On March 15, 2017, University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+ Oy signed an agreement with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education about providing a continuing education programme for a group of Saudi Arabian teachers. The programme will be conducted in collaboration and Omnia Education Partnerships Oy.

The training programme takes place in Finland from May 2017 until the end of the year. About half of the first group of 100 teachers will be trained by the University of Helsinki, and the rest of the group will be trained through Finland University Ltd in universities in Turku, Tampere and Eastern Finland.

The training programme consists of English language studies, pedagogical training, as well as practical mentoring provided in the schools of city of Espoo. The group of Saudi Arabian teachers will come to Finland together with their families.

According to Dr. Marjaana Suutarinen, CEO of University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+ “This is a significant opening in showcasing our strengths internationally. We have already initiated discussions about bringing in the next continuing education group of Saudi Arabian teachers”.

“While there are cultural differences between our countries, Saudi Arabia has a great interest in the Finnish schools and the Finnish curriculum. In order to overcome the language barrier, we initiate the training of the teachers with English studies. We believe that with the enhanced language skills the group of teachers’ will have a better insight to the everyday school work. Thereby they can better focus on their pedagogical studies and gaining insights into their own work” says Dr. Kirsi Kettula, Head of Transnational Education of University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+. She continues: “I met with teachers coming to Finland in February in Riyadh, and they were well educated of the Finnish school’s excellent reputation. They were very interested in learning from us and gaining new insights into the pedagogical thinking in their respective schools when they return home.”

The agreement was signed by Dr. Abdulaziz M. Al-Saleh, Cultural Attaché of Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Germany and Dr. Marjaana Suutarinen, CEO of University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+.