The University to start selling training packages to international buyers

In the future, the University of Helsinki will offer commissioned education to international buyers. The Rector made the decision on 18 June and activities are to be launched during the autumn.

Ulla-Maija Forsberg

The project, which has been named Educational Export, aims to offer fee-based training packages, which will educate several persons at a time, to international buyers.

Vice Rector Ulla-Maija Forsberg, who has been appointed the chair of the project steering group, is as yet unable to disclose details on the contents of training programmes to be offered.

- The aim is to plan the packages to be offered during the autumn, she says.

In advance, a great deal of interest has been expressed for teacher training.

- There have also been enquiries about possibilities to provide extension education to employees of foreign universities, says Forsberg.

Even though the project is dubbed Educational Export, it is mainly a question of bringing foreign students to Helsinki. However, training to be organised abroad is not excluded from the plans.

According to Forsberg, the first students in commissioned training can be expected to arrive at campuses after the New Year. At the initial stage, the project will comprise a few dozen students.

Added boost to internationalisation of the University

- The aim is to introduce international students to the everyday life of the University and support the internationalisation development, says the Vice Rector.

Forsberg promises that University faculties do not have to fear added responsibilities.

- The activities are supposed to fund themselves and make a profit.

The packages aimed at international markets will concentrate particularly on extension education. However, Forsberg is not ruling out the sale of degree education packages.

This would mark the first time in history when it would be possible to buy the right to pursue degree studies.

Forsberg, however, emphasises that it would be possible to buy the degree study right only as a part of a more extensive package.

- This would mean comprehensive training packages commissioned, for example, by states, to which they would choose the students. It is not the intention of the University to sell individual degrees in the future either.

Text: Juha Merimaa
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro
28.7.2010
Translation: AAC Global
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