MOPEDE project partners visit Finland

Over 20 people sitting in an auditorium where the seats are like stairs. One person waving hand standing on the stairs.

Capacity Building for Modernising TVET Pedagogy in Ethiopia – MOPEDE is a project within the Higher Education Institutions Institutional Cooperation Instrument (HEI ICI) programme which supports cooperation projects between higher education institutions in Finland and the developing world. The projects support the HEIs as they develop their subject-specific, methodological, educational and administrative capacity. The programme is funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and administered by the Finnish National Agency for Education.

A party of 27 colleagues from Ethiopia’s Technical and Vocational Training Institute (TVTI) visited project partners in Centria and Jamk universities of applied sciences in Finland from 18 to 30 September 2022. The purpose of the visit was two-fold: to discover how blended learning was operationalised in Finland, and to develop their own e-learning resources according to lessons learnt but within their own contextual needs.

Although the daytime temperatures came a bit of a shock to the visitors, they arrived in time to see some spectacular autumnal sights as Finland transitioned from summer to autumn. As colleagues led the visitors from place to place there were many wonderful sights to behold in the beauty of Finnish nature.

After a very long and tiring journey from Addis Ababa, the initial stop for the group was on the west coast of Finland, in the pretty town of Kokkola where colleagues from Centria University of Applied Sciences. Technical infrastructure and e-learning resources were the highlights of their first week in Finland. Stories of Centria’s lessons learnt when creating e-learning resources over the past decade were gratefully received and many questions were asked as the visitors were eager to learn as much they could from the experiences of their hosts. Visits to many different parts of Centria, as well as the university’s partner and stakeholder institutions around the town created just as much interest, including the local seaside.

During the second week of the visit the e-learning team visited Jamk University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä and were joined by selected members of their management team from Ethiopia, including the Assistant Minister from the Ethiopian Ministry of Labour and Skills, Dr Beker Shale, along with his advisors. as the e-learning team continued to develop their own e-learning resources with colleagues from Jamk’s School of Professional Teacher Education, the management team explored Jamk’s technical facilities that support e-learning. There was great interest in the many varied tools and services available to support Jamk’s staff in creating online resources, including the podcast station, which was demonstrated by the centre manager. So impressed were the visitors in this particular collection of assets that they determined to purchase the same on their return.

People standing next to a table which has microfones and a podcast mixer.
The podcast station

All visitors were both exhausted and exhilarated by their experiences in Finland. For some it was their first trip outside of their homeland. Let’s hope the experience has given them a taste for adventure. As the project moves into the second half of its lifecycle, more collaborative time together involving all partners will take place in Ethiopia. Follow our progress as we continue to develop blended learning for vocational education across Ethiopia in the coming two years.

Text and photos by

Graham Burns, Project Manager

Jamk University of Applied Sciences

In the article’s main photo the group is at Centria University of Applied Sciences: Delighted to be in Kokkola!

Read more:

Solving the Global Learning Crisis – HEI-ICI projects