Over the past several years, we have gained positive experiences of global partnerships with, for example, the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore within the framework of the Politics of Online Communication course. We also participate in collaborative development projects focused on digitalisation and international exchange.
Read also the article: Attend a lecture in New Zealand – from Helsinki
In Europe, we recently launched a new partnership within the Jean Monnet Network ‘Debating Europe’ with partner universities in Germany, France, Denmark, Slovenia and Croatia. Our European cooperation encompasses EU debates and studies, such as the course Borders of Europe – EU Integration and Beyond in the Master’s Programme in Social Sciences, as well as shared digital platforms for both teaching and research. Visit the Debating Europe site.
One of the central foundations of the network-based courses in political science is a thematic focus on shared challenges in a globalised world that require transnational and interdisciplinary solutions. Students who have taken international courses in Finland (‘internationalisation at home’) say that the courses have contributed to their ability to navigate and analyse information in a global context often dominated by worldviews defined along national lines.
The global scope of teaching and the use of a shared digital course platform promote students’ ability to operate in a multicentred world of unequal globalisation and environmental and health crises. Our constantly changing world transforms the political preconditions of cultural diversity, social welfare and access to informed knowledge.
The adoption of a genuinely global perspective requires that students step outside their comfort zone and cultural context, and use instead the framework of an inclusive global classroom in which they can debate and work with each other. Student engagement is promoted through horizontal dialogue between students and teachers throughout the learning process that encompasses hybrid solutions with face-to-face elements in the virtual classroom. An important factor associated with students relates to their engagement in the learning process through the interactive application, where possible, of web-based pedagogical tools in combination with suitable elements of social media to enhance the quality of participation in the global learning environment.
International course networks built around global classrooms represent a link between digitalisation, internationalisation and pedagogical innovation. At the same time, the partner networks enable students to come into contact with the research that – along with the courses – connects the network members together. Shared research interests lay the groundwork for the course networks to serve as platforms for both teaching and publications in relevant pedagogical and social scientific fields. The development of this type of international course cooperation is also a response to the restrictions that the Covid-19 crisis has placed on access to genuinely international studies in general.