Cooperation in Higher Education

Various technical fields such as energy, electricity, mechanical engineering and construction professionals are trained in the northern Finland area and teaching of technical disciplines is widely offered in the University of Oulu, polytechnics, and several vocational colleges and adult education providers of the area.

All ready at a very early stage of the nuclear power project Fennovoima was contacted from numerous educational institutions of the area to identify collaboration possibilities. As we wanted to treat the educational institutions impartially, we invited the organizations at a common table in spring 2011 to discuss the cooperation possibilities all together. The meeting gave an initial impetus for a fruitful and exceptionally wide cooperation of educational institutions in northern Finland.

Nowadays the network of Northern Finland Higher Education Cooperation Advisory Board includes 17 organizations from the area between Kokkola, Kajaani and Rovaniemi, along them the University of Oulu, the polytechnics of the north, and several vocational colleges and institutes providing further education. Fennovoima’s role in the network is to provide expertise and act as a trainer for the teachers. The network is managed by the Ylivieska unit of the Centria University of Applied Sciences.

The significance of the network is undisputable as for the educational organizations participating in the network the collaboration means better conditions and financial resources to develop their education offering in the region. Networking also facilitates communication between different educational organizations, Fennovoima and other interest parties.

In order to secure skilled labour, it is important that the educational institutions continue to provide educational programmes to the same extent also in the future. Fennovoima wishes that in future also nuclear power related courses would be included in the technical education programmes of the educational institutions in northern Finland.

Fennovoima along in the teacher training

The most visible role of Fennovoima in the Northern Finland Higher Education Cooperation Advisory Board is acting as an expert and trainer in the technical teacher training. So far 160 teachers from various northern Finland technical institutions have participated in the teacher training that has been arranged three times for now.

Fennovoima’s experts have given lecturers in the trainings and they have also gathered the training material. The training session have included lectures on the electricity market, nuclear engineering, the life cycle of the nuclear energy, licensing and control of nuclear power production have been studied in the context of Fennovoima’s nuclear power plant project.

The feedback received from the teacher training has been good. The teachers believe that they can utilize the information and knowledge gained during the training in their own teaching. After the teacher training, nuclear technology courses have been started in the educational institutions and nuclear power-related exercises have been added into the education modules.