About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1339-1347
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-606-8243-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2015
Location: Barcelona, Spain

A SINO-FINNISH CASE: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED IN LAUNCHING A DOUBLE MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAMME

X. Guo1, V. Taajamaa2, T. Westerlund2, L.R. Zheng3, H. Tenhunen2, T. Salakoski2

1University of Turku (FINLAND) / Fudan University (CHINA)
2University of Turku (FINLAND)
3Fudan University (CHINA)
To conduct high-level research and education activities in the Information and communication technology (ICT) area and meet the demand for skilled engineers in the modern and global information society, Fudan University, China and the University of Turku, Finland jointly launched a double master’s degree programme in Information and Communication Technology, aiming at creating a world-class engineering education, later referred to as FuTuRe (Fudan-Turku Rethinking Education). We aim to shed light on the critical factors in creating an international double degree progamme from the perspectives of programme leadership, teaching faculty and most importantly the participating students.

ICT, as a key technological force in shaping our daily life, is becoming more and more international and intercultural. Meanwhile, the strategic fit between China and European Union (EU) in terms of needs for educational development and collaboration has been widely recognized (EU, 2004). Educational collaboration is seen as an important step and platform fostering cultural exchange leading to stronger political collaboration and also strengthening the economic ties between China and EU (European Commission, 2007).

University of Turku and Fudan University are both well-established comprehensive research universities with relatively compact engineering departments and in the same discipline area. These similarities and acknowledging the global character of ICT education created a natural advantage for collaboration and mutual learning from the strengths of each university. The double degree programme FuTuRe was designed during Fall 2012 and first students began their studies Fall 2013. The first cohort of the programme will graduate July 2015.

We discuss and analyse key findings of designing, implementing and running the programme especially concentrating on the curriculum design, learning methods and programme management not to forget cultural perspectives and interventions. Research data is gathered from semi-structured interviews, surveys and documentation as well as from the two-year observations. The whole management team of the programme was interviewed as well as teachers and students in the first cohort. Also major steps of the programme progress are elaborated. The gathered data is analysed using grounded theory and case study analysis.

We answer the question why to promote international cooperation, how to develop double degree programmes, how to find strategic fit between the Finnish and Chinese education systems, what barriers existed in launching this programme, and what measures have been taken to solve them. Preliminary work-in-progress results show that understanding how European and Chinese universities work, what are international, national and institution level educational policies, management philosophies and organizational structures, as well as education system and cultural differences are of paramount importance for the success of the programme. All levels of the programme need to be committed to running the programme: Management must empower and support, faculty must acknowledge and embrace cultural differences, and students need to accommodate themselves to different learning, studying and living cultures.
@InProceedings{GUO2015ASI,
author = {Guo, X. and Taajamaa, V. and Westerlund, T. and Zheng, L.R. and Tenhunen, H. and Salakoski, T.},
title = {A SINO-FINNISH CASE: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED IN LAUNCHING A DOUBLE MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAMME},
series = {7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN15 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-606-8243-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {1339-1347}}
TY - CONF
AU - X. Guo AU - V. Taajamaa AU - T. Westerlund AU - L.R. Zheng AU - H. Tenhunen AU - T. Salakoski
TI - A SINO-FINNISH CASE: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED IN LAUNCHING A DOUBLE MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAMME
SN - 978-84-606-8243-1/2340-1117
PY - 2015
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2015
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN15 Proceedings
SP - 1339
EP - 1347
ER -
X. Guo, V. Taajamaa, T. Westerlund, L.R. Zheng, H. Tenhunen, T. Salakoski (2015) A SINO-FINNISH CASE: WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED IN LAUNCHING A DOUBLE MASTER'S DEGREE PROGRAMME, EDULEARN15 Proceedings, pp. 1339-1347.
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