Call Open until 18.10.2021
Maximizing Previously Acquired Competences - MaxiPAC
The aim is to contribute ideas towards “best practices for language
valorization in Finnish Higher Education”. We ask the question, how can third country nationals
(TCN) and persons in refugee like situations gain better access to Higher
Education and employment in Finland?
According to the Bologna Declaration (1999), Universities and
Universities of Applied Sciences have the autonomy to valorize the
qualifications and competences acquired elsewhere according to their own
standards. The Lisbon Recognition Convention (1997) further calls for
EU countries to develop procedures to assess whether refugees and
displaced persons fulfil the relevant requirements to access Higher
Education or employment activities, even when the qualifications cannot
be proven through documentary evidence. However, TCN and those in
refugee like situations who travel to Europe face challenges such as:
when their certificates are not recognized in the EU making them unable
to work or study; inadequate access to e-services and language support
services, to name a few. In some cases, there are challenges dealing
with University programme requirements, learning procedures, and
To address the above problem, MaxiPAC in collaboration with the SIMHE
(Services for Immigrants in Higher Education) University of Helsinki,
University of Oulu Graduate School, INTEGRA and SIMHE Jyväskylä
University, Tampere University of Applied Sciences, and the Attract
Lappi Project, with speakers from the Ministry of Education and Culture,
and EDUFI (Finnish National Agency for Education), will bring together
policy-makers, entrepreneurs, students, teachers, and researchers, and
persons of other professions in Higher Education, to participate
physically in a Symposium.
You are invited to register (indicate your name and affiliation) via
email (email@example.com) to the MaxiPAC Project Coordinator by the deadline 18th October 2021.
Decisions will be communicated to participants by 20 October 2021.
The symposium will be recorded based on prior informed consent.
(Times are GMT +2)
11:00-11:15: Anna Boucher (Associate Professor & Global Migration expert, University of Sydney)
11:30-12:30: Coffee & snacks/lunch
12:30-12:35: Welcome words by Nafisa Yeasmin (Coordinator, Arctic Migration Team - Arctic Centre)
12:35-12:50: Keynote by Kaisu-Maria Piironen (Senior Advisor, Ministry of Education & Culture)
12:50-13.05: Keynote by Salla Lauerma (Adviser, Recognition of Qualifications, Finnish National Agency for Education)
13:20-14:20: Group discussions / in-room discussions with guests, Md.
Waliul Hasanat (Professor, Law School, Khulna University, Bangladesh),
Prof. Jan Brzozowski, Cracow University of Economics, Poland) and Lara
Wilhelmine Hoffmann (PhD Candidate, University of Akureyri)
14:20-15:00: Sharing/discussion of results from groups + break
15:00-15:20: Patricia Staaf (Director, Centre for Teaching and Learning, Malmoe University)
15:20-15:40: Francesca Costero (Migration expert, Social Cohesion and International Cooperation Sector, ENAIP Piemonte, Italy)
15:40-16:00: Nina Staal (Programme Coordinator, UN International Organization for Migration, Netherlands)
16:00-16:20: Fatou Ndiaye (Chief of Mission, UN International Organization for Migration, Norway)
16:40-17:00: Concluding words by the MaxiPAC Project Coordinator + Visit
to Arktikum Museum
Ayonghe Akonwi, MaxiPAC Project Coordinator, Arctic Centre –
University of Lapland
firstname.lastname@example.org | +358404844231
About MaxiPAC: www.maxipac.eu
NB: Working groups will be organized physically in the facilitator’s host institution.
The aim of the working groups is to have generalized discussions,
gather data, and to report the outcomes of the discussions. Facilitators
will share their results online when all the groups meet in the slot
“14:20-15:00: Sharing/discussion of results from groups + break”. The
final results from all groups will be used in developing best practices
for language valorization. An online link for the symposium will be
communicated to participants in October, a few days before the event.
- Group 1: “how to deal with languages”, facilitator Mervi Kastari
(Language instructor, Tampere University’s and Tampere University of
Applied Sciences’ SIMHE) 1 will focus on practicalities for learning
guidance and Finnish language teaching. Participants are asked to share
their experiences, challenges of learning. How can learning procedures
and language support be made better for TCNs/Refugees? What kind of
language-learning paths could or should there be?
- Group 2: “University Modalities and organization aspects”,
facilitator Prof. Jouko Miettunen (Vice-Dean, University of Oulu
Graduate School) and Ulla Alanko (International Mobility Services,
University of Oulu) will discuss organization aspects in higher
education, e.g. enrollment, student services, facilities services,
education; general requirements for admitting TCNs/Refugees; guidance
support and procedures in the admission process – with examples from the
University of Oulu Graduate school and International master degree
programmes. Participants are asked to share their opinions about
University admission procedures. What kind of guidance support do
applicants (TCNs/Refugees) receive when applying for a degree programme
and when they have admission to University? What can be made better in
the admission process?
- Group 3: “e-Learning support”, facilitator Tuija Lehtonen
(INTEGRA Project Coordinator, Jyväskylä University) will discuss the
various means of e-Learning support for the integration of TCNs, with
examples from the INTEGRA Project. Participants are asked to share their
experiences and challenges about access to online information and the
use of online learning procedures. How can the integration of
TCNs/Refugees be made better through e-Learning support? What ideas can
be made to work better?
- Group 4: “Employment and internship support”, facilitators
Mäki-Petäjä Tiina & Jenni Ervasti (Attract Lapland Project
Coordinators, Arctic Centre) will discuss the possibilities for
entrepreneurship and employment among immigrants in Finland.
Participants are asked to share their experiences and challenges when
finding a job or internship, creating a business, working as a
freelancer/light entrepreneur or finding information related to job
vacancies that suit their previous qualifications. Recommend ideas on
how to help TCNs/Refugees get better access to places of work. What
ideas can Universities consider in enhancing employment support for
student immigrants? Participants in this group could be students and
entrepreneurs/business owners, but also representatives from
Entrepreneurship associations and TE-services (EURES).
- Group 5: “How to implement the procedure in Universities?”,
facilitator Marita Häkkinen (SIMHE Coordinator, Jyväskylä University) 5
will discuss the various ways to help TCNs/Refugees with previous
qualifications get better access to higher education, training, and
employment – examples from SIMHE services. Participants are asked to
share their experiences and challenges about finding a job, getting
training, and admission in higher education. What procedures need to be
improved? In what ways can Universities implement procedures for
immigrants to have better access to higher education, training, and
- Group 6: “how to deal with languages”, facilitator Rebekka
Nylund (Specialist, SIMHE | University of Helsinki) will focus on
practicalities for learning guidance and Finnish language teaching.
Participants are asked to share their experiences, challenges of
learning. How can learning procedures and language support be made
better for TCNs/Refugees?