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This Episode will air at 11 am EDT on Saturday April 29th

The Finnish Way – Preparing university students for life with Ulla Hemminki-Reijonen, Kati Kettunen, and Outi Toijala

When talking about Finland, the discussion always begins with the welfare society and quality pre-college education. But what is going on in the higher education scene in the happiest country in the world, chosen for the 6th time in a row? Do strong societal values have an impact on universities, their infrastructure, and national higher education development initiatives?

The experts from the two biggest universities in the country, University of Helsinki and Aalto University discuss what a student-centered approach means for the university administration and how these institutions turn free education into quality education. How are these universities planning to keep up with the demands coming from society and corporate life? What kind of initiatives do they currently have to be able to educate students ready for real-life with cutting edge learning technologies such as AI and XR?

More about our guests below the video

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Episode Guests

Ulla Hemminki-Reijonen, Project Lead for University of Helsinki EdTech Development

As the Project Lead for the university-wide EdTech development project at the University of Helsinki, Ulla is testing with her team the limits of what online learning can look like. With bold AI and XR experiments with the university lecturers, own product development and partnerships with EdTech start-ups, the goal is to create a platform for innovative Edtech experiments at the university and help the faculties to offer new kinds of online learning experiences globally. Her previous work with over 100 EdTech start-ups at the EdTech start-up and innovation center and her work experience from varied tasks in EdTech product development has been of great use in this work.

Ulla holds a M.Ed from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in Technology, Innovation and an Education and M.A in linguistics from the University of Helsinki. She is an advisor for EduTECH Europe and the Finnish Virtual Reality Association.

Kati Kettunen, Director of Learning Environment Services, University of Helsinki

Kati Kettunen has worked in many roles in Academic Affairs and Student Services since 2000 at the University of Helsinki. Currently she is Director of Learning Environment Services. She also leads a large development program of the whole University Services aiming to foster the digitalization and turn the service development truly customer centered. Focus on the development is to add value for students, teachers, researchers, staffs and societys processes  by enhancing the cooperation between different service areas and outside university partners in e.g. utilizing the data formed in different service processes and developing jointly digital service platforms. Kati has also been a member (2019-2022) of the steering group of one of the largest national digitalization projects in education, the Digivisio 2030 program .

Kati holds a Master in Health Science from the University of Helsinki and is Certified Coach and Consultant for Organizations. She is also a member of the board of Unigrafia Inc. which is inhouse company owned by University of Helsinki and three other Universities in the Helsinki area. Unigrafia provides e.g. studio, streaming, video and graphic design services essential and customized for learning, research and communications.

Outi Toijala, Head of Corporate Relations, Aalto University

Outi Toijala has 20 years of experience in international business development and strategic partnerships. She has created local and global B2B partnerships with world’s largest enterprises, SMEs as well as the most innovative high tech startups. She has versatile experience of collaborating with different industries ranging from telecoms to health and manufacturing. Previously she has worked with Nokia, EIT Digital and PricewaterhouseCoopers. She joined Aalto University as the Head of Corporate Relations in fall 2020. At Aalto she enjoys making societal impact with corporate partnerships and ecosystems, and solving major global challenges together.

Outi holds a Master of Science in Economics from University of Helsinki and is AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner.