Interest for the university from a popular Japanese television show

TV Asah, a major Japanese TV channel, shot an episode of a political magazine in Finland.


At the University of Helsinki they met the Vice Rector Markku Löytönen as well as students and researchers. The show will be aired to 10 million viewers in November.

According to director Hitoshi Kihara, the producers are interested in the Nordic welfare model. How can economic growth and social equality be combined?

Kihara says that the Japanese believe that high tax levels slow down economic development and make people less happy with their lives. However, large differences in the standard of living have caused problems, so they might be able to learn a thing or two from Finland.

Hitoshi also interviewed researcher Ari Rouhiainen and Tomi Rantamäki at the Neuroscience Center in the Viikki campus. The researchers, who had just completed their doctors' theses, talked about cooperation with business enterprises.

Kihara was particularly interested in the economic aspects of the research work. Do the young researchers expect to gain personal economic benefits from the cooperation with businesses? Kihara also had many questions about financing and why Rouhiainen and Rantamäki chose to stay at a Finnish university to do research.

The researchers talked about insecurity and the challenges of financing, but that they also appreciate academic freedom. Both said that the motivation to become a researcher was not economic. They aim at developing good and effective medicines. Economic benefit is a rare side product in this process.

The television team met people from many different positions, from the highest government officials and business managers to schoolchildren and young parents. Kihara was very impressed at the cooperation between the government, universities and companies. He thinks that including everyone is a major strength of the Finnish society.

Text: Kirsikka Mattila
Photo: Wilma Hurskainen

Translation: AAC Noodi Oy

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