The demand in the health sector, especially in nursing, is very strong in Kenya. The new degree groups are historically large in both training organisations, consisting of almost 450 students in the first cohort, and the size of the first phase of operation is over 10 M€. Many students are seeking for opportunities to be educated in Europe, and now especially in Finland. Although the majority will develop the Kenyan society by their upskilled profession, many also want to stay in FInland to work after graduation. The implementation can thus also contribute to the shortage of skills and labor force in Finland, further intensify co-operation with work places in the regions from the perspective of future needs and issues of work-related immigration.
The majority of the students come from the county of Uasin Gishu in Kenya. The Governor of the county H.E. Mr. Jackson Mandago has been the primus motor to realise the co-operation. Laurea is the partner executing the tailored on-demand Nursing and Physiotherapy degree programmes, and Metropolia is responsible for the Information Technology programme. The majority of the students have already been selected and the process will start with a pathway package concentrating on Finnish language and culture training.
Mr. Jouni Koski, President and CEO of Laurea University of Applied Sciences, is very impressed with the significant education export cooperation with the Uasin Gishu Provincial Government of Kenya. “This co-operation project offers an equal opportunity for students from different backgrounds to study in Finland and Laurea, as well as to achieve a prestigious Finnish degree in nursing or in physiotherapy in Kenya, when the provincial administration invests for both university students’ studies and housing. The experts of our university have praised the high level of competence of those who took the entrance exams, so we believe that they will be excellent in their studies. At Laurea we want to serve and support university students coming to Finland in their studies in the best possible way ”, Koski says.
“This agreement perfectly combines many important things. The student acquires high-level Finnish technological know-how and thereby acquires professional skills that can be used for employment in an international field. This is a significant opening for Finnish society in terms of exporting high know-how, where a small country has a great chance of success, ”says Ms. Riitta Konkola, President and CEO of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia provides a vocational programme in Practical Nursing. This is a ground-breaking and unique implementation enabled by a change in Finnish legislation in the beginning of 2022.
“We look forward to the launch of this partnership project. The Finnish way of implementing vocational training in co-operation with working life has aroused interest in the world. At Gradia, we want to be a pioneer in the export of vocational education, thus implementing a Finnish education export strategy. We are convinced that we will have students from Kenya who are motivated and enthusiastic about learning, who will return to their home country to develop local working life with the latest lessons. At the same time, through international encounters, we are strengthening our own skills as a provider of vocational training and as an international expert”, rejoices Principal Pirjo Kauhanen from Gradia.
Business operations has been dealth with through Skill Dove Ltd. whose contribution to agreements has been essential. ”This is a fully commercial operation without any financial subvention from the Finnish side. The local government wants to invest in human capital to be able to get world-class trained work force and to develop the local education system in the future. We are really looking forward to have a long-lasting co-operation with Kenya”, says Mr. Jan-Markus Holm, CEO of EduExcellence Ltd.
CEO, EduExcellence Oy
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