Sunday, 27 December 2009

New eLearning Materials for Adult Students of the Retail Trade

Science journalist Kalle Heiska reports about the EU RetAil (Retail Management for Adults in Lifelong Learning) that now is completed. The aim of the project was 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.

As a part of the project, eLearning materials have been created for adults working in the retail trade. Tampere UAS (TAMK) was involved in the design of the materials as an expert in adult education and on-line education. The partners included two Icelandic and one Scottish educational institution and the work was mostly financed by the EU Leonardo da Vinci transfer of innovation programme.

Read the full report
Pictured: Senior lecturer Hanna Torp (left) and project manager Marianna Leikomaa of TAMK have developed new eLearning materials designed for adult students in the retail trade.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Happy Holidays!

The blog wishes everybody easy and happy holiday season!

On January 1st Tampere University of Applied Sciences will be bigger and cover more fields of study due to the merger of TAMK and PIRAMK. (More about that beginning of next year.)

Most TAMK lecturers will begin the new working year on Thursday, January 7. The students begin the spring semester on Monday January 11 with the exception of the new exchange students, who have their orientation January 7-8.

The application period for the international degree programmes also starts on January 11.

Photo: Tampere Christmas Market

Monday, 21 December 2009

Cross cultural project management and marketing - a hot topic!

Our partner university in Gijon, Spain (University of Oviedo) has been awarded the title of "Campus of International Excellence" by the Spanish Ministry of Education. TAMK congratulates!

Our colleagues in Gijon have been very active in developing a 10 ECTS credit study module together with the international coordinator of our degree in business administration at Virrat campus, Mrs Pirkko Varis (photo below). In spring 2010 students from 7 European universties will gather again at TAMK and in our virtual learning environment to develop something new and exciting!

Pirkko Varis
TAMK / Virrat

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Danko Pantovic created the logo for Karate European Championships 2014

Finland and Tampere are to host the Karate European Championships in 2014. The Finnish Karate Federation contacted TAMK in order to have a competition for the logo of the event. The competition was organized as a part of the visual design course for International Media Programme.

Finnish Karate Federation rated highest an entry by Danko Pantovic.
Congrats Danko!

Read Danko's interview here.

Degree Programme in Media

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Interesting Innovation Conglomerate Building at Tampere

The Hub is an initiative to build a network of places around the world where entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers can meet and work together to tackle the world's most pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges. A place is needed to inspire and support imaginative and enterprising initiatives for a radically better world.

In the historical Finlayson district at the heart of Tampere a unique innovation environment is being born. Purpose of this innovation environment is to create social innovations by connecting companies needs and ideas with extraordinary student and professional talents across disciplines. Finlayson also hosts TAMK School Art and Media and Proacademy, a unit for entrepreneurship students bringing diversity and business thinking into the mix.

We saw that The Hub would be a perfect match for this environment. It would build sustainability and social entrepreneurship into the innovation initiatives and new enterprises, it could act as an interface between the parties and facilitate ambitious people and start-ups to work together.

Hub Tampere is currently being established by TAMK Proacademy in cooperation with Hermia and the Creative Tampere programme. Our goal is to open Hub Tampere in spring 2010.

Story: Jukka Siltanen

Hub Tampere Blog

Photo: The planned home of the Hub at Finlayson

Thursday, 10 December 2009

The annual Autumn Symposium of the Finnish Association of Applied Linguistic

The annual Autumn Symposium of the Finnish Association of Applied Linguistics (AFinLA) was held at the University of Applied Sciences, in Tampere, Finland on November 12-13. Welcome speeches were given by Conference Chair Mirja Kinnunen, Co-Chair Mike Garant, and the Head of International Cooperation and Languages Tarja Haukijärvi. Anna Mauranen from the University of Helsinki delivered an excellent plenary on "Speaking a lingua Franca - Redefining relations of language and culture".

Keith Richards from the University of Warwick, England who spoke about "Getting personal in academic argument"

Balázs Heidrich from the Budapest Business School, Hungary who spoke about "Kiss the Prince and Find the Frog - Dreams and reality about effectiveness of multicultural student groups".

In addition, the conference had over 150 participants from 15 different countries and there were over 60 papers and workshops given. The focus areas of the conference included professional communication, education, and (culture and how they all come together. The schedule included lunch and coffee breaks, intellectual discussions and much shared knowledge. Over 50 students participated actively in organizing the conference.

We hope everyone enjoyed the symposium!

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Good day from chilly but sunny Oita-city!

Exchange students doing zazen, a Zen Buddhist meditation practice.

Because of nation-wide entrance exams, all the lectures are cancelled, and I have unusual spare time to report to TAMK's blog about my exchange.

We, the exchange students, began our semester in Oita University in the 1st of October, at the same time as all Japanese university students start their school year. That is quite late in comparison to Finland.

For the past two months, despite the variety of fields offered by Oita University, the selected exchange studies have concentrated in two subjects: economics and Japanese language. And for my good, both have proven to be extremely informative.

In my view, Oita University is a fruitful choice for anyone with a desire to learn business economics, Japanese management, social studies or even chemistry alongside of Japanese language. Japanese language classes are divided into six levels, allowing everyone from no prior knowledge to extremely advanced to receive suitable teaching.

To give a quick coordinates, Oita University locates in the Oita-city. City of Oita then again is a prefectural capital of Oita prefecture and Oita prefecture is in the north-west of Kyushu island, in the southern Japan. Hmm... it might be better to look it up from a map.

The main reason why I wanted to come to Japan, besides learning the language, is its peculiarity. Japan has been subject to countless studies, doubtlessly because there is no culture alike. For myself, the time here is an unique chance to receive firsthand knowledge of the distinctiveness of Japan. And I am grateful for both TAMK University of Applied Sciences and Oita University for giving this opportunity!

Lauri Aho, Oita University, Japan

Monday, 7 December 2009

TAMK R&D visits Uppsala

TAMK Tampere University of Applied Sciences is very active nationally and internationally in research & development, especially in the field of environmental and sustainable development. TAMK was planning to join the Baltic University Programme (BUP) and therefore the R&D group lead by Dr. Perttu Heino (Research director) visited Uppsala University located at Villavägen 16, 75236 Uppsala on 9th of January 2008.

The R&D group was welcomed by the BUP Director, Christine Jakobsson who introduced during her presentation the Baltic University Programme and the project Ecosystem Health and Sustainable Development. This was followed by two interesting presentations: the first one was made by the former Director of BUP Professor Emeritus Lars Rydén who introduced Sustainable Community Development. The second presentation was about The Centre of Sustainable Development in Uppsala by Director Eva Friman.

After lunch the visit continued at the Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering (JTI) located on Ultuna. Mr. Ulf Nordberg introduced some research findings:

• Only organic wastes with very low metal content should be digested
• Digestion of source separated organic wastes will give a digestate accepted by
• Transparency in what a plant is treating is very important for confidence
• A certification system is necessary for acceptance from food industry
• A dialog with food industry, farmers and other stakeholders is necessary for understanding each others' perspective

The trip to Uppsala ended by visiting the Eco-Village Hågaby, where Professor Per G. Berg, from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU, told about the history of the village, schools, composting room.

On our trip back to Finland, me and my colleagues felt ourselves more than welcome to join the network, thanks to the warm reception during our visit to Uppsala.

Mina Bouhlal

Friday, 4 December 2009

Christmas Party at Kuntokatu

As Christmas is almost at the door, the Finnish Way of Life Club has ended for 2009. This week was the last event of the club, the Finnish Christmas Party was held at the PIRATE livingroom in Kuntokatu Campus.

Tasting Finnish Christmas pastries, drinking hot glögg, listening to some Christmas tunes and a thrilling Santa Claus trivia! Congratulations to the winners! The atmosphere was warm and discussion about the exchange students' own Christmas traditions was exciting. At the end of the party it was time to take the last photos together and wish a Merry Christmas to everyone. For the Finnish Way of Life Club this was an eventful year with lots of good moments!

Thank you all for making the semester G-R-E-A-T!

Text and photo: Miia Lehtinen

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

DETVET Blog Launched

DETVET (Development of Educational Techniques in Vocational Education and Training) is a Leonardo da Vinci Programme funded partnership project which started August 2009 and will last until July 2011. Partners are from Lithuania, Sweden, Denmark, Czech Republic, Italy and Finland.

The kick-off meeting in Klaipeda in October decided that the project website would be a blog - easy to update for all project partners. The first posts and much of the informative content on right hand of the blog was made already at the meeting. It was however decided to launch the blog later, when there is more for to explore.

The aim of the project is to form an international sustainable partnership in order to improve VET teachers’ competencies in education techniques.

The main role of Tampere UAS (TAMK) in this project is to contribute to the expertice of using Social Media in education and training.

Previous posts about DETVET

Friday, 27 November 2009

Greetings from Canada!

I have spent my autumn semester as an exchange student in Toronto, Ontario College of Art & Design on The Faculty of Art. Studying in another country has been an eye-opening experience that has helped me to concentrate to develop the content of my artistic work as much as improve technical part of artistic process.

Best part in my exchange has been interaction with the people from different cultures. An exchange has enriched my ways to express myself on the field of photography and refresh my perception through interesting conversations with other students and faculty members.

I have been also lucky enough to get some custom-works to do. That has really improved my financial situation.

Besides working in here I have continued my studies in Finland with art project Route Couture, which was part of AVO – Cotton Wool Revolution in Tampere 24.10- 22.11.09. Route Couture presented a fur-fashion collection made of the fur and skin of the Finnish roadkill. By showing the skin of a roadkill as an expensive piece of high fashion, Route Couture questioned general opinions on beauty, luxury, marketing values and truths, and justification of the use of “common” space.

Karoliina Paappa

Read more about the exhibition:

Route Couture (in English)
Article on Fifi (in Finnish)

Picture: Series: Tyttö on kova suustaan, untitled, 2009.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Pre-task for Media Programme Application Now Online

Next application time for our BA programmes run in English is January 11 - February 12.

For the Media Programme it is not enough that applicants fill in the online form and send the certificates, they also have to complete and send by the deadline a pre-task with three assignments.

60 applicants with best points for the pre-task are invited to the entrance exam in April.

The focus of the programme is in interactive media content design and production. The students learn about current digital media issues and they specialise in 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.

The Degree Programme in Media started this autumn at TAMK School of Art and Media. The working language of the programme is only English. The first edition of students are coming from China, Iran, Peru, South Africa, Greece, Serbia, UK and most of them from Finland. The programme is also known as IMP.

Download the pre-task
Media Programme home
Media Programme blog
TAMK Admissions website

Picture: A tag cloud based on interests and dream jobs of the present Media Programme students. (Design by

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Knowledge Sharing across Cultures – a personal view of Debby Swallow’s presentation

Why is it that serious attempts at sharing knowledge across cultures frequently end in frustration, disappointment and a sense of aggrievement on all sides?

According to Dr Deborah Swallow, who gave a presentation at TAMK on November 16th, the problem is that people from different cultures have fundamentally different beliefs about the proper roles of bosses and subordinates, teachers and students, and even about the nature of knowledge itself.

Dr Swallow is a leading expert on intercultural communication and cultural diversity in the modern workplace. Drawing on research in the fields of intercultural communication and knowledge management, Debby Swallow presented two alternative sets of knowledge-related concepts. Both sets, she emphasised, are valid within certain cultural settings, but neither of them can be easily transferred to another culture. To prove the point, Dr Swallow enlivened her presentation with numerous stories of knowledge-sharing failures in families, in businesses, and in marketing communications.

But there were success stories, too. Debby Swallow reminded us that in the 1980’s, for most people a telephone was as mobile as the length of its wires allowed. But in 1987, Nokia enjoyed a marketing coup when Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the (then) Soviet Union, was photographed in Helsinki using a Nokia mobile phone to make a call to Moscow. The picture appeared in newspapers around the world, and thus a new concept - “mobile phone” – was created in the minds of millions.

But what can we, in the serious business of intercultural education, learn from master marketers?

Well, as teachers, we need to realise that ideas like “critical thinking is good”, “plagiarism is bad” (and many others) are elements of our own particular brand of education. For students who join us from very different educational traditions, such brand-related concepts may need to be created from scratch.

Secondly, even when foreign students are aware of our brand, they will naturally prefer their own. So if we believe our brand has merit, we need to promote its consumer benefits vigorously.

Finally, if we ever venture into foreign markets (as exchange teachers, for example), we should not expect our brand to be universally admired and appreciated. The most successful brands, from Nokia to Coca Cola, are customised for each local market.

Ann Seppänen

Pictured: Deborah Swallow
Photo: Kaisa Kukkonen

Monday, 23 November 2009

Greetings from Wales!

Greetings from rainy but beautiful Wales! I’m in the University of Glamorgan, in the Pontypridd campus!

I’ve been here for over 3 weeks now (time certainly flies!), doing research about e-learning and group work, both in e-learning environments as well as in more “traditional” learning contexts. I’ve interviewed several local teachers who use group work in their teaching, both on-line and in classroom situations. I’ve also given a questionnaire for a group of students, and the aim is to have the same questionnaire completed by a group of TAMK students next year as well, so we can see if there are any cultural differences in the way students do group work. In addition, I’ve shared my own experiences in e-learning with the local staff, and have learned a lot from their experiences.

So, I’ve spent my time here writing research and just getting to know the life in Wales and living in the campus. Although it has rained quite a bit, there have been several beautiful days here as well! The month has gone by really quickly, so it’s really hard to imagine I’ll be coming back home in about a week or so! I really need to come here again, in order to continue my research and to meet the wonderful people again!

Welcome to the 1st meeting for TAMK's own ecological school garden -project

The day is set, the time is set, now it is time for you to set your minds for a


esday, 25th of November, at 17.00 in TAMK at B6-33

Absolutely everyone is welcome, you can also bring friends with you if you want, this is going to be fun!

What we are going to do is to plan a school garden where we students, especially the ENVEs but I don't see a reason why others cannot join, will have the chance to grow our very own, ecologically correct food, where we can spend some time outside, where we can try out everything we want (first ideas are rainwater harvesting system, own ecological fertilizer, permaculture, garden on the roof...), where we can relax and follow our roots and dig in the mud.

The end of the ready packed carrots and salads has come! No imported food anymore, no unknown chemicals in our meals!

This first meeting will be for gathering ideas, sharing knowledge, and setting up a first timeplan and a strategy. I am more than willing to put lots of energy into this project, but I cannot do this by myself, so I need every single one of you!

The planning period will be during the winter so that we can start in springtime to get into action.

So put your rubberboots on and get ready for next Wednesday!

I cannot wait to hear what ideas you all have!

post by Magdalena, student at TAMK, IENVE08

pictures: Aino-Maija Kyykoski
picture above from organic apple farm Hostetin, Czech
picture below from permaculture and organic farm, Taranaki Environment centre, New Zealand

Friday, 20 November 2009

Study trip to St. Petersburg: 29.10.2009 – 01.11.2009

St. Petersburg, located on the Neva River, is the most northern city with more than 1 million inhabitants of the world. Founded by Tsar Peter te Great, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years. After Moscow it is the country’s second largest city with 4.6 million inhabitants. St. Petersburg is a major European capital of culture and trade. With its historic centre and monuments the city constitutes an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

And within this beautiful historical city the eight participants of this year’s student trip to Russia were having a great time full of culture, business schedules and nightlife.

The participants were from IB, LIKO as well as exchange students from 8 countries: Tuire Viita-Aho, Magdalena Pichler, Kaja Voigt, Valeria Agafonova, Henri Memonen, Anne Moerman, Ivana Matysikova, Jinsung Seo, and their teacher Mikel Garant.

During the course, the students got acquainted with each other as well as Russian culture in general. The course focus was on business culture and the business environment in Russia.

The students got a closer look to the impressing culture while visiting the Hermitage, Yusupov’s Palace, the Peter & Paul Fortress and the remarkable St. Isaac’s Cathedral. Also, some went to the Marinsky Theater for Ballet, others went to the Jazz Philharmonic in addition to having many other cultural experiences.

But the trip was not just about admiring the city; it was also for understanding the Russian business culture. Therefore, the students first met Snezhana Alexeeva and Juha Ruosteenoja, managers from the Sokos Hotel Vasilievsky. First they saw the whole hotel and afterwards Mr. Ruosteenoja explained his experiences of establishing, running, and marketing a Finnish company in St. Petersburg. The visit was both enjoyable and enlightening.

Later, there was a meeting with Natalia Yakovleva, head of finance department TNB-line – a shipping freight forwarding company, as well as with the guest speakers Evgeny Bogdanov, Sergei Kaparis and Anton Pavlov from Rumpu Consulting - a closely-knit team of engineers with their precise specialization in different construction areas: from architecture to engineering.

The round-table discussion was a very interesting and informative conversation in the hotel’s 8th floor with a great view to the city. It focused on the reality of doing business in contemporary Russia. The students learned a great deal from the guest speakers and some were interested in doing their study or work exchange in Russia as a result.

Aikamatkat handled the travel arrangements. Fortunately, there were no emergencies in St. Petersburg – but they were there – just in case. They helped with the visa and information about the city before the journey and arranged the cultural program. They did everything very well.

Mike Garant also met Daria Kozlova from Saint Petersburg State Polytechnic University to discus the West Finland FIRST intensive study program in St. Petersburg planed for spring 2010 as well as future cooperation.

The group came back to Finland on the 1. November – all excited and happy about this unforgettable trip to the amazing city of St. Petersburg.

By: Kaja Voigt

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Hello from EUROPRIX Festival, Graz

EUROPRIX Multimedia Festival, now third time in ever so wonderful and hospitable Graz, was once again unforgettable. Populated by members of the 20 nominee teams, digital media industry representatives, lecturers and students the three days were filled with energy and creativity plus all other fun stuff.

On Thursday the festival was opened at the regional TV-station with an exhibition of nominee projects and get-together. Friday morning I participated in a project consortium meeting, and then moderated the Academic Lounge with my friend Jak Boumans, secretary general of European Academy of Digital Media. We had most awarding discussion and networking with colleagues from universities cross Europe.

In the afternoon we joined other festival participants for the "4 SCREENS 4 YOU CREATING CONTENTS" event with inspiring keynotes by Alois Ferscha (Research Studio Pervasive Computing), Juha Kaario (Nokia Research Centre), Charly Pall (Google) and Madanmohan Rao (Mobile Monday Global), moderated by Latif Ladid (IPV6 Forum) and tasted with excellent discussion.

Friday evening we opened another nominee project exhibition at Kunsthaus Graz, then young people disappeared to Graz by night and elderly gentlemen like me went to hotel.

Saturday was the most important part of the festival. All day long we saw the nominee teams present their projects. This has always been the most giving content for me; after having seen all the entries already during the jury work and having fell in love with a number of them it is a hilarious experience to see the young talents showing them alive.

Saturday evening witnessed the most exiting part of the festival: The EUROPRIX Awards gala. The winners this year are:
  • Online/Web projects: Donkeypedia, Netherlands
  • Mobile applications: Showtime!, Austria
  • Games: Swords & Soldiers, Netherlands
  • Category Interactive Computer Graphics: Vuvox, Israel
  • Content Tools & Interface Design: Flow-er, Israel
  • Interactive installations: Akustisch, Switserland
  • Digital Video & Animations: Desconstruct, a stereoscopic experiment, Germany
Overall winner: Swords & Soldiers, Netherlands

The Special Award for the project with the best business potential went to (Finland), and The Adventures of Tinger (Germany) got the Special Jury Mention for a game with a high level of interactive storytelling.

Donkeypedia also won the Nokia Ubimedia MindTrek Award in October.

More info about winners and nominees (
More about EUROPRIX in the School of Art and Media blog

During the festival it was also agreed that the cooperation between EUROPRIX and TAMK School of Art and Media will be continued in many ways. EUROPRIX will be present at our International Week and Tampere Art Factory Festival in May.

Pictured: The team (Finland) was awarded with The Best Business Potential Award, from left to right Antti Ala-Ilkka, Mikko Nurminen, Kimmo Pekari

Friday, 13 November 2009

Trans Atlantic Paper Science – thoughts of the students participating in the dual degree

TAMK University of Applied Sciences together with other European and US partner universities received EU-US Atlantis funding for 2008-2012 to implement a Trans Atlantic Paper Science (TAPS) dual undergraduate degree. This project gives students and faculty members a unique opportunity to study global paper science through international collaboration. Total duration of an exchange is one year. A dual Bachelor of Science degree, emphasis on Paper Science, will be awarded after completion of TAPS requirements.

This year three Finnish students left for US to attend the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point (UWSP) to study in this new dual degree. While these students left for new adventures abroad, two students from Wisconsin UWSP arrived to the chilly Finland, and began studies at TAMK. Below is a short report on what feelings this cross-cultural opportunity has raised in the students from Finland and US.

The students were asked four questions to further describe the feelings of living in a foreign country and city, but also to get an idea of how the studies at TAMK are compared to the studies at UWSP.

Katherine Mess and Stephen Chastain were interviewed at TAMK, they both seem to like Finland and enjoy the culture and customs of the Finnish people. Studies
at TAMK differed from their home studies to some extent, but all in all they both seemed to be quite happy with the education at TAMK.

How have you liked the studies here at TAMK? Have the courses for example been as you expected before hand?

Katherine Mess: “They told us before coming over to expect a lot of group work, and a lot less homework with fewer tests. I think we have found that to be true. It is quite different from what we’re used to, and it works well except when it comes to test time and a LOT of material is covered on one exam.”

Stephen Chastain: “I think I have enjoyed my studies so far. The classes were a little intimidating at first because I have only had a few classes for my major back home and the students here seemed to know so much more than me. But, I am catching up now. Having hardly any homework and only having 1 or 2 exams is strange for me. I’m not sure I like that.”

What do you think of TAMK? (in general)

Katherine Mess: “It’s nice to have all classes in the same building, so you do not have to go outside. The feeling of community within the University is very nice as well.”

Stephen Chastain: “I really enjoy TAMK. There are more student activities going on here. Of course, it may just be because I am in a new place so I am looking for things to do. Overall I really enjoy going to school here. Then there’s the overalls. Those things are awesome. Hopefully mine will arrive soon. It’ll be great.

What do you think of free-time activities or free-time in general in Tampere and TAMK?

Katherine Mess: “There’s not a lot to do, but the International club does a good job of organizing activities around the community.”

Stephen Chastain: “I think the free-time activities are great. There’s always so much to do and it’s always entertaining.

How do you feel about the Finns and Tampere? (culture etc…)

Katherine Mess: “The Finns I have talked to have all been very nice. Overall they are quite reserved, but that lifestyle fits well with my personality, so it hasn’t been very hard to adjust. One of the hardest things for me to adjust to is the different food.

Stephen Chastain: “I really enjoy the Finns. They are polite. But best of all, they are quiet. I enjoy silence every now and then, but it’s hard to find that in America. I fit in a little better here than I do back home. Pretty sure I was supposed to be born in Finland.”

The students that left TAMK to study at UWSP were also interviewed via email. They were asked the same questions as Katherine and Stephen, just turned around to get a picture of their feelings towards UWSP studies and the American culture. Here are the answers of two of them.

How have you liked the studies at the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point? Have the courses for example been as you expected before hand?

Timo Vartiainen: “I must say that the structure of the studies is way different here than at TAMK. We have a lot of homework assignments compared to the amount we have in Finland. On the other hand we don’t have as much actual lessons. On a usual day we only have 3 hours of school. Still it is difficult to get everything done.

Tomi Harjula: “It has been very challenging to keep up with this rhythm here. The whole structure is more or less similar to a Finnish University, not like a University of Applied Sciences, so we have very few lessons and a lot of things to do on our own time. But it’s getting better all the time, it is just about getting used to it. Otherwise this has been amazing. All the things we can do with the paper machine are super cool, and in general, this has been great. All the teachers have been very supporting and we have not had any problems so far, although the language is another big challenge.”

What do you think of Stevens Point? (in general)

Timo Vartiainen: “Stevens Point is a relatively small town, a lot smaller than Tampere but it has all the utilities you need.”

Tomi Harjula: “Stevens Point is one of the nicest cities I have ever been to. It’s a small town, so there’s not so much to see or do, but it’s very safe, close enough to big cities and people here are super friendly. A beautiful countryside town, which has a great small brewery.”

What do you think of free-time activities or free-time in general in Wisconsin and at Stevens Point?

Timo Vartiainen: “The opportunities to do sports are really good and the facilities are in topnotch, which you can’t say about TAMK. Bigger cities like Madison and Milwaukee are only a few hours drive away so you can easily go to those cities on weekends if you feel that Stevens Point is getting too small.”

Tomi Harjula: “Free-time activities are very well organized. There’s an intramurals league for students in almost every sport you can name. Basketball, football, softball, volleyball, badminton, racquetball, bowling, pool. etc. etc. I personally have spent a lot of time on climbing wall, which is also free for students. And then there is theater, movie theater, all kinds of arts etc. etc. The list is endless, and you can really blame yourself if you get bored.”

How do you feel about the Americans and Wisconsin? (culture etc…)

Timo Vartiainen: “I think the culture is quite the same. Even the weather is alike. The only difference I’ve noticed is that people are more open and easier to approach than Finns. And it’s really difficult to find decent food around here.”

Tomi Harjula: “America seems to be a nice place. Wisconsin is in the countryside of a huge country, and people are like you expect them to be on a country side. Friendly and open, but not so open-minded. The only thing that really bothers me is that crap they called food here.“

Over all the individuals taking part in the TAPS dual undergraduate degree program seem to be pleased with it. This opportunity will give un-measurable international experience to the students and also give them a great deal of knowledge as teaching methods differ between the schools.

Photo: Katherine Mess (left) and Stephen Chastain (right).

Students from UWSP currently studying at TAMK.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Nordic Climate Day at TAMK November 11

Wednesday November 11, TAMK’s Environmental Engineering students are hosting a Nordic Climate Day to precurse the UN’s Copenhagen Climate Summit in December.

With a guest speaker, environmental films and students presentations, the day events are intended to create greater knowledge and awareness about climate change.

So if this gets you hot and heavy, in the spirit of global warming join us. You never know – it might be fun.

Sidney Kitchen

More detailed info on Globe's blog

Nordic Climate Day

Workshop in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands

The lecturers and the students of our partner Hanze University Academy of Popculture in northern Netherlands have given already two workshops at TAMK School of Art and Media.
Now it was finally time for the return visit. We are happy to present a photo gallery and below it the report, both made by Veera Niemi.

Wall art at Academie voor Popcultuur

Planning the installation

Installation "Brick by Brick"

Installation "Brick by Brick"

Jussi Autio, Satu Leskinen, Joonas Tikkanen, Veera Niemi and Jori Kemppi, part of the installation

We arrived in Leeuwarden Monday last week after travelling roughly 6 hours. We took lodgings at our hosts and got acquainted with the city.

On Tuesday our workshop started with brief introductions although most of us had already met in Tampere in May during the VJ-workshop arranged in connection to our Tampere Art Factory Festival.

We started reflecting the similarities and differences between Holland and Finland, searched exemplary materials on the Internet. Finally - inspired by our city tour the previous night - we ended up with the installation "Brick by Brick".

In the installation we would use materials filmed and recorded in advance in Finland and new stuff from Leeuwarden, additionally photos and music from both countries.

Our group members found easily the different roles: Jori mixed a mash up of the music, I made sound scapes, Jussi illuminated, Joonas and Satu joined their forces with Academy of Popculture students Richard, Gerrald and Willemijn for projections.

The installation was presented on Saturday on the Academy of Popculture open doors day. We got good feedback and lots of brilliant ideas for the future.

The participants of the workshop were School of Art and Media theatre and event audio-visual design students Satu Leskinen, Jussi Autio, Joonas Tikkanen and Jori Kemppi and sound design student Veera Niemi, Academy of Popculture students Richard Toepoel, Gerrald van der Kolk, Willemijn van Arnhem, Bea Grootscholten and Jamila Faber.

With tired but happy regards

Veera Niemi (Sound Design 06)

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Ania Ciuba Made the Soundly Sleeping Dragon Web Site

A very international project at our university has turned out fine. Ania Ciuba from Poland, a multimedia student from our partner school SDE College in Odense, Denmark, made a web site for Tan Minh Single Woman's group, Vietnam, during her exchange period in our School of Art and Media.

The Tan Minh women are farmers, but as farming land is getting smaller and smaller, they have to arrange other forms of income. They have founded a cooperation to produce their first product, Soundly Sleeping Dragon silk sleeping bag liners.

CED, Coalition for Environment and Development (Ympäristö ja Kehitys ry. in Finnish) is a voluntary organization, which helps the Tan Minh cooperative in developing their business. The sleeping bag liners have become quite popular in Finland. To extend the sales with a online service a web site was needed.

The School of Art and Media promised to help CED with the web design, and Ania needed a topic for her thesis work. So many needs met and meshed with each other, and now the project is online.

"This project has taught me a lot about design, implementation and also about development work. I am still involved and enjoying it.", says Ania Ciuba about her experience. Ania has now graduated in Odense and moved to Helsinki, where she's working for a software development company.

Soundly Sleeping Dragon

Pictured: Ania Ciuba on the roof garden at TAMK School of Art and Media

Friday, 6 November 2009

International student exchange and practical training specified info’s for different degree programs

An info session about international exchange and practical training was held for the second year International Business students on Thursday 5th of November. In addition to practical matters, the lecturers discussed the reasons why internationalization is so important in professional and personal growth. Two IB students Perttu Noppari and Tuukka Jääskeläinen were also present to tell about their own exchange experiences.

There are also other info’s in line for different degree programs in the near future. For example second year Business Administration and Construction Management students will have theirs on Monday 9th of November.

Photo: Perttu Noppari telling IB students about his exchange in the Netherlands.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Tampere - the Focal Point of Northern Europe

Where is Tampere? At the edge of the tundra? Why should one bother to move to Tampere to study or to do business?

Tampere is actually the central spot of Northern Europe. If you draw a circle with a radius of 1000 km, including the Baltic sea, Scandinavia, Finland, and northern Russia, your circle will hit the Russian capital Moscow, the Polish capital Warsaw, Rostock in Germany and Hammerfest in northern Norway. And there it is, the centre of this circle, Tampere in Finland.

This 1000 km circle includes capitals like Copenhagen (distance from Tampere 913 km), Oslo (726 km), Stockholm (394 km), Helsinki (160 km), Tallin (235 km), Riga (505 km), Vilnius (762 km) and Minsk (873 km). St. Petersburg (396 km) is really close.

Tampere is really accessible: Direct flights from Riga, Milan, Bremen, Frankfurt, London, Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki, train from St. Petersburg and Helsinki, ferry + train from Tallin, Stockholm, Gdynia, Travemünde and Rostock.

Tampere is an attractive and international centre for students, 200 000 inhabitants and 40 000 students of higher education in four universities. The cultural life is rich, and the city is surrounded by beautiful lakes and forests.

Bachelor's Degree Programmes in English at Tampere University of Applied Sciences

Photo: The TAMK Degree Programme in Media and the proAcademy are located in Finlayson old cotton mill in the centre of Tampere

Friday, 30 October 2009

Orientation course for exchange students and trainees held for the 3rd time

Course N-KV596-2006, which is mandatory for those who wish to go on exchange or do their practical training abroad, started on Tuesday 27th of October for the third time. The first lecture gathered together around 50 students from many different degree programs in TAMK.

The course is mostly moodle-based, but it also includes four contact lectures. It is designed to prepare students on cultural and practical matters before going abroad. This way the student will commit to his or her overseas period and understand its overall purpose on personal and professional growth.

Photo: Matti Pietilä telling students how important it is to be well prepared before going abroad.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

What's TAMK got to do with Russian timber duties?

Picture: Prime ministers Putin and Vanhanen and minister Pekkarinen opening the summit

Almost 400 people were present in the third Russian-Finnish forestry summit in St. Petersburg, Russia last Sunday, 25th October. The Finnish delegation consisted of 140 invited directors, managers, researchers and experts from all forestry branches. TAMK was one of the three Finnish higher education institutions present in the summit and the only Finnish university of applied sciences who participated, represented by Aura Loikkanen and Ari Vanamo.

The summit concentrated on actual problems of forestry co-operation between Finland and Russia. Both countries had put a high priority on the meeting. The prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin opened the seminar and also the Finnish Prime Minister, Matti Vanhanen gave his speech. Altogether five Finnish ministers were present in the summit.

The main problem between Finnish-Russian forestry co-operation has for some year now been the export duties on timber which have strongly affected forest industry in Finland but maybe even more logging operations and employment on the Russian side. According to the original plan the duties on birch pulpwood would have been at least 50 €/m3 from 1st January 2010, but Russia has now twice postponed the decision. Some of the Finnish big forest industry companies have however already reacted and withdrawn their operations from Russia almost completely.

But the timber duties are hopefully just a minor exception in the forestry co-operation between Russia and Finland. The fact remains that Russia has the world´s largest forest resources, about 40 times the amount of Finland´s. The need for the development of forestry sector is great and Finnish know-how in forestry is wanted in many areas. In the summit Finnish and Russian delegations agreed on the further development of both economic and scientific-technical co-operation. It will include for example research on forestry legislation, development and application of bioenergy technologies, creating new forest industry products e.g. by using nanotechnology, basic and further training of forestry researchers, engineers and workers.

So what did TAMK get out of the summit? The forestry degree programme of TAMK, partly together with TAOKK, has for over 5 years been involved in forestry training co-operation in Russia. The projects have been financed by EU and lately by the Finnish Foreign Ministry. These projects were actually the reason why TAMK was invited to St. Petersburg on Sunday. The summit offered the chance for TAMK to see and to be seen. New contacts were formed and old ones refreshed. We´re quite sure that also in the future there will be a need for TAMK´s services in Russian forestry sector,

Ari Vanamo

Spy Museum spills its secrets

On Monday 26th October Finnish Way of Life Club visited the Spy Museum in Tampere. This was a unique opportunity for the exchange students, who were interested in seeing the first spy museum in the world!

This spy museum in the Finlayson area was opened for public in 1998 and it is logical to have in in Finland, as we have been in the heart of the battle between East and West for decades, at the forefront of international espionage. In the museum the visitors can really experience for themselves - break codes, hack into emails or more traditionally write secret and invisible messages to someone with a spy pen!

Text and photos: Miia Lehtinen
(on the left in group picture)

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Admissions Pages for the New TAMK Have Been Launched

The English admission pages for the new TAMK have been launched.

The pages mainly serve foreign applicants, so they focus on marketing the English degree programmes and giving information about TAMK and Finland. The application period for the English degree programmes is 11.1. – 12.2.2010.

TAMK’s and PIRAMK’s current English webpages remain as they are until the end of 2009. After the 1st of January, both the Finnish and English admissions pages are modified into TAMK’s official webpages.

Both the Finnish and the English admissions pages have been produced by a project team, consisting of the following people: Teija Pekkarinen, Katja Jouttela, Marianna Leikomaa and Minna Honkanen. The production work also got input from several experts, especially from the Admissions Office, Student Services and International Office.

The English admission pages for the new TAMK

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Electrician Team: First We Took St.Petersburg, Now We Take SiChuan

This is a note from director of Electrician Miina Alajärvi, sent to members of the Electrician group on Facebook:


I'm writing from my vacation in Sweden. Good news reach even here! The Electrician keeps on competing around the world!

The Electrician is competing for student film award in Kettupäivät (Finnish for "Fox Days"), an annual Finnish short and documentary film festival in Helsinki. The 26th Kettupäivät will take place from November 4 2009 until November 7 2009. They haven't announced the schedule yet, but I'm inviting everyone in Helsinki to come and see it to Andorra! I'll be there for sure.

I got good news today,
The Electrician has been nominated for Special Jury Award of International “Gold Panda” Awards for Student of 2009 (10th) Sichuan TV Festival. The first website is amazing. Not a word in English. Totally psychedelic!
10th Sichuan TV Festival

And last but not least The Electrician is off to Italy!
THE ELECTRICIAN's been officialy selected for the next edition of Imaginaria’s festival. The 7th Imaginaria will take place in Conversano, Italy from 11 to 15 november 2009.
Imaginaria Film Festival

So Finland, China and Italy in November. In China they actually still do execute people with electric chair. How will they like Marvin?

puss ach kram

The Electrician won three prizes in the Beginning Film Festival in St.Petersburg.

The Electrician will be busy next weeks at following festivals:
4.-7.11: Kettupäivät, Helsinki
4.-8.11: Arctic Fury Film Festival, Rovaniemi, Finland
6.-8.11: 10th SiChuan TV Festival
11.-15.11: Imaginaria Film Festival, Conversano, Italy
17.-21.11: YOUKI 11 international Youth Media Festival, Wels, Austria
19.-20.11: Arctic & Fabulous Film Festival Jyväskylä, Finland
19.-22.11: Up-and-coming International Film Festival, Hannover, Germany
4.-12.12: Rencontres Henri Langlois, International Film Schools Festival, Poitiers, France

The Electrician, with premiere in February this year, has been shown at several festivals in Finland and in Norway, Switzerland, UK, Germany, Portugal, Czech Republic, Puerto Rico and Russia.

The Electrician is a cooperation between TAMK and Salford University.

The Electrician home
Electrician group@Facebook

Electrician in the School of Art and Media blog

Saturday, 17 October 2009

ProAcademy received greetings from its sister unit in Namibia

This message made us very happy and we want to share it with everyone:
To: proAcademy Students

Hello Guys, Sisters and Brothers,

ProLearning is the sister school of ProAcademy in Windhoek, Namibia. We are the pilot team of ProLearning and we are a team of 14 members (including Clarissa from WeDesign). Our company name is PLEMJIVE Cooperative LTD.

We would like to inform you on what is going on with ProLearning and our company. We would also like to create a deeper relationship between ProLearning and ProAcademy students.

Since you guys dont know us, here is our brief introduction. Please guys check the attached pictures to see the spirit of ProLearning…

Yours sincerly,
Plemjive members

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Nordic and Baltic Business Week challenged 30 international students to innovate!

Thirty students from Denmark, Norway, Lithuania and Finland participated in the Nordplus Intensive Course Business in the Nordic and Baltic Countries, which took place in Tampere on 19. - 25.9.2009.

The objective of the intensive course was to learn about business, innovation and Nordic and Baltic cooperation by working together. Students formed teams of 6-8 people, and found solutions to a real customer case during a 48-hour innovation task.

The intensive course was organized by Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network coordinated by PIRAMK. The Network members are currently TAMK and PIRAMK from Finland, University of Tromsø from Norway, University of Southern Denmark from Denmark, and Vytautas Magnus University from Lithuania. This was the third time that the Nordic Business Week took place at TAMK Proacademy, a special unit in entrepreneurship at TAMK.

Earlier the customer had been Nokia Innovation Center and the teams worked on business concepts and new products using future technologies. Nokia recently published a concept video which has some of the earlier teams' ideas.

This year the theme of the week was social entrepreneurship and the customer was the non-profit innovation agency Hermia Ltd. The teams' task was to develop a business concept of the social enterprise Hub Tampere in the context of Finlayson's innovation environment. The teams worked on the task at the wonderful Kauppila farm in the city of Ikaalinen.

Watch the documentary video about the innovation task on Vimeo:

Photos from the week are available on Flickr:

The Nordic and Baltic Business Innovation Network network has an open Ning community at:

The Hub is an initiative to build a network of places around the world where entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers can meet and work together to tackle the world’s most pressing social, cultural and environmental challenges. A place is needed to inspire and support imaginative and enterprising initiatives for a radically better world.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Hockey hockey hockey!!

Last weekend the Finnish Way of Life Club went to Hakametsä ice hockey hall to see a thrilling game. The two main league teams of Tampere (Tappara and Ilves) kept us all on the edge of our seats!

This event was the most popular club event so far among the exchange students, since a total of 30 students came to root their favorite team on! For some of the students this ice hockey match was the first to see live (ever) and not on TV, so they were very excited and got lost in the heat of the game. Almost all of the students cheered Tappara (for some reason) and eventually they won 2-0. Everyone was very satisfied after the game about the result, the great atmosphere in the ice hockey hall and of course about the opportunity to see real Finnish ice hockey!

Text and photo: Miia Lehtinen

Saturday, 10 October 2009

DETVET Had a Brilliant Start

The kick-off session of the DETVET project was rounded off late Thursday afternoon with a tour to Klaipeda's old brewery.

Earlier all the important decisions to make the project running efficiently over the next two years. The project plan was scrutinised in detail and many specifications made.

The main form of activities is partner meetings, to be arranged January 2010 in Malmö/Lund, Sweden, April in Sant'Angelo, Italy, October in Odense, Denmark, January 2011 in Olomouc, Czech Republic and May 2011 in Tampere, Finland.

The meeting also started the DETVET blog to be launced in November and the DETVET Google-group for communication and work between the meetings.

The steering committee members were chosen, dissemination plan made and the tools for investigations discussed.

The aim of the project is to form an international sustainable partnership in order to improve VET teachers’ competencies in education techniques.

The objectives of the project are:
  • to make an inventory, exchange, evaluate and disseminate the best in-service training practice, methods which enable VET teachers to acquire and develop their competencies focused on education techniques,
  • to compare educational competencies development needs of VET teachers in participating countries,
  • to test a chosen method in the partner institution or silent partner,
  • to produce a Common Methodology Framework for the teachers from various fields of VET system enabling to reach an optimal efficiency when assisting students in learning process, also helping them in choosing adequate material and tools for their knowledge practical implementation.
The project will run until end of July 2011. DETVET is a partnership project funded by the EU Leonardo da Vinci Programme.

The role of Tampere UAS (TAMK) in this project is to contribute to the expertice of using Social Media in education and training.

VET = Vocational education and training
DETVET = Development of Educational Techniques in Vocational Education and Training

Pictured: Most members in a DETVET family photo. Standing in the back row on right TAMK delegates Sisko Mällinen and Jarno Tolonen.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

RetAiL meeting in Reykjavik

Marianna and Hanna visiting the Barnafossar waterfalls

For the past two years, TAMK has participated in project RetAiL – Retail Management for Adults in Lifelong Learning. Unfortunately all good things come to an end, and the project had its final meeting in Reykjavik in 6.-8.10.2009. The project is now almost complete and the next step is to start disseminating it and to offer the course created during the project for learners to use.
The product created during the project is a programme aimed at adults already working in the retailing sector, who need to improve their skills in retail management. The materials are meant for flexible, on-line studying and have been created especially by taking the adult learners’ learning strategies into account.

Barnafossar waterfalls

The partners in the project are Verzlunarskoli Islands (the coordinator, Iceland), Fræðslumiðstöð atvinnulífsins (Iceland) and North Highland College (Scotland).