EduExcellence Oy, a Finnish global education service provider company, and the Kenyan government together with Skill Dove Ltd., have agreed on the delivery of on-demand degree and VET programmes provided by two universities of applied sciences, Laurea and Metropolia, and Jyväskylä Educational Consortium Gradia. The deal, biggest of its’ kind in Finnish history, covers the delivery of BA degrees in Nursing and Physiotherapy by Laurea UAS, BA in Information Technology by Metropolia UAS, and Vocational Qualification in Social and Health Care (practical nursing) by Gradia.
The demand for education in the health care sector, especially in nursing, is very strong in Kenya. The groups to be trained are historically large for all three organisations, consisting of almost 450 students in the first cohort, and the size of the first phase of the operation is over 10 M€. Many students are seeking for opportunities to be educated in Europe, and now especially in Finland. After completing their studies, the participants will continue to further develop the Kenyan society with their upskilled professional competences. Some of the graduates may also get the opportunity to stay and work, and possibly continue their studies, and thus, this co-operation may also address the shortage of skilled labor force in Finland.
Most of the students will come from the county of Uasin Gishu in Kenya. The Governor of the county H.E. Mr. Jackson Mandago has been the primus motor to realise the co-operation. Laurea is the partner delivering the tailor-made, on-demand nursing, and physiotherapy degree programmes, and Metropolia is responsible for the programme in information technology. Most of the students have already been selected and the process will start with a pathway package concentrating on the Finnish language and culture.
For Gradia providing training in the IVET qualification in social and health care within this co-operation is ground-breaking and unique since the new legislation on global education took effect in the beginning of 2022.
“We’re very excited for this new opportunity. This is a great chance to both train competent staff for the labour market and develop our own staff’s competences together with the local working life. This cooperation will benefit both the Kenyan and Finnish health care sectors,” says Sanna Salo, Programme Manager responsible for social and health care education in Gradia.Sanna is also a management-level representative in WP5 team of the Network of Networks project (KA3).
Finland’s new Africa Strategy
This co-operation also supports Finland’s Africa Strategy. As African economies develop and populations grow, the role African countries have in world politics and economics is also becoming more prominent. Thanks to their growing markets, many African countries have also become potential trading partners for Finland. Finland’s Africa Strategy has been drafted to promote Finland’s ties with African countries on multiple levels and sectors. The joint government Strategy was prepared under the leadership of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
The aim of the Africa Strategy is to diversify Finland’s relations and to develop the ambitions and coherence of Finland’s Africa policy. Special attention will be paid to the expansion and deepening of Finland’s ties with African countries, the African Union and with other regional organisations on the continent. The strategy aims to identify shared interests and to strengthen connections in different sectors between Finland and Africa. Points of departure include Finland’s own interests and competencies, Agenda 2030 as well as the “Africa We Want” Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Finland’s strategy also takes into consideration the policies of the European Union’s recent Strategy with Africa.
Sanna Salo, Programme Manager, social and health care