Aila Paloniemi

JAMK, Europe’s most international institute of higher education

"JAMK University of Applied Sciences’ determined internationalisation work has gained worldwide recognition. A thrilling achievement was the EU’s 2013 Erasmus Award for Excellence, which was awarded to JAMK."

(JAMK's annual report 2013)

The reasons for the award included JAMK’s excellent example of what can be achieved by using staff mobility strategically for the support and on-going improvement of teaching and learning quality.

At JAMK University of Applied Sciences, internationalisation is part of all operations. Internationalisation has been made one of the three profiles in JAMK’s strategy together with learning quality and entrepreneurship. We strive to be “the best university of applied sciences in Finland at making its operating environment more international”. 

Key issues in international operations are education, research, development and innovation activities performed together with other institutes of higher education and working life, international projects, networks, projects and double degrees. An operating environment that enables internationalisation also attracts foreign students and staff. Our Summer Schools gather together both Finnish and international students. Once again, we are expecting to see more than a hundred Summer School participants from our partner universities.

With 300 international partners, JAMK has great prospects for co-operation in Europe, Latin and North America, Asia, Australia and Africa. Many of our partners are involved in the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Erasmus programme.

JAMK’s education exports have achieved success on several continents. Our School of Health and Social Studies gained new ground with nursing education in China, the Teacher Education College is developing teacher education in Kosovo, and recently we agreed upon health education exports to Kazakhstan together with the Federation of Universities of Applied Sciences (FUAS). JAMK and FUAS, a strategic alliance formed by HAMK, Lahti and Laurea Universities of Applied Sciences, have been co-operating in education exports to Kazakhstan since October 2012. The Finnish universities of applied sciences will now revamp the curriculum for Bachelor-level nursing education, bringing the education to the European level. The global demand for Finnish education expertise is high.

Becoming Europe’s number one in internationalisation has not come easy. It has taken years of work by the entire staff and members of the academic community. Without an inspiring atmosphere, high staff motivation and seamless cooperation, the work would not have yielded such beautiful results.

Many other Finnish universities could learn from JAMK University of Applied Sciences’ internationalisation efforts.