Riitta Rissanen, PhD, Rector, Lapland University of Applied Sciences
This special issue of our online Lumen journal discusses an international Lapland UAS and the significance of internationalisation in our region, both in national and global networks.
Lapland is Finland’s fifth largest export region, which is reflected in our operating environment in various ways. In our growing and international region, Lapland UAS plays an important part in strengthening competence and in cooperation with business life. International connections and an international operating culture are the most important vitality drivers in Lapland. Thriving on the exports of products and services, the region breaths international air.
In Lapland, working life and the operating culture have always been international, and cross-boundary cooperation an integral part not only of people’s lives, but also of studies. Education, and research, development and innovation activities help us build new competence together with business and working life, and strengthen our capabilities to operate in an international and multicultural world. Our TalentBoost goal is to help international students be integrated and find employment in Lapland and in Finland.
The strategic choices of Lapland UAS reflect the global Arctic responsibility, sustainable travel, future services, and distance management. International RDI activities are key in producing solutions to protect sustainable development and strengthen links to working life. Our strategic choices can also be seen as Lapland’s competence needs, and as challenges to attract more and more international specialists and professionals in our region’s companies and public services.
In this special issue, authors draw a graphic picture of how global activities at Lapland UAS bring student communities and many research, development and innovation projects arising from our university’s profiles to meet global challenges together with our partners.
The articles point out how international mobility and degree programmes enable students and staff members to acquire valuable international competence and experience. International job markets and educational opportunities ensure that young Finnish students have excellent opportunities to see, learn and find their place in the world.
Lapland and Finland must also take care of the availability of a skilled workforce. The articles offer perspectives on how Lapland, as a region, and Lapland UAS can attract international talent and promote the integration and diverse cultures of foreign employees as regenerating forces.
This special issue also underlines the significance of global education as part of the teaching at Lapland UAS and describes how we can use digital solutions to promote internationalisation in Master School studies, for example. The articles portray the significance and impact of an international Lapland UAS on the work of our students, specialists and partners, in particular, in the region.
Internationalisation is a valuable perspective, but it is also all-important in building a truly international and impactful university community, region and Finland.
I would like to especially thank our columnists, Mika Lintilä, Minister of Economic Affairs, and Liisa Ansala, President of the Lapland Chamber of Commerce, for their strong insights into business life. The message is clear: to succeed, we need international talent and close cooperation between universities of applied sciences and business life, in Lapland and across Finland.
I wish an enjoyable read for all readers of Lumen 3/2021.