted for example at the marketplaces.

See all Europrix nominees


Operaatio Hurrikaani
Operaatio Hurrikaani (In English)

Tampere Art Factory (TAF)

Riikka Hiekkaniemi studies Media Production, Kaisa Hakala has completed interaction design studies at TAMK School of Art and Media. Both work with the Operaatio Hurrikaani, Riikka is assistant producer and Kaisa web-designer at YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Professor Freiburghaus

Doctor Markus Freiburghaus from Olten, Switzerland, gave lectures in management at Tamk. When visiting the School of art and media, Cai Melakoski presented him with the brand new interactive dvd made by the students. Professor Freiburghaus also showed interest in computing classes and Proakatemia

Academic Network Conference in Graz

The Academic Network of the European Academy of Digital Media (EADiM) had the annual conference in Graz, Austria, end of last week. This year the conference was titled "Design, Develop, Deliver - Multimedia and e-content trends".

The sessions covered actual topics like
  • Smart Interfaces – intuitive use of augmented and mixed realities
  • Mega trends in e-content – what do they mean for education?
  • Learning and Teaching Methods – innovations that raise the learning curve
  • Students and Social Networks
  • Teaching Interactive Story Authoring
I made a presentation about Demola, the New innovation environment in ICT and Media education in Tampere. It was good to see many of the partners of TAMK School of Art and Media again, also making new friends. All participants of the conference were welcomed to attend our International Week and Tampere Art Factory in May.

The Conference was arranged at FH Joanneum, which also is a TAMK partner university. On day 3 the conference joined an parallel event, the EUROPRIX Multimedia Festival. You will find a story about that soon in this blog.

EADiM Academic Network

Tampere Art Factory

Photo: Advent was celebrated in snowy Graz on Saturday. Trams were free of charge, and people enjoyed the Christmas Market in the old town. The picture was taken from the Needle of Kunsthaus Graz, venue of the EUROPRIX Multimedia Festival

Friday, 28 November 2008

Long distance staff exchange: Unicen, Tandil, Argentina.

TAMK has some exchange universities in South America, one of them is Universidad National de Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Unicen) in Argentina. When I started to plan my long-term exchange with our international coordinator Riku-Matti Kinnunen, I told him that I am interested to go to Tandil for three reasons: one of my students, Johanna Velling, was here two years ago and another student, Minna Raitapuro, is going to study here next spring. I also want to improve my Spanish skills and I have been in Argentina before, I really like this country.
Photo: Staff from Faculty of Arts, from the left:Victoria Fuentes, Secretaria de Extensión, Cristina Dimatteo, Secretaria Académica, Carlos Catalano, Decano and Maximiliano Napa, No-Docente

I am mainly working at the Faculty of Arts, which is located in the city center of Tandil, just beside the main square and park. I will also have some lecturers at Department of Languages and next week a lecturer and workshop at the Faculty of Economics, which is located in the campus area, about 7 kms from the city centre.

Photo: Students working at Unicen Campus 18.11.2008

More reports from Tandil during next week!

Russian specialists of forestry education in TAMK

A group of Russian headmasters from forestry schools visited TAMK this week. This visit was part of the project, in which a new curriculum standard for the forestry schools of Russia is being developed together with TAMK. The group contained 10 people from different parts of north-west Russia.

During the visit, the group visited Metsähallitus, a visit which the group had especially wished for. The visit also contained a field trip, where the group saw examples of sapling care. TAMK 4th year Forestry students also participated by showing the visitors how organising wood procurement is handled in Finland.

The project of renewing the curriculums in Russian forestry schools is a part of the Finnish-Russian Development Programme on Sustainable Forest Management and Conservation of Biological Diversity in Northwest Russia, which is funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


During the last 3 years i have been participating in a unique idea, combining travelling and culture exchange. The idea of Couchsurfing is simple: instead of staying in a hostel and finding yourself surounded by turists, you are invited to people's home, share their lifestyle and get to know how they live.

Couchsurfing helped me a lot when i decided i would move from Israel to Finland. When i came to do the entrance exam i was hosted in Stockholm, Tampere and Jyvaskyla. After i got invited to study in TAMK, I already knew some members who later become good friends till today.

It helped a lot for the idea of being with new cultures all around while im part of an international study program. Couchsurfing opened my eyes to the simple fact that there are many nice people around you and sometimes our culture stops us from meeting them.
If you do not travel and hesitate of inviting strangers to your home, there are meetings events all the time or you can create one of your own. Meeting for coffe, for beer or just a small picnic can be aranged easily.

In the last 2 and a half years since i have been living in Finland i have hosted dozens of guests from all around the world such as Australia, United States, Mexico, France, Germany, Russia, Israel and more. Some stay for a day or over night while some stay for a few days or even a week.

If you are tarvellers by blood or looking for some culture exchange and different experiences, you are more than welcome to join the ride. I'm sure you will find it just fit to you as a glove to your hand.
For me, Couchsurfing is a perfect place to gain friends and colleagues, a way to make connections around the world and most important: Have fun !

p>Yoav Magen.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Environmental Engineering 3rd Years Iceland Excursion

The 3rd year of Environmental Engineering Program went to a study excursion in Iceland. To 3rd year IENVE degree student added one exchange student and three 4th year IENVE degree student.

Iceland is an unique country, sitting on the bridge of europe and america continents it is providing some magnificent and devine sceneries.

during the trip the group visited the hyrdopower and geothermic plants at the north of the country. The University of Akureyri provide its presentation about the special programs it offers such as RES (Renewable Energy Science) and Polar law.

During the stay in north of iceland the group went visiting the geothermic phenomenon.
Krefla power plant was the main site and followed by visit at the smoking lava fields.
The group visited two public hot springs lagoons - the Green lagoon near Krefla in the north of Iceland and the Blue lagoon in the south of Iceland, near Reykjavik.
Last day in Iceland contributed to Svartsengi geothermal powerplant, which its waste water runoffs forming the famous Blue lagoon.

From my point of view Iceland is such a unique place and it was amazing experience just to be able seeing it, something that might never happened in the future and for that i have to say thanks for TAMK and the IENVE degree program.

Yoav magen.

Finnish championship in project management for TAMK students

Antti Korhonen, Jussi Lehtonen and Santeri Lahdensalo, project management students of Business Administration, won the Finnish championship in project management on the 18th of November 2008.

The second place went to Novia from Tammisaari and the third to University of Oulu. The other TAMK team of Business administration (Jaakko Sartjärvi, Christer Törnqvist and Joona Venäläinen) did also well by coming in fourth.

Project management Finnish championship is an event organized by the Project Management Association Finland for the students of Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences. The language of the competition is English. This year over 20 teams from seven universities participated in the qualifying rounds. The six best teams made it into the finals organized during the national Project Management Days. The final consisted of an all-day long project simulation, where the teams had to implement a project as efficiently as possible, taking into account e.g. resources, costs and scheduling. The victory was not possible without top quality, exact work, which most companies doing project work can only dream about.

As one of the prizes from the victory, Antti, Jussi and Santeri will be the Finnish representatives in the World championship competition of project management organized by the International Project Management Association during the IPMA World Congress in Helsinki in June 2009. Next year’s Finnish champions will represent Finland in the World championship in South Africa in 2010.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Dutch Media Industry Delegation Visits TAMK

A delegation with representatives of Dutch Media organisations and directors of graphics- and media schools pays this week a visit to Helsinki and Tampere. TAMK University of Applied Sciences hosts and coordinates the programme of the Tampere leg of the visit. The purpose of the study trip is to learn about innovation and higher education in Finland. It is organised by Media Update, a news and information service for decision makers of ICT and multimedia.

Yesterday the delegation visited TAMK Finlayson Campus, and was introduced to TAMK School of Art and Media and the proAcademy programme of entrepreneurship. The guests also heard a presentation about the activities of the printable electronics research team at Tampere University of Technology.

Today they visited the Nokia Innovation Centre in Hervanta. Presentations on the innovation centre, Nokia research projects, Demola innovation centre for students and companies and SomBiz social media business community were heard.
After lunch at TAMK main campus hosted by TAMK international office, the delegation visited the Hypermedia Laboratory at Tampere University.

Before departure to Netherlands tomorrow, the delegation will meet representatives of Zento Interactive digital media company.

Media Update

Read Jak Bouman's blog entry about the trip

Photo: The Duch delegation at the main entrance of TAMK

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

TAMK Students Awarded in Germany

Swan Lake: Moving Image & Music Award is about visualising music in two contest categories; Animation and Digital Film.

This year Vesa Jokinen and Hanne Zenjuga, students of visual design at TAMK University of Applied Sciences School of Art and Media, won second price in SL:MIMA Animation Category.

Vesa's and Hanne's nominated animation "It Dwells in the Depths" is a visual for "The Smell of Rain" composed by Kathryn Toyama.

The winners were announced at the Swanlake Gala in Mittweida, Germany last week.

Swan Lake: Moving Image & Music Award
It Dwells in the Depths

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Visitors from Namibia

A group of students and teachers from Namibia visited our morning meeting on the 27th of november. ProAkatemia co-operation goes international.

What do the foreigners think?

Ann Seppänen has interviewed 30 foreign degree students during the past few weeks. She tells that the worries of the first year and second year students vary.

The first year degree students are still trying to get used to the climate and our educational culture and the idea that one should get up when it's dark and cold outside. When this is put against the Finnish very strict idea of punctuality, trouble might follow.

The second years are already starting to worry about their job prospects, particularly if they want to stay in Finland. They find that the job market is quite inward-looking - even the big companies whose official language is English, require functional Finnish. Ann says that the key is to improve funtional, professional, work-related Finnish skills.

What do the foreigners hope from us Finns then? The answer is straightforward: more informal interaction. We are at home here and in an excellent position to help in ways which are too obvious to notice! Think about the grading system. If I get one, am I good or bad? Also help to manage with the Finnish fixation with everything technical. How is one supposed to act when teachers inform that "this you will find on the internet".

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Exkursion nach Deutschland

In der Woche 48 werden 13 StudentInnen der Gruppen Deutsche Sprache und Kultur und Wirtschaftsdeutsch auf einer Studienreise in Frankfurt a.M. und in Mainz sein.

Auf unserem Programm stehen zwei Informationsbesuche pro Tag: zum Beispiel Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse, Europäische Zentralbank, Goethes Geburtshaus und Museum, Fachochschule Frankfurt und die Firma SCHOTT AG.

Diese Exkursion wird sicherlich auch eine gute Probe für unsere Deutschkenntnisse sein! Wir hoffen aber, dass wir nach der Studienreise mit Johann Wolfgang von Goethes Worten feststellen können: "Wer eine Reise gemacht hat, hat viel zu erzählen". Sie werden also mehr von uns hören...

Great Opportunity for Teachers...

Dear Potential Exchange Teacher,

In April 2008 I attended ISCAP (School of Accounting and Administration of Porto)
International Week in Porto, Portugal. This event is now an established annual occasion which I highly recommend.

I made acquaintance with colleagues from several EU countries and with some of them the dialogue has continued on regular basis.

The week started with Opening Ceremony and Reception Dinner where members of the local Student Union provided live music, mainly Portuguese folk music known as fado.

During the week my knowledge of Porto and Portuguese culture grew a lot, not to mention the great opportunity to meet ISCAP students and staff. Now I know for sure that Port wine is named after the city of Porto, which is the second biggest city and
considered the economic and cultural heart of the entire region. And I can hardly forget the thousand majestic stairs of Porto - obviously for many reasons.

During the week I listened to many interesting lectures plus visited a trade show organized by ISCAP students. My own lectures covered the following topics: Finnish Success Stories (Nokia Mobile Phones and Marimekko) and Doing Business in Finland (Business Etiquette).

ISCAP International Week was an attractive and well-organized event and great opportunity for any exchange teacher!


Riitta Raimovaara

Erasmus staff exchange in Iceland

Pohjola Norden and its teacher scholarship enabled me to visit three universities in Iceland in the framework of Erasmus non-teaching staff exchange between 4 and 10 November 2008. The University of Iceland and University of Akureyri are currently TAMK partners, and hopefully we will have a new agreement with the Iceland Academy of the Arts, too.

There has been dynamic student and staff mobility from TAMK to the Icelandic partners for more than a decade, and now we wish that we would also welcome Icelandic students and staff for exchange and visits in Tampere.

For more information of the visited institutions of higher education:

University of Iceland
University of Akureyri
Iceland Academy of the Arts

In the pictures, you can see Helga Palina and fine art students at Iceland Academy of the Arts (top left), Finnish language students at the University of Iceland (mid right) and Rúnar Gunnarsson from the University of Akureyri (bottom left).

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

RetAiL project partners visited Tampere

The partners from project RetAiL - Retail Management for Adults in Lifelong Learning visited TAMK between 3.11-7.11. The partners came from Verzlunarskoli Islands and Fræðslumiðstöð atvinnulífsins in Reykjavik, Iceland, as well as from The North Highland College in Thurso, Scotland.

In addition to the items on the project meeting agenda, there was time to visit both TAMK campuses as well as proAcademy, to eat at the restaurant Harald, to take a tour of the old Finlayson area and visit the Moominvalley-museum and its wonderful display of art. And of course no visit to Finland would be complete without sauna, sausages and a quick dip to the near-frozen lake!

The next meeting of the project partners will be held in Reykjavik in April.

For more information:

Picture: The project partners enjoying a dinner in Harald

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Three Good Reasons to Study in Tampere

The Environmental Engineering programme provides training and education on a wide range of issues in environmental technology and management. Special emphasis is given to monitoring and assessing the state of the environment.

The programme is designed to provide advanced training and education in environmental analysis and management, thus offering the student the skills and knowledge needed for a holistic and sustainable understanding of environmental technology and management.

The TAMK BBA in International Business offers an internationally respected Bachelor degree. The programme provides students not only with first-rate theoretical skills, but also with flexible problem-solving and social skills in a truly international environment.

The objective is to prepare under-graduates for tasks demanding business expertise and entry-level managerial positions worldwide. Graduates from the TAMK BBA programme face exciting professional opportunities e.g. as sales, product and marketing assistants, as logistics coordinators or as consultants or entrepreneurs.

The BA Degree Programme in Media is about interactive media content design and production. The students learn about current digital media issues and gain deep insight into one of the three specialisation options: visual design, interaction design or project management.

The areas of application include web design and services, games, mobile media, multimedia, cross media and interactive installations.

Environmental Engineering
International Business
Add Image

Friday, 31 October 2008

Hello from ELIA Conference, Gothenburg

I've been spending the last few days here taking part in the 10th ELIA Biennial Conference, Independent Forum for the Higher Arts Education Institutions. Represented here are all disciplines in the arts, including Fine Art, Architecture, Dance, Design, Media Arts, Music and Theatre.

This conference does not have a specific title or theme. First of all there have been many talks about ARTS - what is art, art's challenges, options and threats at the moment in the world with many problems (for example financial, lack of food, violence) and with the growing awareness of climate change. My favorite so far has been Peter Seller's impressive two hours talk he gave yesterday.

One of the important venues is THE TENT in the middle of Gothenborg's main cultural square - Götaplatsen. It's also in the middle of all other venues. It has been built up from outside and inside using boxes of beer bottles, so it's almost 100% recyclable. In the tent delegates can meet, have a drink, and exchange ideas and information about their school and any new projects. Every night from 21.00-01.00 there are presentations in the tradition of Pecha Kucha Nights (each presentation is six minutes and 40 seconds). I've have to be honest - I'm usually quite exhausted that late, so I haven't followed any night till the end.

Yesterday was also open house in Valand School of Fine Arts. That art school is part of Gothenborg's University and all of us (the Finnish delegation) were amazed by the huge and functional space.

Now I have to finish and continue listening and communicating at the conference.

With best regards,
Tiiu Baldwin

Tiiu Balvin is Senior Lecturer at TAMK University of Applied Sciences Fine Arts Degree Programme.

TAMK School of Art and Media is a ELIA member

European League of Institutes of the Arts

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The Smartphone Laboratory of TAMK Presented at Symbian Smartphone Show

The Smartphone Laboratory of TAMK was present in yearly Symbian Smartphone Show. The laboratory is a part of Symbian Academy, which currently consists of 57 Universities worldwide. The Symbian Academy selected five Universities to present their applications and innovations on mobile devices in Symbian's yearly Smartphone Show.

TAMK presented a set of applications and ideas implemented during various projects. The Smartphone lab of TAMK is also a part of Forum Nokia Innovation network, which is a community of selected Forum Nokia Pro University members. The network was published last December in Nokia World, Amsterdam. The Smartphone lab has been active in S60 community and the laboratory presented its applications and innovations in Barcelona S60 Summit last May.

For further information, contact lecturers Jari Mikkolainen & Tony Torp (
Picture: Tony Torp (left) and Jari Mikkolainen at S60 Summit, Barcelona.

Monday, 27 October 2008

Marianne Connor from Hollywood at MA in Screenwriting

Marianne Connor has been teaching script writing for MA in Screenwriting students last week, and will do so over the next week. She will also advise students of the previous MA in Screenwriting course who are now writing their final script.

Marianne is screenwriter/producer/teacher from Los Angeles. Her teaching experience is from TAMK University of Applied Sciences, Salford University and three Universities in Philadelphia. Marianne has produced a number of films, two of them awarded; The Ghosts of Edendale, a feature-length supernatural thriller, and Time 'til Light (also Writer/Director/editor), a short film about a woman’s choice to deny her sense of self in exchange for a man’s desire.

Marianne has also been screenwriter in a number of films, now she has series in development with HBO.

During these dark and stormy late October days here many people would stay rather in Los Angeles than in Tampere. But Marianne came here for the second time. She says she enjoys working with the MA in Screenwriting students, they are very committed and open, wanting to apply the tools for screenwriting she presents during her lessons.

Marianne Connor at Internet Movie Database

Photo: Marianne Connor at the roof garden of TAMK School of Art and Media
Photographer: Cai Melakoski

Friday, 24 October 2008

RetAiL project meeting in Tampere

The project partners from project RetAiL - Retail Management for Adults in Lifelong Learning will be arriving to Tampere on the 3rd of November. The visitors will be coming from Iceland and Scotland and they will stay in Tampere until the 7th of November.

The aim of the project Retail Management for Adults in Lifelong Learning is to transfer and implement an existing written material for teaching retailing management into an ICT-based learning material based on modules for open learning environment targeted for adult learners.

The meeting in Tampere will focus on the current situation of the project as well as the future developments.

Picture: Taken by Hanna Torp at last spring's meeting in Thurso, Scotland

Visitors from Sapporo, Japan

Two visitors from Hokkaido University

TAMK hosted two professors from Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan last week. During the visit, student and staff mobility were discussed, as well as best practices and principles of practical training were shared.

Hokkaido University