Minister LIntilä´s speech in Kokkola 16.4.2018

17.4.2018 13.04

Sharing Finnish Knowledge, Expertise and Educational Innovations

Ladies and gentlemen,

The topic today is highly relevant and important. But, I would like to begin my talk with saying: Let’s talk about Sharing Finnish Knowledge, Expertise and Educational Innovations. In Finnish we say osaamisen ja koulutusinnovaatioiden vienti. Terminology matters. When talking about Sharing Finnish Knowledge, Expertise and Educational Innovations, we talk about the expertise of higher education, research and innovation.

Knowledge is the best value for nations for wellbeing of people. Global tricky challenges have to be solved together, constantly in new ways. We need understanding of each other and new knowledge as well as solutions.

In all cooperation and joint action we can jointly identify sustainable solutions through partnerships in research and innovation – especially in co-creating smart solutions in education and other topics such as  health, energy, water, food, climate change - just to name a few. Finland wants to actively participate in the global community to carry out its responsibility, offer its expertise and solve problems.

The basic line in the policies of the internationalisation of Finnish higher education and research is a genuinely international higher education community and quality in education and research. This is the starting point.

Education and research are also linked to economy and competition. If we want to enable Finnish Knowledge, Expertise and Educational Innovations as services around the world, we must have a solid and strong basis for the knowhow we offer. This is your task. Education and research are the base we can rely on in our export activities.

For to share Finnish Knowledge, Expertise and Educational Innovations globally, we need coordinated and customer oriented measures. For this purpose we have the growth programme Education Finland. It provides information for enterprises, higher education organisations and for other actors in the field of education export, on new business opportunities and develops and promotes education export. The focus is to increase growth in Finnish educational business. The growth programme is funded jointly by Ministry of Education and Culture and Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

Government has set an objective for 100 Meur growth in education export by the end of 2018. Under the growth programme Education Finland, there are some 80 members, organisations which provide education and are targeting to global markets. Many of them have relatively high growth expectations. So, we have chances for to reach our goal. 

As a country, we are known for our responsible policies and good achievements in education. This is an advantage we should not forget. The reputation of our education system is very good. Anyhow, we live in a world where cross-border competition over employment, enticement of expertise, investments and companies is strong. For this reason, we in Finland need to emphasise the strengthening of our competence.

New type of collaboration will be needed between Finnish companies, research and educational institutions, and the public organizations. Newly organised Business Finland is boosting export driven growth in Finland. The wholeness of innovation, invest and export promotion services supports also measures for education export.

One example of the new type of effort is Talent Boost –programme. It is a joint effort by our government to welcome students and talents to stay and live in Finland by joining forces at all levels; ministries, agencies, municipalities, institutions. 

Finnish companies need talents; here we have a joint task: offering the talents networks, already when studying, to the companies and other possible employers. It is important that we are the society that is willing and ready to offer possibilities to talents who have moved to Finland for studies or for work.

Talent Boost programme`s core message is that international talents can boost Finland`s growth. The expertise of international talents accelerates growth and internationalisation of companies in Finland. To become leaders in their fields, Finnish companies, universities and innovation actors must be able to attract the best talents from abroad. The success of our innovation ecosystem depends on the global networks.

For the better global visibility, the Ministry of Education and Culture is establishing a Team Finland Knowledge network to enhance Finnish education and research cooperation and sharing Finnish knowledge, expertise and educational innovation globally.

The aim is to promote the international networking of Finnish actors in the field of higher education and research and also to promote cooperation between companies.

The network will make Finland better known as a country with high-quality education and leading-edge research and as a member of international innovative clusters of expertise.

In global competition, ability to create first-class expertise matters. We must strengthen and keep on strengthening those areas of research which we know are ready to rise to the world's top. Competition of the world has no mercy on being almost good. One current topic is AI and how Finland could establish its position internationally as the country with competence, and ability to develop and apply AI.

Our Government Program states that “Finland will be a country where everybody wants to learn more. We want to be a leading country or a hub in education, knowledge and modern learning.” Our global brand in education is so strong that there is momentum for the export of Finnish competence. Let us work together for the education export.

Mika Lintilä