TAMK University of Applied Sciences together with other European and US partner universities got 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. US, German and Finnish students will travel to partner universities for an academic study and addition to this they will do an internship abroad. Total duration of an exchange is one year. A dual Bachelor of Science degree, emphasis in Paper Science, will be awarded after completion of TAPS requirements.
The coordinating university in TAPS program in Europe is Munich University of Applied Sciences in Germany and the coordinating university in the United States is University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (UWSP). Partner universities in this project are North Carolina State University (NCSU) / US, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä / Finland and TAMK.
Head of Paper, Textile and Chemical Engineering Degree Programme Ulla Häggblom-Ahnger and International Coordinator Kirsi Tolvanen from TAMK traveled to Wisconsin (Stevens Point) and North Carolina (Raleigh) 27.3.-4.4.2009 for TAPS project meetings. The main purpose of these meetings at UWSP and NCSU was to agree on Paper Science Engineering Requirements and General Education Program Requirements (GEP) to fulfill the total requirements needed for a dual degree. Ulla and Kirsi also had a change to meet many US students who are interested in TAPS program and tell about studying opportunities at TAMK.
In University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point and in North Carolina State University the European visitors from Munich, Jyväskylä and Tampere had a tour in paper laboratory. In addition to this in Stevens Point there was a mill tour in New Page Mill hosted by famous paper pioneer George Mead.
During academic year 2009-10 altogether four TAMK students will start their TAPS exchange. Also a student from the US and from Germany will come to TAMK under this program during next year. Ideal situation would be that by the end of this project in 2012 eight TAMK paper engineering students have finished TAPS program and got their dual degree from the US. During the project there will be also excellent exchange opportunities for TAMK faculty members to do a teacher exchange in the US or Germany.