5 higher Edu INSTs. get fund to collaborate with developing countries
28 Oct 2023, 01:20
The government granted six million euros to five Finnish higher educational institutions to collaborate with developing countries during 2024-2026, said the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in a press release on Friday.
The selected higher educational institutions will act as project coordinators.
The University of Helsinki and the JAMK University of Applied Sciences coordinate two projects each. The Tampere University, the Novia University of Applied Sciences and the University of Eastern Finland coordinate one project each.
The Finnish National Agency for Education will be responsible for programme management. Its support services also will receive financing from the Foreign Ministry.
The higher education cooperation will prioritise teacher education, climate change and the circular economy, and food security.
The Higher Education Partnership (HEP) programme supports collaboration projects between higher education institutions (HEIs) in Finland and in developing countries.
The cooperation and development efforts financed through the HEP programme contribute to the implementation of Finland’s Africa Strategy. The selection of countries reflects Finland’s development policy priorities in Africa. There are seven partner countries.
A new partner, Rwanda, is involved in two projects. Other partners in Africa are Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, Zambia and Namibia, who have been partners before. The Nepalese project is the only partner in Asia.
Among other objectives, the projects will aim to develop food security training in Nepal, enhance the use of biogas as an energy source in Zambia, continue the cooperation to develop teacher education in Mozambique and promote the educational inclusion of persons with disabilities in Tanzania.
“Many developing countries see Finland as a country with a high level of expertise and they are particularly interested in everything related to education and training. Higher education institutions are the engines of Finnish expertise. This cooperation between higher education institutions complements Finland’s efforts in areas where we have strong expertise,” said Juha Savolainen, Deputy Director General of the Foreign Ministry's Department for Development Policy.
The HEP programme has a stronger emphasis on equal partnerships compared to earlier programmes.
The principle of joint preparation and decision-making is more strongly present in the projects. In addition, the HEP programme offers students and teachers better opportunities for mobility to support their development work.
“The challenge with projects like these is to create an approach that treats equally a very diverse group of higher education institutions. It helps that higher education institutions have strong traditions and practices of promoting mutual respect and reciprocity,” said Senior Adviser Pekka Seppälä of the Foreign Ministry.