Monday, 30 May 2011

The last DETVET meeting in Tampere

DETVET family photo

TAMK hosted the last meeting of the DETVET project end of last week at Finlayson Campus. DETVET (Development of Educational Techniques in Vocational Education and Training) is an EU funded partnership programme. TAMK's role in this project is to share its expertise in using Social Media in Education. TAMK is represented by ist Educational Technology Center and Degree Programme in Media. Other project partners come from Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Lithuania and Sweden.

The project has had six meetings, all partners have hosted one meeting. After the Tampere meeting partners finish their reports. An electronic book will share the project conclusions with everybody interested.

Previous posts about DETVET

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Formula Teams speed up!

(B. Maleska, second left, and Prof. Wolfmaier, second right, with students of car body engineering)

What do Hochschule Esslingen and TAMK have in common? These two universities of applied sciences, among other things, share fabulous Formula Teams. Both Teams develop and construct their formula vehicles as part of their Bachelor's Degree studies in Automotive Engineering, learn the process step by step under the supervision of their professors, plan and market the various activities carried out with the cars, and of course, race with them.

HS Esslingen in Germany and TAMK have got a Erasmus cooperation agreement that enables student and staff mobility between the two universities of applied sciences. Students from the degree programmes in computer science, automotive engineering and business can attend an exchange programme for 1-2 semesters at the partner institution. Also teaching and non-teaching staff can take the opportunity to visit the partner university to expand and share expertise, as well as to exchange ideas for further cooperation.

International Coordinator for Engineering Riku-Matti Kinnunen from TAMK had the chance to enjoy the hospitality of Ms Beate Maleska, Head International Office, and Prof. Christof Wolfmaier, Dean Automotive Engineering and Academic Director, while calling on HS Esslingen on Monday 23 May. Many ideas of development of the existing partnership arose while visiting the state-of-the-art automotive laboratories of HS Esslingen; Most likely, we will see the Formula Teams visiting each other in the near future.

Text and photo: R-M. Kinnunen

Friday, 27 May 2011

Tackling the Big T

In the beginning and during the studies the Bachelor’s thesis at the end of them seems very distant and, to be honest, a little scary. You get an idea of what it is supposed to be: a final training of gathering the right information, learning to research the right things relevant to the topic, using accurate academic language in the text, and, most importantly, going through the process that is the creation of a thesis. However, in practice the beginning of the whole process is nothing but complete chaos, at least for me it seemed that way. It’s a big task, the last crunch if you will, before the completion of a Degree, and usually the last milestone before graduation.
I wrote the thesis with a friend of mine on the topic of assessing and developing the Degree Programme in Tourism. The topic was chosen because the programme is fairly new, and perhaps therefore still finding its steady foothold in its standard operations. The topic isn’t really in connection with the tourism industry, but for us it was too interesting a topic to ignore.

Studying in the Degree Programme in Tourism....the view from my future office, perhaps?
The beginning of our thesis came about while taking the bus to class with a friend of mine, who studies in the same degree programme. She suggested that maybe we should think about writing the thesis together. My first reaction was relief: I wouldn’t have to do it alone, as I had a feeling it could take me a year or two if no one was there to push me a bit. The second reaction, though, was concern – could we work together on something as demanding as this, and still remain friends? However, relief won, and we decided to write the thesis together. After the idea of a topic, and its acceptance, it was like stepping into this vast unknown territory. I had a very vague idea of the whole thing, despite the academic writing and research courses I know I took somewhere along the line….

Reading material, anyone?
After the few initial meetings with our supervisor, and me slightly panicking after each one, we were able to get to work. We took to the library, trying to find whatever we could that had even remotely something to do with our topic. We created a questionnaire to be used in collecting the data, and handed it out to our research sample, which consisted of the students and teachers of the DpT. We studied various subjects such as curriculum development, research methods, the concept of a University of Applied Sciences, as well as a whole bunch of other subjects.  The literature we read seemed a bit useless in the beginning, but in hindsight it was all worth it when the time came to write and “connect the dots” between the data and theory.

Somewhere along the line the thesis started to form almost as on its own, and it became clearer what it should include and how it would be put together. It’s not an easy task, I can tell you, and it takes a lot of both physical and mental work. Like our supervisor told us in the beginning, the process will sort of carry you along once it gets started properly. I didn’t believe her then, as it all seemed so confusing and nearly impossible, but at this point I can say she was absolutely right.

Me during the last couple of weeks.
The writer is Janita Nurmi, a student of the Degree Programme in Tourism, who is currently doing her practical training in the R&D and Education Services of TAMK. She is hoping to graduate in the fall and go on to conquer the world.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Finland was an amazing experience!

Grzegorz Lichota, 22 year old Erasmus student from Poland. He studies Management at the University of Warsaw.

Grzegorz Lichota studies at the University of Warsaw, in Poland. He chose Tampere as his exchange studies destination.

‘’Before I had chosen Finland I was looking for information about this country. My expectations were really high because I’ve read that Finland is a good country to live and it has very high level of education. Finland didn’t disappoint me! It’s a stereotype that people here are closed, they are helpful and almost all of them can speak English.’’

Studying in Finland is a little bit different than in Poland. However it’s easy to adjust. ’’The biggest difference is that here all the courses are more practical than theoretical. People are taught how to act in real life situations. In my country we study mostly from books.’’

Grzegorz is an exchange student on the Degree Programme in International Business. He enjoys it a lot! ‘’ IB program is very practical. All courses are really close to the working life. You can run a virtual company and make decisions connected with marketing, logistics and finance. You learn how to run a project by doing it. In my opinion it’s the best way of learning, I love it. I feel like I’ve learned a lot of useful things.’’

We asked Grzegorz if he would recommend Finland to students, who are just considering exchange options. ‘’ Definitely! Finland is the best country for exchange. I am looking for the other opportunities to come back here in the future! It was an amazing experience!

Text: Judyta Myllynen, International Business trainee

Monday, 23 May 2011

Ubimedia Award: Submit your project by June 15 2011

One of TAMK's coolest annual international projects is again kicked off!

Call to participate in the 5th Nokia Ubimedia MindTrek Awards Competition 28th – 30th September 2011 Tampere, Finland

Competition deadline: June 15th 2011

The Ubimedia competition seeks to broaden our understanding of where and how ubiquitous media will influence our future life. We are looking for disruptive artistic visions as well as clever near-to-market solutions off the beaten tracks! This includes any range of innovative ubimedia, pervasive, or ambient products and services. The Ubimedia Award is a highly interdisciplinary competition and we invite Designers, Computer Scientists, Artists, Economists and Engineers to take a stand on the following questions with their entries:
  • What is the particular aesthetic experience opened up by the rise of ubiquitous and ambient media?
  • What constitutes the specific intelligence that drives future media environments?
  • How will location- and context-aware media services change our social life?
  • How will our future lives look like in the era of ubiquitous computation, and how can society benefit from these advanced technologies?
The total award sum for the Nokia Ubimedia MindTrek Award is 6 000€.

The Nokia Ubimedia MindTrek Award is a category of the 2011 MindTrek competition. The category is organized collaboratively by MindTrek, Tampere Region Centre of Expertise in Ubiquitous Computing, New Ambient Multimedia Group (NAMU)/Tampere University of Technology, the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, Nokia, and the Ambient Media Association (AMEA). The award is funded by Nokia and the Tampere Region Centre of Expertise in Ubiquitous Computing.
Ubimedia Competition home
Read all posts about the Ubimedia Award

Friday, 20 May 2011

TAMK and Shikoku Gakuin University sign a partnership agreement

Tampere University of Applied Sciences and Shikoku Gakuin University from Japan signed a partnership agreement on 16th May 2011. The university is TAMK's fifth partner university in Japan.

Shikoku Gakuin University is a small university (1400 students) on Shikoku island in Kagawa prefecture in Southern Japan. The university has three faculties: Art and Humanities, Social Welfare and Social Sciences. it is known especially for its Social Welfare faculty.

TAMK has hosted three groups of Social Welfare students since 2008.

The President of Shikoku Gakuin University, Takaaki Sueyoshi, and the President of TAMK, Markku Lahtinen, signed the partnership agreement.

TAMK is planning cooperation especially in the "hikikomura" phenomenon: over one million Japanese youth are in danger of alienation from schools and working life due to extensive use of the social media. TAMK's lecturer in Social Services Ulla-Maija Koivula is planning a teacher exchange to Japan in spring 2012.

Text and photo: Mirja Onduso

Monday, 9 May 2011

The diploma films on Plevna screen on 11th May!

TAMK spring 2011 diploma works by film students are ready to show. We proudly invite you to see those films. The screening will be 11th May 5:15 P.M. at Finnkino Plevna 2, Finlayson. Free entry! The producer of the event is Ilona Tolmunen.

The films:

Metsästysmaa - The hunting ground
Director: Nalle Mielonen
13 min
Read more

Kaunis kuolema - A beautiful death

Director: Minna Korhonen
10 min
Read more

Director: Aino Suni
13 min
Read more

Muutos meitä johtaa - Change of State
Director: Jussi Sandhu, Ville Hakonen
14 min
Read more

Laulu sieltä missä tyyntä on - A Song From Silent Waters
Director: Outi Tienhaara
14 min

Tunnevammoja - No Heart Feelings
Director: Markus Aaltonen
54 min
Read more

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Media Entrance Exam 2011 done

The annual Entrance Exam to IMP, our Degree Programme in Media took place this week. Invitations went to 61 best applicants and 53 of them participated in the one day exam on Tuesday and Wednesday. Some applicants could not come due to the clampdown of Finnish visa-policy. Candidates represented Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Latvia, Mexico, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, UK and the USA. There were again more applicants than before, and first time more international than Finnish applicants.

The Entrance Exam had four parts: an interview to recognize motivation and suitability, a pitch to identify the ability to generate original ideas and promote them, and writing a fairy tale to see if the applicants have imagination and a gift of story telling and writing. The fourth assignment was to either design a cover page for the fairy tale or to design a game based on the fairy tale.

The competition was again harder than ever. Our lecturers have analyzed the results yesterday, and today all scores have been double checked. The results will be announced simultaneously with the results of international degree programmes of all Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences on May 30.

On August 16th 24 new IMPs will start studies in Degree Programme of Media.

Cai Melakoski
Head of DP in Media
Degree Programme in Media
Read stories by and about IMPs, the international interactive media students

Friday, 6 May 2011

Exchange Student Application Period Still Open

Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK) is still accepting exchange applications by students from international partner universities. The deadline for the application is 15th of May 2011.

TAMK offers a variety of programmes available for Exchange Students. The easiest exchange possibilities are offered in the seven Bachelor level degree programmes in English on Tampere Campuses:
  • Degree Programme in Environmental Engineering
  • Degree Programme in International Business
  • Degree Programme in Media Degree Programme in Nursing
  • Degree Programme in Social Services
  • Degree Programme in Tourism
  • International Pulp and Paper Technology
Unfortunately, the application for the Degree Programme for Nursing is not open anymore.

It is also possible for exchange students to study in English on Ikaalinen Campus or Virrat Campus:
  • Degree Programmes in Business Administration and Tourism, Ikaalinen Campus
  • Degree Programme in Media, Virrat Campus
Also, these Finnish Bachelor level degree programmes offer some courses / possibilities for practical training in English on Tampere Campuses:
  • Degree Programme in Film and Television
  • Degree Programme in Fine Art
  • Degree Programme in Hotel and Restaurant Management
  • Degree Programme in Laboratory Sciences
  • Degree Programme in Music
  • Degree Programme in Physiotherapy
  • Degree Programme in Service Management
The following Finnish Bachelor level degree programmes on Tampere Campuses do not offer courses in English but it may be possible to do project work or write a final thesis, or participate in some parts of the courses. If exchange students are interested in these programmes, they should contact TAMK International Services for more information.
  • Degree Programme in Automobile & Transport Engineering
  • Degree Programme in Business Administration, Kuntokatu Campus
  • Degree Programme in Business Administration, Mänttä Campus
  • Degree Programme in Business Information Systems
  • Degree Programme in Chemical Engineering
  • Degree Programme in Electrical Engineering
  • Degree Programme in Forestry
  • Degree Programme in ICT Engineering
  • Degree Programme in Mechanical and Production Engineering
  • Degree Programme in Textile Technology
On average, TAMK receives around 150 exchange applications per semester. The autumn term studies begin at the end of August and early September, depending on the chosen degree programme. TAMK will organize orientation for all exchange students. For more information, see TAMK Student Exchange website. We are looking forward to get more international students to TAMK!

Current exchange students tell their experiences

Some current exchange students wanted to share their opinions and thoughts about doing an exchange period in TAMK and in Finland.

First we had Ms. Christina Maat, A German citizen whose home university is Stenden University in Emmen, The Netherlands. Christina studies in the Degree Programme in Tourism and she continued her third year studies by coming to TAMK in January 2011.

Christina told me that she has had dashing time with other exchange students, a lot of parties and really cool trips to various places, including Stockholm, Lapland and Seitseminen national park. She also enjoyed working with English, because there aren’t too many Germans with her here. Recently she has started playing beach volley with other exchange students.

She is planning to leave Finland in June, so she will have the chance to witness the early Finnish summer. Christina also tried her luck in the Finnish language course, which she said to be really hard, but interesting. She also experienced the Finnish winter. Christina said she enjoyed the extreme frostbiting cold, but the darkness was hard to cope with. Fortunately, she told me that sleeping was really easy because of the long lasting darkness

To help her cope with the homesickness, Christina has had some guests visiting, including family members and friends. Christina said that she has greatly enjoyed her exchange and the new experiences in Finland.

Secondly, we gave the microphone to Ms. Galina Bezrukich from Lithuania. Her home university is Vilnius Gedimino Technikal Uneversity. Galina has studied Media at TAMK, creative industries to be more precise. Galina also arrived in January and already left on 5th of May.

Galina enjoyed her time in Finland, even the inteview.

During the four month exchange, she earned over thirty ECTS credits, which is actually quite a lot. She even planned to do a Finnish language course, but it was impossible due to timetable issues.

This trip was her first to Finland and to Tampere. She said that she mostly like living here in the north, but the winter was too long and cold for her. Unfortunately, she left before she had the chance to see the Finnish summer, which is totally different than the winter period.

Like many other exchange students, she also mentioned the trips to Milan and to Stockholm. She also enjoyed having a great time with other exchange student. She came with five other Lithuanians, though she only knew one of them beforehand. Galina spent most of her time at Finlayson campus. She said that the academic parts there were excellent and the equipment available was top-notch.

Thirdly, we had the dynamic duo, Ms. Alice Catani and Ms. Silvia Chocholackova. This girly pair wanted to do a pair interview, even though they come from different schools and even from different countries. Alice is an Italian from Universita' Degli Studi Di Torino, Italy. Silvia a Slovak and her home university is Masaryk University in Czech Republic. Both are studying International Business, or their country specific equivalents.

Alice (left) and Silvia (right) gave their best smiles in front of the flags.

Like many other, they arrived in January and are leaving late May. During their exchange, the girls did a lot of travelling. These included trips to Lapland, Norway, Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Sweden and at least a dozen trips to Finland’s capital, Helsinki.

They wanted to give a shoutout to international tutors, especially to Karolina Cichacz and Sanna Hosike. Their work is really appreciated!

They both are planning to receive over thirty ECTS credits. They said that the teaching was high quality and they had a really friendly atmosphere in the classrooms. Both praised the school cafeteria’s salad bar and vegetarian meals.

Some memorable events worth mentioning were walking on a frozen lake and the typical Finnish combination, sauna & diving to snow. Alice even concluded the interview by stating that coming to TAMK was the best thing ever. It seems like both enjoyed their time at TAMK.

Text: Elias Suominen
Photos: Elias Suominen