Wednesday, 27 February 2013

How to improve study success - Dutch students benchmarking in Tampere

The TAMK Kuntokatu Campus was like asleep during the holiday week, but the vibrant discussions started immediately when the group of Student Council members from Delft University of Technology arrived here yesterday morning. The Dutch engineering students were on a benchmarking trip in the Nordic countries in three destinations: Copenhagen, Trondheim and Tampere. The core question of their visit was how to improve the study success.

The President of Central Student Counsil - ORAS, Enne Hekma, explaining the aims of their research during the trip
In the Netherlands the current demands for reforming the higher education are similar to ours in Finland. Decreasing average study duration and changing the student state funding system are hot topics in both countries. Also the governmental budget for Dutch universities is more and more performance based, measuring education quality and study success. 

However, in the discussion with Student Union Tamko representatives, Henri Mäntysaari and Kristian Staack, we noticed also differences in the students’ situations. Students have different attitudes towards the study loans and the costs of studies also vary between the countries. 

The sunshine and lovely scenery over the Lake Näsijärvi made our guests to smile

The other important topic of the day was the working life connections. TAMK Student Recruitment Services presented what kind of support and options TAMK offers for the students. Also the concept of New Factory with Demola and Protomo environments was introduced. Our guests seemed to be thrilled with this unique combination of multidisplinary team work, creativity and working life contacts. Hopefully they got some new ideas to bring back home! Best of all, sharing experiences helps the hosts to see the own system from a new perspective as well.

During the week in Tampere the group visits also University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology, Nokia and enjoys the winter activities.

Stylish way to promote Student Council's theme colors

Text: Kaisa Merilahti, International Services
Photos: Tuula Härkönen & Kaisa Merilahti

Friday, 15 February 2013

TAMK International Week for Engineering 2013

The 3rd International Week for Engineering took place at the Main Campus of TAMK on 11-14 February. The week comprised classes given by the visiting professors, company visits, a Project Workshop, outdoor activities and social programme in the evening.

The Degree Programmes of Engineering, Technology and Natural Resources hosted 16 guest lecturers from ten partner universities of TAMK. The visitors came from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. Many of the visitors attended the TAMK International Week for Engineering for the 2nd or the 3rd time, and we were happy to welcome also several new colleagues to the event.

                                                     International Week for Engineering 2013 participants and main hosts

The visiting lecturers gave 24 lectures in English to the students and staff of TAMK, and some 600 engineering students participated in the teaching sessions. 

The thread of the week was to highlight the different learning environments of TAMK. On Monday, the round-tour took the guests to the labs, classrooms and the new library of TAMK which was followed by a visit to Demola later that same day. The Demola open learning environment for the local university students aroused a lot of interest among the visiting professors.

                                                             Bernard Garvey presenting Demola

Fastems, another off-campus engineering learning environment of TAMK, was visited on Wednesday. Product Manager, Mr Janne Konttila hosted the guests and told about Fastems and its long-standing cooperation with TAMK. Senior Lecturer, Mr Tomi-Pekka Nieminen from TAMK presented the training centre of Fastems and the facilities that it offers to the TAMK students in Mechanical and Production Engineering.

                                                            Janne Konttila telling about Fastems

The guests had a chance to experience the Finnish winter by attending outdoor activities organised by Mr Esko Tirkkonen. Many of the visitors tried Nordic walking and skiing in the snowy landscape of Kauppi sports park and its surrounding forests.

                                  Joan, Jan-Philipp, Pamela, Hans, Sophie and Franz admiring the Finnish winter scenery

Meeting new people and professional networking are an important part of International Weeks. What could be a better way to get to know a new colleague than to cook and dine together? Senior Lecturer, Mr Petteri Tikkanen and his brilliant team of 1st-year students in Hospitality Management steered the group of visitors in their preparation of a three-course meal at the Åkerlundinkatu Campus of TAMK. The dinner menu featured some Finnish delicacies like zucchini soup, marinated perch filet and local cheeses.

                               Inter-university cooperation at its best: Hedda, Mike and Jan-Philipp cooking and having fun 

It's already a tradition of the TAMK International Week for Engineering that the Wednesday evening is spent at Hangaslahti. The guests enjoyed the smoke sauna and ice-swimming as if that was a part of their daily life! Many dipped into the lake more than once. The evening was concluded with a multi-national sing-along in Flemish, German, Russian and Finnish.

                                                                What shall we sing next?

All in all, the week was a success, and the guests' first impressions very positive. The ideas for the further development of the TAMK International Week for Engineering were much appreciated by the hosts. The feedback will be taken into account when planning a similar event for the next year. See you back at TAMK for the International Week for Engineering 2014!

Text: Riku-Matti Kinnunen
Pics: Tuomas Mikola & R-M. Kinnunen