From the first steps in elementary school to specializing in your field of interest at the university, the Finnish education and the whole school system is world-renowned because of its greatness. Why is this? What makes the Finnish education so good there is something to learn about it abroad?
The University of Helsinki was again ranked well in the international QS Top Universities ranking (#102). This makes the UH one of the world’s leading multidisciplinary universities. In addition to this, it is also the highest-ranking university in Finland.
We believe there are a couple of things that are crucial when talking about the quality of education and teaching. First, it has to do with the people: a motivated and professional staff is something we cannot compromise. Second, we have to support scientific research, for it is the basis of a successful university. Third, innovations and creativity have to be present in the everyday life of a thriving university.
Now, let’s dig a little bit deeper into these core assets and see, why they come into reality at the University of Helsinki.
“All teachers are researchers and all researchers teach”
The Helsinki University thrives both for its great teaching and scientific research. We strongly believe that teaching is closely linked to research. Our researchers are highly cited, which is one of the things we are particularly proud of.
What makes us proud too, is the fact that our top-notch researchers are also our teachers – those teachers, to whom the students can actually reach out to, talk to and ask questions from. When comparing to many other countries, the Finnish education system is really informal, even on the highest level. This is only a positive thing because it makes it easy for the students to approach their teachers to get insights and opportunities like nowhere else.
Our highly motivated teachers are passionate about helping their students to develop and grow their scientific knowhow. But where does this motivation come from, what makes it bloom? A supporting community and equal treatment in salary and working hours are one thing, but what makes a difference is the way we want to support the competence of our staff. To encourage research, we make sure it truly goes hand in hand with teaching. This is done via providing our permanent teaching staff research periods free of teaching.
The work we put into supporting innovations can be seen in many things. The university’s Think Company is a good example of this.
Another great example of supporting innovations is the Helsinki Innovation Services. Research ideas, developed at the University of Helsinki, are brought into the corporate world by HIS, which explores the commercial potential of innovations. For example, in the last technology and start-up event Slush, the University of Helsinki presented a record-breaking amount of 22 science innovations, including a cancer vaccine and a bomb sniffer among many others.
Becoming successful in the field of education and teaching takes hard work and dedication. But in the end, the success lies in the simplest of things: making sure your most important asset, the people - both teachers and students - are supported, inspired and being taken care of.