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Photos: Thien Nguyen

20 new higher education capacity development projects kicked off

A launch event for new HEI ICI projects gathered together around 90 professionals from the Finnish higher education and development sector. The launch presented a set of inspiring topical discussions and a glimpse on the role of higher education in development policy in Finland and in the Netherlands.

The Higher Education Institutions Institutional Cooperation Instrument (HEI ICI) programme is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland from Finland’s development cooperation funds and administered by the Finnish National Agency for Education EDUFI.

Samu Seitsalo.

“Universities have an important role in enhancing global responsibility”, Manager Samu Seitsalo from EDUFI’s Internationalisation Services emphasized in his opening speech. Education is also embedded in all of Finland’s development policy priority areas, reminded Satu Pehu-Voima from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Sari Lehtiranta from the Ministry emphasized the role of trust, openness and peer-learning in collaborations and partnerships, but also reminded the listeners that people should have realistic expectations of what is possible to do within the scope of a 3-year initiative.

Jolie Franke from Nuffic presented the Dutch Innocap (Innovative Capacity building) initiative. The programme is a product of inter-ministerial collaboration, and is new form of capacity building, engaging embassies to provide support regarding the countries they are situated in.

The presentations were followed by a panel discussion on HEIs promoting human rights through, for example, Finnish section of the Scholars at Risk Networkrecently founded by Universities Finland UNIFI, and the potential of academic collaboration in Africa. Leena Kaikkonen from JAMK University of Applied Sciences Teacher College reflected on the history of JAMK’s Vietnam cooperation and noted how things have changed in Vietnam, a country swiftly moving away from traditional development cooperation to mutual partnerships and business collaboration.

The HEI ICI coordinators continued with a 2-day meeting, offering guidance for project administration and development cooperation. The event offered an excellent chance to share experiences and gain invaluable practical advice as many of the projects are just about to start a three-year collaboration with their higher education institution partners from the developing world.

HEI ICI projects 2017–2020 | Infographics on the projects

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about the HEI ICI programme

(22.6.2017 / AS)

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