Energy and synergies from development projects – towards common goals

A spring seminar titled Energy and synergies from development projects was organised at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki on 21–22 May. The purpose of this annual seminar is to support the higher education institutions' projects financed by special funding and the work aiming to promote effective and inspiring education and teaching cooperation between higher education institutions. The seminar also addressed a broad selection of joint national solutions and services relying on them, and in collaboration, the participants recognised ways in which this set-up could be developed and used by the higher education institutions.  

The seminar attracted more than 150 keen participants, who were quick to come up with themes of mutual interest, serving as a reminder of how important interaction is in project activities. This year, 19 new higher education institution development projects were launched on a total of EUR 40 millions of Ministry of Education and Culture funding. The implementation period of the projects launched this year extends till 2020. For more information on the financed projects, visit

The improvement of higher education quality, development of education environments and digitalisation measures are to benefit students, teachers and the entire field of higher education alike. "The funding granted by the ministry complements higher education institutions' self-financing and enables development work serving the entire field of higher education", said Birgitta Vuorinen, Counsellor of Education from the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Common goals

On the first day of the seminar, the projects that were granted funding this year introduced themselves. Such topical themes as use of digitalisation, digital learning environments and platforms, cross-institutional studies, learning analytics and common interfaces were repeatedly brought up in the seminar presentations. Themes arising from efforts to implement the Vision for higher education and research in 2030, including competence development and lifelong learning, had a high profile in many projects. The development projects look to the future, and the impacts of their outcomes will be felt long after the conclusion of the project period. 

In addition to development projects, many networks across which common activities are pursued introduced themselves at the seminar. Kati Kettunen, chairperson of the Cooperation group for higher education institutions' support services for studying and teaching and administrative services, urged the participants to make use of the extensive support and competence offered to the projects by existing networks. Tapio Ekholm, chairperson of the Synergy group, presented the activities of higher education institutions' competence network for study administration and information management experts, which can help development projects get a handle on the daily work of higher education institutions. Helena Majamäki, Project Manager at CSC, pointed out that the higher education institutions' VIRTA contact persons also form a network through which the projects can obtain information on and experiences of services in which the national data warehouse is used.

The projects also showcased their work in posters displayed in the lobby of Hanken School of Business. 

CSC supports higher education institutions' project work

CSC provides digital services for higher education institutions and safeguards the operating preconditions of Finnish research and education as part of the services procured by the Ministry of Education and Culture annually. Director Stina Westman presented the range of services available for the development projects and CSC's role as the higher education institutions' in-house company. As an example of these services, Westman provided an introduction to the computing and data management services, which are now also available for teaching use.

By the ministry's commission, CSC supports the higher education institutions' development projects financed through special funding, among other things by organising joint events and facilitating communication between the projects. The seminar workshops focused on issues related to project communications, processes of teaching cooperation, the mobility of information on educational offering, participation in digital teaching and open learning materials.

"The support provided for development projects will be needs based and implemented in a dialogue with the higher education institutions. We thus encourage the projects to get in touch with CSC in order to find opportunities for cooperation", exhorts Project Manager Eeva Polvi, who is responsible for development project support at CSC.

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