Tampere Ambassador Mikko Leimio’s blog text17.3.2017
Have you ever wondered how Finnish university degree helps you in the global work environment? For me, it’s about 10 years since I graduated from Tampere University of Technology (TUT). I was fortunate to get an exciting opportunity to be part of global and multi-national company. And now 10 years later, I am again reading for semester exams…
In past years I have been regularly thinking about Finnish education and university system, and how it helped me to achieve some of my dreams. I think a real test was when I moved to Berlin for work in late 2010. I have to say it was not just easy, as it was not just a new job but at the same time completely new environment, country and language. But I also knew, everything will go fine.
Related to my job, one reason why I knew everything will go fine, was trust for my education and previous working experience. As I knew that problem solving skills, adaptability, meeting deadlines but more importantly capability learn new things and technologies are going to be valuable. There was often a new challenge, a problem or something that needs to be improved, but I think it’s a key how you approach these new situations. And that is one difference why I think Finnish education system makes a difference.
While collecting data for this blog post, I found interesting survey from OECD. They have developed a programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) which conducts the Survey for Adult Skills . According to Skills Survey Finland and Japan are put at top of the list. Survey measures the key cognitive and workplace skills needed for individuals, and data from the survey is giving better understanding of performance of education, as an example. This seems to align with what I have experienced.
My appreciation towards Finnish education system has increased over time. I also believe we have a high market value as hard workers. And one thing I would like to raise up is that (usually) you can rely and trust for a word from a Finn. Which is important in a team work environment while solving problems and developing new things together.
One thing that I noticed during my first semester here at ETH Zürich, is tight co-operation with the local industry and support for new start-ups. As terms digitalization and Industry 4.0 are gaining more attention, and with new technologies there are lots of opportunities where companies and universities could co-operate. However, this may also require university programs to adapt and strengthen entrepreneurial approaches and innovation abilities of the workforce . TUT is co-operating as well and also getting more international recognition working directly with the industry . I think this is huge opportunity for future innovation and success.
I wish you all happy new year 2017 and may year be successful for all.
 Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) - https://www.oecd.org/skills/piaac/
 Industry 4.0: The Future of Productivity and Growth in Manufacturing Industries - https://www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/engineered_products_project_business_industry_40_future_productivity_growth_manufacturing_industries/
 International rankings - http://www.tut.fi/en/about-tut/facts-and-figures/international-rankings/index.htm