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Appears in:
Pages: 4253-4256
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079

Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain

CHANGES IN GLOBAL FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY REQUIRE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

L. Hauhio, P. Lahti

Helsinki University of Technology (FINLAND)
In the Finnish forest industry sector, a significant structural transformation began in the late 1980s. During the 1990s, acquisitions and the establishment of new production facilities abroad were taking place at an increasing pace. If the acquisitions are taken into account, the companies have invested more abroad than in Finland already since 1996, mostly into Western Europe and North America. In 2004, only about 10% of the companies’ total turnover was generated in Finland. In the turn of the millennium, a significant structural transformation was taking place in the Finnish forest products industry, and even recently the largest Finnish pulp and papermaking companies have announced new closings of factories in Finland and vast reduction of employees. These news reveal that the structural arrangements and shifts in the companies’ foci are far from over.

In the future, Finnish forest products companies and manufacturers providing machinery and chemicals for the industry will need competent employees with a versatile education and skills to operate in a multicultural and an international context. In The Department of Forest Products Technology at Helsinki University of Technology (TKK), the development of education is based on its long-term objectives to provide the forest products industry with skilled engineers and to contribute to the future challenges of the forest cluster industries.

This case study presents how the Department tackled the challenge of developing a new academic curriculum with an international aspect. Emphasis is also based to the question: what will be skills needed in future.

On the other hand, university education is changing into an internationally competitive product, which places universities into a new position. The challenge of international education in forest products technology at this point is to reach the prospective students in Finland and around the world to acquire enough qualified applicants. To succeed in the increasingly tough competition, TKK and the Department of Forest Products Technology must be able to define and develop distinct competitive advantages for the International Master’s Programme in Forest Products Technology.

However, it is extremely important that the higher engineering education monitors carefully the changes in the industry and in the educational environment and response to them wisely. The universities should be able to foresee the economic environment in several years time, because the students starting their studies now will graduate in five years' time. Curriculum development is continuous and iterative work, which needs to track both the economic and educational environment closely and be able to reflect to the changes appropriately.
@InProceedings{HAUHIO2009CHA,
author = {Hauhio, L. and Lahti, P.},
title = {CHANGES IN GLOBAL FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY REQUIRE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT},
series = {3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference},
booktitle = {INTED2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-7578-6},
issn = {2340-1079},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Valencia, Spain},
month = {9-11 March, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4253-4256}}
TY - CONF
AU - L. Hauhio AU - P. Lahti
TI - CHANGES IN GLOBAL FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY REQUIRE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
SN - 978-84-612-7578-6/2340-1079
PY - 2009
Y1 - 9-11 March, 2009
CI - Valencia, Spain
JO - 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
JA - INTED2009 Proceedings
SP - 4253
EP - 4256
ER -
L. Hauhio, P. Lahti (2009) CHANGES IN GLOBAL FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY REQUIRE ACADEMIC CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT, INTED2009 Proceedings, pp. 4253-4256.
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