100 Saudi teachers coming to Finland to learn from the best teachers in the world

Submitted on 16.3.2017 - 15:37

Finland University signs a contract for the continuing education of Saudi Arabian teachers

Finland University and the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia have signed a contract for the continuing education of Saudi Arabian teachers. Of the first 100 teachers coming to Finland as a result of the contract, 50 will attend Finland University's member universities, while the other 50 will attend the University of Helsinki. Through Finland University, the teachers will be placed in the University of Turku, the University of Tampere and the University of Eastern Finland.

The contract was signed on 15 March in Berlin, and the six-month education period is set to begin in May-June.

The Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia will be sending a total of 100 comprehensive school teachers to Finland to learn about comprehensive school teaching in Finland and Finnish pedagogic solutions. The education will provide the teachers with the means of developing the practices of their own schools.

Family members included, the contract will bring approximately four hundred Saudis to Finland. Some of the family members will also be participating in various paid training programmes to study Finnish culture and the English language, for example.

"This is an important continuation of the continuing education courses for teachers organised by Finland University, one that is set to strengthen our position in the education market of the Persian Gulf. The contract also serves as an excellent demonstration of how significantly education export can contribute to the growth of Finland's economy. The families coming to Finland with the 100 teachers will be provided with day care, basic education, cultural education and driving instruction services. We are in the process of building Finland's next big export success," states the CEO of Finland University, Pekka T. Saavalainen.  

The education cooperation was first proposed when the Minister of Education of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed bin Muhammad Al-Isan, visited Finland, and concretised during Finland's Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen's return visit to Saudi Arabia in autumn 2016. Minister Al-Isan is particularly interested in the Finnish active education model, and stated that he would be sending as many as 1,000 teachers to Finland for continuing education.

The continuing education includes a one-week orientation period, three months of English language education and a three-month practical training period in the universities' teacher training schools.

"The most important thing in regard to the success of the education period is how to present Finnish pedagogy to the Saudi teachers in a way that will allow them to assimilate the information and apply it in their own schools," says Training Manager Ari Koski from the University of Turku, who served as the representative of Finland University and its member universities in the contract negotiations.

Finland University has already begun negotiations with the Ministry of Education of Saudi Arabia for another, even larger group of teachers to visit Finland. So far, discussions have been conducted concerning a group of 200–300 teachers, who would be arriving in Finland for continuing education in spring 2018.

For more information, please contact:
CEO Pekka T. Saavalainen, +358 (0)40 685 0717, pekka.saavalainen@finuni.fi
Training Manager Ari Koski, +358 (0)50 329 3620, ari.koski@utu.fi

Finland University is the joint education export company of the universities of Eastern Finland, Tampere and Turku, which promotes the sale of the universities' education and training services globally. Finland University has ongoing education and development programmes in Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.