ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDUCATION AND INNOVATIVE DEVELOPMENT OF LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AT HELSINKI BUSINESS COLLEGE
Helsinki Business College Ltd (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:This paper explores what constitutes entrepreneurship education and innovative development of learning environments in the upper secondary vocational education in Finland. Helsinki Business College has systematically invested in collaborative learning environments and learning in teams to offer students inspirational learning experiences and opportunities to acquire skills that prepare them for the world of work, whether as employees or entrepreneurs. The paper reviews the teaching/learning methods used during the individual learning path.
The first year studies of the students completing the Vocational Qualification in Business and Administration take place in small learning teams. Students carry out different kinds of small projects in order to learn to work together and get acquianted with the real working life. In the middle of the Academic year students have their first on–the–job period. It takes two months. On-the-job learning is an essential part of vocational education in Finland. All the vocational competence based qualifications include a minimum of 30 competence points, and the students are required to demonstrate their vocational skills by performing real work tasks in an authentic work environment. During the on-the-job- learning period, students have an opportunity to learn how the real enterprises work and what kind of skills are important to acquire for the future.
The second year studies of the students completing the Vocational Qualification in Business and Administration take place in the Year as an Entrepreneur learning environment. The entrepreneurship studies are integrated in other vocational modules. Based on their business ideas, the students establish student companies and run them in small teams for one school year. Students demonstrate their vocational skills by running their own Mini-Company. .In their operations and reporting, the companies comply with the JA Company Program of JA Finland, which is a member in the international Junior Achievement - Young Enterprise network. The students can also include the International Business Environment module in their studies. The module is implemented in collaboration with the international students network (EWB).
The third year studies of the students can take place in a cooperative called Arinom, which was established for learning purposes and is totally operated by students. The students who complete their studies in the cooperative acquire projects and implement them as members of the cooperative. The projects may be small-scale financial services, design and implementation of web pages and online sales systems, customer acquisition, assistance in small-scale trade fair arrangements and other business services. The cooperative may pay students a salary for the work they perform.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship studies, learning in teams, learning by doing.