2022 Partners Workshop in Finland


Picture taken at HAMK Visamäki campus, 21st September 2022


Read more on the workshop through the press release. https://www.hamk.fi/2022/development-of-sustainability-and-competence-for-africa-experts-gather-at-hamk-and-aalto-university-in-september/?lang=en


In Finland, land of the thousand lakes, project facilitators, Häme University of Applied Sciences (Hämeenlinna) and Aalto University (Espoo) in September 2022 hosted partners for 5-days workshop. The week was split into two where attendees spent time on campuses of both Institutions.

The workshop was a great opportunity for project partners to familiarize and benchmark on HAMK and Aalto’s entrepreneurship collaborative ecosystems. Also, it was an opportunity to create new networks and strengthen linkages between project actors on institutional and personal level.


During the entire week, project partners discussed and collaboratively agreed on the next phases of AgriSCALE project. In addition, preparations of road-maps to student challenges implementation on practical and institutional level was drafted and the next steps to the co-creation of PBL-practitioners' Network and Teachers was planned.

The PBL-practitioners' Network is envisioned to expand the knowledge of PBL teaching beyond the project life cycle.


Team work is most successful when members understand the objectives of their work and also devise a good work method. In this regard, networking was a key objective of this workshop. Up until this point in the project, collaborative work had mostly happened through online tools. Therefore,19th-24th was truly a special week in every regard for partners of AgriSCALE to meet and to get to know each other.


The attendees from The University of Pavia (Italy), University of Zambia (Zambia), Mulungushi University (Zambia), Jomo Kenyatta University (Kenya), Egerton University (Kenya), Gulu University( Uganda), Bishop Stuart University ( Uganda) and Aalto University (Finland) were able to meet face-to-face for the first time since the project started and also interact with partners of a sister project PBL-BioAfrica.


The week started off on Monday with a lot of curiousness, excitement and confusion which was apparent on the faces of people as they tried to match faces from online meetings to people in opening session at The Stage, HAMK Design factory. There was representation from all partner institutions which was very important as it highlighted collaborative nature of the project and ensured every decision taken during the meetings was taken collectively.


As part of the workshop for the visiting partners to HAMK, the group visited the oldest of HAMKs' campuses and a traditional higher education provider, HAMK Mustiala. The campus has around 400 students and a staff of 37. The programme head for Smart Organic Farming Ms Emma Nylund introduced the programme to the group while some students shared their experiences from the programme. In this study programme, technology is incorporated into traditional farming practices and as an example, a guided tour was made to the mechanized diary farm where robots are used for milking and cleaning. https://www.hamk.fi/dp-bachelor/smart-organic-farming/?lang=en)


Through collaboration the impossible can be made possible

The collaboration between industry and Higher Educational Institutions was a very key interest of the group as concrete examples was presented by the Director of the Bio Research Unit, Dr Annukka Pakarinen on the different ways the unit partners and collaborates with industry to ensure leanings of students are applied to solve real life challenges. This was affirmed by the student representative who shared her experience. The discussion continued in Aalto on 22nd September with more examples on industry collaboration and student centered teaching.

It is almost the end but it definitely feels like things are just beginning

In the end, all partners are happy to have had the opportunity to know others on a more personal level in formal and informal settings during the entire week, which will be a great asset as work on the project continues. In addition, there is more motivation, understanding and willingness to improve teaching methods as well among the group.


We attribute the worskhops' success to the active participation of participants which ensured that the objectives set were attained at the end of the week long workshop.


To all attendees, we say

THANK YOU FOR ACCEPTING OUR INVITATION!


Jennifer Ohemeng