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Finnish Delegation To Explore Opportunities In Gulf Education Sector
(22 February 2016)


A delegation showcasing the wide range on Finnish educational expertise will be attending the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) exhibition to be held in Dubai next month to explore opportunities in the Gulf’s education sector.

A record number of 18 Finnish companies will be present at this year’s show, sharing their innovative education and technology solutions to schools and universities attending the region’s leading education exhibition and conference on 1-3 March 2016 at the New Zabeel Halls (4, 5 and 6) of the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Top universities in attendance

“When it comes to education, Finland stands at the head of the class. This year, we will have a strong presence at GESS where we hope to showcase Finnish advances in cloud-based e-learning platforms and infrastructure solutions, assessment systems, playful mobile solutions, educational games and software as well as digital learning content. Finnish education institutions offering consultation services and professional development programs, especially for teachers, will also be in attendance,” said Seppo Keränen, Program Director for Future Learning Finland.

Finland’s leading universities and firms specialising in education which have confirmed their participation at GESS Dubai include the University of Helsinki, Tampere University of Applied Sciences (TAMK), Provida nursery schools, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Omnia, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences and Study Advisory.

Finland’s PISA results continue to resonate

The Finnish educational system is renowned globally as one of the top performing worldwide. For the past 15 years, Finland has ranked among the top nations on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardised test given to 15-year olds in over 40 countries. Finland is also a top-performing OECD country in reading literacy, maths and sciences with the average student scoring 529. This score is higher than the OECD average of 497, making Finland one of the strongest OECD countries in students’ skills.

“There is huge interest in the Finnish education system from abroad with hundreds of policy makers and educators visiting teacher training units, schools and the administration every year. Equal opportunities for high-quality education, comprehensive pedagogy and highly qualified teachers are considered as some of the factors behind the successful results,” added Keränen.

Several ongoing projects in the Gulf

Finnish experts have been making headway in the Gulf with a range of educational partnerships throughout the region. Just recently, the Ministry of Education in Oman invited Finland University to tender for academic support services at the Specialised Centre. Based on the tenders, Finland University, with the University of Turku as the project provider, were entrusted with developing the evaluation of the effectiveness of operations and the initiation of research activities. The development of library, quality assurance and master’s programme are led by the Institute of Education of the University College London.

A Saudi-Finnish collaboration, the SAFEA Programme, was established to create a Centre of Excellence in Education and Innovation in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The partnership aims to develop education in the kingdom in terms of pre-service teacher training, pedagogical competencies of teachers and facilitate innovation in the field of education. The operational model is to integrate Finnish best practices and expertise in education to match the needs and reform initiatives in Saudi Arabia.

In Doha, the Qatar-Finland International School (Q.F.I. School) was established to provide world-class education based on Finnish education practices. Another significant partnership was forged with the UAE through EduCluster Finland Ltd., which formed an expert consortium to develop the education system model in flagship schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The Educational Partnership   Programme (EPA) is a collaboration that creates a pedagogical fusion combining both the Emirati and Finnish experience, leading to the creation of world-class flagship schools in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain; as well as enables Abu Dhabi teachers to develop teaching and learning practices through a class teacher model.

School and university administrators as well as education professionals who wish to learn more about Finnish education expertise are encouraged to visit the Finland Pavilion (Stand N40) at GESS Dubai.

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