News 11.03.2018

Major milestone for educational collaboration between Finland and China – First students receive Finnish vocational education qualification certificates in Shanghai

Educational collaboration between Finland and China has reached a major milestone: 22 upper secondary vocational students from Shanghai Commercial Accounting School received a Finnish vocational education certificate after completing a study module in Marketing Communications. Director General for Finnish National Agency for Education, Mr Olli-Pekka Heinonen, awarded certificates to the students during his official visit to China.
Shanghai students with Director General Olli-Pekka Heinonen
Shanghai students with Director General Olli-Pekka Heinonen

The study module in Marketing Communications forms a part of the Finnish Vocational Qualification in Business and Administration. The training was carried out by Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia in co-operation with EduCluster Finland, an education expertise organisation. Export of Finnish vocational qualifications has been possible since 2017, when 11 Finnish education providers received a pilot license to provide qualifications outside Europe. Gradia was one of the licensed education providers.

– Finnish education has a great reputation in China. Our countries share a long track-record of fruitful collaboration in educational issues. I am pleased to be here to witness how also Chinese investments in Finnish vocational qualifications are bearing concrete results. This is a major milestone for Finland and Finnish educational business, say Director General Heinonen.

Learning by doing and cooperation with real-life work places

The Finnish vocational qualification programme received excellent feedback from Chinese students. In particular, they enjoyed the experience of learning together in teams, having close dialogue with teachers and learning by doing.

– What was new to the Chinese students was learning outside of school, and the fact that evaluation was based on practical competence demonstrations and an evaluation discussion, says teacher Johanna Ärling from Gradia.

The investment in education in Shanghai was Gradia and EduCluster Finland’s second education export collaboration in vocational qualifications. The first qualification programme was launched in late 2016, and is currently being implemented in Qatar. In Qatar, local school staff are being trained as learning assistants, in accordance with Finnish vocational qualification requirements. The graduation ceremony will take place in May 2018.

More information

  •  Lauri Tuomi, Programme Director for Education Finland, Finnish National Agency for Education, tel. +358 29 533 1667, lauri.tuomi(a)
  •  Kirsi Koivunen, Manager of Global Partnerships, Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia, kirsi.koivunen(a)