Global Chal­lenges Course for Youth

The University of Helsinki ranked among the top 100 universities worldwide, welcomes all students aged 15–19 to take part in developing innovations or novel approaches to address global challenges. 

According to its strategy, the University of Helsinki wants to have global impact. It is one of the reasons for the university to organize an international, multidisciplinary Global Challenges Course for Youth from around the world. The course provides the participants with joy of insight and learning as well as many new friends.  

Due to the corona situation, the course will be postponed until summer 2021.

During the course, the students carry out small learning projects together in teams with the university students and researchers. Most of the collaborative learning takes place in an online environment.  

The program of the course is diverse and is built on the basis of the participants’ interests. 

At the intensive period of the course in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, in August, the participants have an opportunity to meet each other as well as researchers and discuss their research with them. The participants also have an opportunity to experience the city of Helsinki, considered one of the world’s most livable cities, as well as the unique Nordic summer.

Kuvassa vuoden 2019 Global Challenges for Youth -kurssin osallistujia

Based on the strategy of the University of Helsinki and its faculties, the themes of the Global Challenges course in 2021 are 

  • Climate Change (including, e.g. urbanization, rising sea level, drought, loss of biodiversity, refugees) 
  • Digitalization (including, e.g. artificial intelligence, robotics, big data) 
  • Circular economy (including, e.g. materials, life-cycle analysis, energy, cost efficiency) 
  • Wellbeing (including, e.g. health issues, aging, economic inequality, cultural diversity) 

The language of the course is English.  

The course will implement blended learning so that the participants work online (independently, with each other and with the university staff), also face-to-face learning at the intensive period in Helsinki. 

The scope of the course corresponds to one credit (1 ECTS) or one Finnish high school course (which is, of course, slightly more than 1 ECTS). After the course, the participants will receive a diploma. 

The course itself will be free of charge, but the participants should reserve and pay for their own travelling, accommodation, and meals. 

The intensive period of the course will be organized in Helsinki, Finland, on August. The program will be planned in detail according to the participants` needs and interests. 

During the intensive period the participants will, for example 

  • meet other course participants, 
  • get acquainted with the study and research facilities at the University of Helsinki, 
  • meet those young researchers that are helping the participants with their learning projects, 
  • have an opportunity to carry out some practical experiments for their projects in a laboratory environment. 

The participants will be provided with a list of reasonably-priced accommodation options and local travel possibilities in Helsinki. 

Intensive period 

Carrying out learning tasks and project work with teammates under the guidance of university staff August, Helsinki, Finland 


Carrying out projects online with teammates under the guidance of university staff August – October 

Applying for the Course 

Students from all around the world can apply for the course via the online application form. More info will be provided later on.

The organizing team will select the participants based on the applications. There will be maximum of 30 participants accepted to the course. The participants will be divided into smaller teams (ca. 3-5 students in each team), based on the global challenge they have selected as being of the most interest to them, as well as according to the type of participation (whether or not they will take part in the intensive period). 

The responsible course leader is Professor, Dr. Maija Aksela, director of the University of Helsinki, Science Education Centre. Project manager, Dr. Jaana Herranen will answer inquiries about the camp ( 

Course Guides, university staff members, will be announced later. Researchers (doctoral students and post docs) working at the university are providing their expertise to the participants.