The Indian Education Market is poised to grow to US$225 million by FY 2024-25, creating ample opportunities for collaboration between Indian and Finnish companies, across all segments of the sector (ECEC, K-12, Higher Education and Digital Education). As an indication of increased collaboration between the countries, Education Finland member companies signed during their visit 17 contracts or MoUs with Indian partners, in a ceremony witnessed by H.E. Minister Henriksson.
-I’m thrilled to see the Finnish Education companies’ strategic focus on India, their commitment to visit the country to build up strong networks, as well as the deals being signed. I am particularly happy that the Minister has shown her support by visiting India, says Sonali Saigal Kapur, Senior Advisor from Business Finland in India.
India's new National Education Policy shares aspects with the Finnish curriculum
India has recently introduced a new National Education Policy, which represents an ambitious shift of focus from rote learning to holistic, practical, and problem-solving education, with the aim to provide equitable and quality education for ages 3–18. The full implementation of the National Education Policy is expected to take at least a decade, and this represents a huge opportunity for collaboration between India and Finland in short, medium and long term.
With the new National Education Policy emphasis on early education and playful learning, the Early Childhood Education and Care market is booming as the goal is to provide more than 250 M children organized quality education during the next ten years. As the New Education Policy is building on similar playful teaching and learning goals and methods as the Finnish Curriculum, there is a great interest to learn about the best practices from Finland. Naturally the solutions must be adapted to the local culture and needs.
In K-12, some of the more ambitious initiatives by Education Finland member organizations in the Indian market is their commitment to improving and establishing new schools across the K-12 sector. Working in partnership with local school owners, they aim to make quality education accessible to every corner of India honouring the local culture and by contextualising solutions that have a genuine link to Finnish education expertise. By improving existing institutions and establishing new ones, Education Finland members working with school concepts are actively contributing to the growth and development of the education sector in India.
Digital education a shared interest
India is among the fastest digitalizing countries in the world and it has made tremendous progress in recent years. Karnataka is performing in the digital domain as the Silicon Valley of India. Recognising the rapid development of digital education, the new National Education Policy emphasises digitisation as well as the use of technology in education.
Finland on the other hand is recognized for its strong ICT sector and a booming gaming industry. This all has helped to create favorable conditions for developing cutting-edge digital learning solutions that serve, support, and promote learning. Educational technology in Finland is teacher-driven, and there is a good understanding how the technology can complement innovative teaching methods. This was also apparent in the digital solutions showcased at the Didac fair.
In her keynote speech on digitalisation at the TIESS, Minister Henriksson spoke about the Finnish emphasis on the pedagogy of using digital tools.
- New technologies can benefit learning and education in many ways, but in order to do so, they need to be used in a pedagogically meaningful way. To give students the tools to act as active citizens in our increasingly digital societies of tomorrow, we need research-based pedagogical knowledge, as well as teachers with strong digital skills, said Minister Henriksson.
Finland also interests as a higher education study destination
In addition to the K-12 sector, there is also significant interest in India towards the higher education sector in Finland. Several of the delegation members attending the Didac fair provide services in higher education, ranging from digital tools for HE to full degree studies in Finland. The strengths of Finnish higher education - close collaboration with the working life as well as flexible studies providing crucial 21st century skills - were well appreciated at Didac. The Finnish approach to teacher education was also a topic that interested the attendees to the event.
The Indian tertiary education sector is not able to cater for a growing population of university students, as the country seeks to push the enrollment rates up. Finland on the other hand has set an ambitious national aim to triple the number of international students in Finnish universities, both in order to further strengthen the already international nature of the learning environment and to help address a growing need for skilled labour, particularly in the IT and health services sectors.
To promote collaboration in the tertiary sector, during their visit to Bengaluru, the Education Finland delegation arranged a side event directed to education professionals working with guidance councelling as well as higher education representatives. The presentations explored the study possibilities offered by Finnish higher education institutions, and also highlighted the career possibilities after graduation.
Avnee Garg-Kaljunen, Specialist from the Study in Finland team at the Finnish National Agency for Education is promoting Finland as a study destination in key markets such as India:
-In Finland, higher education isn't just about academics; it's about cultivating a harmonious balance between study and life, particularly in our collaboration with India. Initiatives like Talent Boost are not only inviting Indian students into our top-notch academic sphere but also opening pathways to career prospects post-graduation. Finland and India's partnership symbolizes a commitment to holistic growth, preparing students for a future where professional success is balanced with personal well-being in both countries. Having pursued my higher education and now working in Finland, I can personally attest that Finland truly offers a vibrant environment for happy studying and living!
For further information, please visit:
Exploring Finnish Digital Education (EDUFI website)