The Future Education Forum (11 -- 13 April 2016) not only received the strong support from the educational authorities in Guangzhou and Tampere, but also attracted a number of the prestigious educational scholars from China and Finland.
The forum was started on 11 April 2016 by the welcome speeches by Ms. Anna-Kaisa Ikonen, Mayor, City of Tampere, Mr. Yuhang Gao, Education Counsellor, Embassy of China to Finland, Mr. Pekka Kivekäs, Director of Education Services, City of Tampere, Dr. Shaobing Qu, Director General, Bureau of Education of Guangzhou.
Guangzhou and Tampere officially became sister cities in December 2008, and have close relationship of collaboration in politics, economy, trade, culture and education for many years. Under the collaborative framework of Sino-Finnish Learning Garden, with the aim of furthering educational cooperation between the two cities, the Memorandum of Understanding on Further Deepening Cooperation in Education between Bureau of Education of Guangzhou Municipality and Education, Competence and Economic Development Services, the City of Tampere was inked by both parties after the welcome speeches.
The four inspiring keynote speeches on educational cooperation drew much attention from the audience. Dr. Mika Tirronen, Education Counsellor, Ministry of Education and Culture, introduced the framework of Sino-Finnish Learning Garden, while Professor Nanxing Zhang and Dr. Jihong Sun, National Institute of Educational Sciences, China, talked about the problems and challenges that the Chinese higher vocational education was facing.
Furthermore, Professor Seppo Hölttä, Founder of Chinese Education Research and Exchange Center, University of Tampere, stressed the importance of capacity building for excellence in Sino-Finnish educational cooperation, while Professor Jiansheng Ma from Beijing Normal University and Adjunct Professor Yuzhuo Cai from University of Tampere elaborated upon quality assurance of Sino-Finnish education cooperation.
The above keynote speeches were followed by the interesting presentations on the effective and influential Finnish secondary vocational education in practice ---- development of competence for the workplaces. Mr. Jukka Gustafsson (Former Minister of Education and Culture), Member of the Finnish Parliament, vividly explained the elements of excellence in the secondary vocational education. Mr. Teppo Tapani, Principal, and Ms. Satu Neuvonen, Development Director of TAKK Tampere Adult Education Centre introduced the key features and quality management of Finnish secondary VET. Ms. Ulla Virtanen, International Advisor of TAKK, illustrated the secondary VET in practice taking TAKK as an example.
In addition, Mr. Markus Sjölund, Director, Tampere Chamber of Commerce & Industry, compared Tampere regional development with competence development for worklife.
The first day of the forum, National Seminar Day, was fruitfully ended in visiting TAKK Nirva campus. In TAKK Nirva campus, the participants personally experienced with great interest the four main teaching sectors at TAKK: sustainable development in VET and environmental education, entrepreneurship training HiOMO, well-being, and machine technology.