During the Fontys Partnerday 2016 in Liverpool we organized a design session with FED for colleagues from all over the world among which from TAMK university, Finland. It was in that exact moment when the first seed was planted to explore further cooperation between the two universities of applied sciences. We wouldn’t be FED if we wouldn’t seek for connections with colleagues from other institutions within Fontys, and outside of Fontys. And so, it happened… with a group of ten people the following institutions were represented: Fontys Sporthogeschool, Fontys Bedrijfsmanagement, Educatie en Techniek, Fontys International Business School, Fontys Onderwijs en Onderzoek, Fontys Lerarenopleiding Tilburg, and Summa college (= Fontys partner). We therefore did not only tighten our connections with TAMK university, but also those of the Fontys institutions and Summa college.
Together with TAMK university we have set up a program, in which we focused on the following topics:
- Exchanging educational design methods.
- Exploring ways of collaboration (especially for the minor Embrace TEC).
- Exploring new didactical concepts, and concepts of talent development in Finland in schools and companies.
In order to give a clear view on our design methods, we actually organized two active sessions with our Finnish colleagues. The challenge: how can we make our education flexible and personalized? We used the brain power of 25 teachers to redesign the part-time educational program of the Fontys institution Bedrijfsmanagement, Educatie en Techniek. We did not only get the chance to demonstrate our design process, but we also collected very valuable ideas for Fontys.
In the second design session, we worked on the following challenge: which kinds of collaboration between both universities could we set up? This session was the closure of three very inspiring days, in which we agreed on a follow up with:
- The vocational teacher education of TAMK university.
- The Technological Department of TAMK university.
We have achieved a number of outcomes on different levels. Here below you can read them in random order:
- Tightened our network within a number of Fontys educational programs.
- Tightened our network with TAMK university.
- Personal growth
- Insights in the Finnish educational model.
- Insights in the way we can stimulate entrepreneurship among students:
- A precondition of facilitating student companies: simplicity. Yes, it’s simple!
- We connected with the company Vincit. They have developed a tool for talent development: WOW, this is the future!
- Phenomenal based learning: what is it, and how it can be applied in practice.
- The Finnish go wild during an ice hockey match.
- Problem based learning: how they apply it at TAMK university.
- We explored collaboration with the Technological department of TAMK university regarding the minor Embrace TEC.
- Would you like to embed entrepreneurship in your curriculum, so that students really experience what this actually means? Then visit Proakatemia. Here, students run their own company, and make their own money. Is that possible? And at the same time, they get a diploma? Yes, that’s possible! It all starts with trust.
- Would you like to embed talent development in your educational program? Then do this based on……trust.
- Are you planning to set up a collaboration with a partner? Become as concrete as possible, and start with taking small steps. Do this based on…..indeed: trust.
- Take the company Vincit as an example of how you can develop talent development within your organization.
- Designing education is part of Finnish culture. That’s why Finland is a front runner in education. So, it needs a culture. If you don’t have this kind of culture (yet), then I would suggest to start working on it. And yes, this takes time and discipline, but it is worth the effort.
If you have questions, or if you would like to have more information about our field trip to TAMK university, and about our next steps? Don’t hesitate to contact us. (firstname.lastname@example.org)