Finnish – Chinese Collaboration: Universities of Applied Sciences

During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Finland last April, the world was taken up by an uproar. The Giant of the East and the tiny Nordic welfare country were discussing extensive partnership and cooperation projects.

Two months later, the Finnish prime minister Sipilä and the Team Finland delegation were visiting China. Many successful contracts were signed, among them a cooperation agreement between Arene, the Rectors Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Scienes, and the National Centre of Schooling Development Programme, that operates under the Chinese Ministry of Education. Read more below!

Team Finland delegation in China
Photo: @FinPro
This is a freely translated version of the original Finnish article published by Arene

Arene Signed a Cooperation Contract with Chinese Partners

Through the Finnish prime minister Juha Sipilä’s stay in China, more trade, investment, and intention contracts were signed than ever before during a Finnish-minister-lead Team Finland visit. All in all, no less than 54 contracts were made.

During the trip, on the 29th of June, the Rectors Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences, Arene ry, signed a contract with Finnish universities of applied sciences and the Chinese National Centre for Schooling Development Programme (NCSDP). NCSDP is an organization that works closely with the Chinese Ministry of Education. Prime minister Juha Sipilä and the vice president of General Administration of Sport of China (GASC), Gao Zhidan were present when the contract was signed.

Before finalizing the collaboration agreement, negotiations about its contents were held in the Finnish embassy. The negotiations were participated by the president of Arene and the rector of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences (SeAMK) Tapio Varmola, Specialist Mika Tirronen from the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Customary Relationship Manager Tanya Chen of Tampere Univeristy of Applied Science, and the Chinese partner representatives NCSDP Director Chen Feng and the Head of Department of Innovation and Development Zhimin Liu. The shared goal is to establish a FINLAND-CHINA Innovation Center on the field of higher education and research.

“This is an excellent opportunity for Finnish universities of applied sciences. A similar UAS system is being developed to China. To reach the objectives, both sides are committed to enhancing the cooperation and collaboration forum in education, as well as in economy, between China and Finland. On the side of Finland, the Innovation Center could be operated based on a network”, stated Mr. Varmola. “The purpose of the contract is to improve innovation by developing education, the joint effort of education and economy, and the education of teachers. We also brought up the topic of admitting more Chinese students to study in Finland. Both sides were emphasizing the aspiration to concrete progress”, he commented.

The over 60-person Finnish business delegation that travelled to China had all together hundreds of meetings in just a few days. In the meetings, based on the declaration of partnership that was made during visit of the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s in Finland last April, collaboration projects and schemes were discussed. The prospects of team work on sectors of energy, clean tech and digital solutions, winter sports, and education.

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