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Vahvemmasta paikallisten yritysten ja kansainvälisten opiskelijoiden yhteistyöverkostosta haetaan strategista etua alueen yrityksille. Educational institutions are reducing the gap between studies and working life.

Educational institutions are reducing the gap between studies and working life

mennessä Ilmari Pirkkamaa | marras 6, 2020 | Lahden yliopistokampus

Kuvat: Henri Uotila Teksti: Erika Bottacci

To reduce the distance between students and local companies, LAB University of Applied Sciences is striving to implement more studies in work-related projects. International students in higher education would like to gain working experience in the Päijät-Häme region and companies are getting more and more interested in the potential behind international markets. With these projects, it is finally possible to create a strong network between international students and local firms.

Working life cooperation is beneficial for all the parties involved. LAB, by being the bridge between companies and students, becomes one of the major players driving the internationalization process of the Päijät-Häme region. Companies have now the chance to gain new business perspectives and to test how daily activities would be affected by international workforce. International students are valuable resources to Finnish businesses due to their linguistic and cultural background. Students have the full potential of becoming mediators for companies that want to operate abroad. Students will learn concrete skills, and by accessing a Finnish working environment, they have the chance to learn and practice the Finnish language by working. They can network and find the opportunities that will let them stay in the country when their studies are completed. Work-related projects are fundamental since they ease opportunities for career prospects.


Erika Bottacci and Teemu Iivari focused on how to improve international students’ participation in school projects.

 

Business Culture Agents project helps SMEs find international students in higher education

By giving the students the chance of applying their knowledge into the real business world, Business Culture Agents project helps local companies to find strategies to export their products or services, to open up to diversity at work, and eventually to create new forms of employment. Erika Bottacci is the project coordinator for BCA. She contributes with her previous experience as an international student at LAB and as a foreign employee in Päijät-Häme. During her internship in Häme Chamber of Commerce Erika studied, relating to her thesis, the Finnish labor market and the trends that will affect western economies in the next decades. The results of her study confirmed the reasons why international students find it hard to find employment in Päijät-Häme and how the business potential of local companies can be amplified with the presence of foreign employees.

The BCA project, supported by the ERDF/Päijät-Hämeen liitto, emphasizes the cultural background of students, and uses it as a strategic asset. Students become aware of the position they assume as central nodes of their international networks. Business culture agents guide local companies in solving daily problems connected with language and intercultural barriers and get the opportunity of practicing the Finnish language tailored to work. They find valuable information and create plans that can help the case companies in targeted markets, at home or abroad, to finally propose business opportunities and suggest concrete methods and alternatives for branding and promotion.


International students are ready to get involved in new forms of cooperation with local businesses.

LAB focuses on how to improve student services

LAB University of Applied Sciences is invested in understanding how students perceive collaborative projects. This is one of the main goals of “Projektikevät 2020”. In this context, Teemu Iivari, a business student at LAB, found out that international students are seeking for better possibilities to connect with local companies. International students are highly motivated in taking part in projects when the outcomes are internships or thesis collaboration, but often students do not take part in them because they do not understand what the expectations are, what kind of skills are required, and if the projects are pertinent to their field of study. To improve students’ participation in such programs, promotion should be better planned, and to enhance the positive outcomes, strategies for creating proactive teams among the students should be improved. These results are relevant for the BCA project.

BCA is surely a win-win opportunity and provides companies a zero-budget solution to test how prepared employees are at welcoming a foreign presence, but also to consider new business opportunities and possibilities to expand abroad. More information can be found at: https://lab.fi/fi/projekti/BCA

 

TEKOJA VIIVAN ALLE

Yritys voi kehittää liiketoimintaansa yhdessä oppilaitosten kanssa monella eri tavalla. Tarjolla on erilaisia asiantuntija-, tutkimus- ja tuotekehityspalveluja sekä mahdollisuuksia osaamisen kehittämiseen ja innovointiin. Yritykset voivat hyödyntää myös opiskelijoiden osaamista, opiskelijat voivat tehdä yrityksessä muun muassa harjoitustöitä, opinnäytetöitä, osa-aikatöitä, kesätöitä ja projektitöitä.

Päijät-Hämeen Yrittäjien toimitusjohtaja Heta Vihervirta-Vuontelo kannustaa yrityksiä yhteistyöhön:

– Alueen oppilaitokset ovat tärkeä voimavara, mutta osalle yrityksistä ehkä hieman vieraita, jolloin sieltä saatava osaaminen jää harmillisesti hyödyntämättä. Yritysten kannattaa lähestyä oppilaitoksia ennakkoluulottomasti ja etsiä itselleen sopiva tapa hyödyntää tarjolla olevia osaajia, asiantuntemusta ja apuja liiketoiminnan kehittämisessä.

Kaikki tarjolla olevat yhteistyömuodot on esitelty kattavasti ja selkeästi tänä vuonna ilmestyneessä Oppilaitosyhteistyö – käsikirja yrityksille -oppaassa. Tutustu Lahden seudun oppilaitosten kokoamaan oppaaseen täällä: www.lahti.fi/osaavaatyovoimaa

Tekoja viivan alle -kampanjan ovat toteuttaneet yhteistyössä:

Lahden Yliopistokampuksen Gradukiihdyttämöhanke (ESR)

LAB-ammattikorkeakoulun Business Culture Agents (EAKR/Päijät-Hämeen liitto)

LAB-ammattikorkeakoulun Korkeakoulut innovaatiotoiminnan vauhdittajina – DYNAMO-hanke (EAKR/Päijät-Hämeen liitto)