The University of Helsinki attracts international teachers

An international comparison of Erasmus universities shows that the University of Helsinki is considered to be a very attractive choice.

Erasmus2 The University of Helsinki has been highlighted as an example of a university with a positive attitude towards internationalisation in the European-wide marketing efforts of the Erasmus Programme.

Recognition as an “Erasmus success story” is dependent on fulfilling certain quantitative criteria; according to EU statistics, the University of Helsinki is one of the most active universities in international teacher exchange.

Some one hundred teachers annually visit the University of Helsinki as part of the Erasmus Exchange Programme, and nearly as many Finnish lecturers and professors leave for foreign universities to gain valuable experience.

In terms of outgoing exchange students, the University of Helsinki is placed among the fifty most active European universities. The students of the University of Helsinki have several exchange programmes to choose from, but Erasmus is by far the most important alongside bilateral exchange agreements with certain universities.

“Last year, 512 foreign students came to the University of Helsinki through Erasmus, while 403 of our own students went abroad. The numbers have been on a slight but steady increase every year,” says Tuula Hellstedt, Student Exchange Co-ordinator.

Markus Laitinen, Director of International Affairs, believes that the University of Helsinki will also benefit from this kind of Erasmus publicity in its own marketing.

“Promoting internationalisation has been a prominent part of the university’s strategy for 2007–2009. This is bound to bring good international publicity to our university,” says Laitinen.

The Erasmus Programme is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. The Programme was launched on 15 June 1987. To date, some 1.5 million students have been on a student exchange in a foreign university through the Programme.

The Erasmus Exchange Programme is open to all university students who have completed the minimum of one year’s studies. The teacher exchange programme is open to all university teaching staff.

European Commission Erasmus website

Text: Mikko Arvinen
Picture: Erasmus
Translation: Valtasana Oy

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